Instead manager Bruce Bochy called on Jean Machi to get the final out in the third inning in relief of Ryan Vogelsong. Embattled Hunter Strickland closed out the game in the top of the 9th with the Giants comfortably ahead. Both Machi and Strickland have been players Bochy has indicated would take on lesser roles in the World Series.
Despite his virtual disappearance in the post-season, Lincecum remains a very popular player among Giants fans and baseball fans in general.
Steve Benko in a piece for OnBase Talk wrote:
“There is a certain mystique about Lincecum, he had the long hair, the personality, the marijuana use, the unorthodox delivery, his nickname ‘ The Freak’ was very fitting; he was essentially a stick figure with long hair that went out and just tore opposing lineups apart.”
But that was yesteryear. While the unorthodox delivery, personality and nickname may remain, the long hair and perhaps the days he tore apart opposing lineups are gone.
Yet fans are anything but ready to dump Lincecum into a scrap heap. In Lincecum they still see the magic that could come out of the genie bottle at anytime.
Lincecum is important to baseball for reasons that aren’t necessarily associated directly with baseball; he’s just plain old fun. He’s a regular guy, no ego, but still has playful banter – he is loved by his fans because he never got too big to interact with them.
But can he still deliver. With the World Series tied 2 – 2 can Lincecum help take the Giants to the promise land? Benko says yes. You can read why in OnBase Talk .