Now, in the midst of another playoff push in 2012, the former ace has been demoted
to the bullpen. It was a nightmare season for Lincecum, who went 10-15 with a
5.18 ERA in 33 starts this season.
As a result of Lincecum's struggles, Giants manager Bruce Bochy made the
announcement to shift him to the bullpen for the time being. Despite the
demotion, Lincecum is taking the decision in stride.
"My reaction is, I know what to prepare for now," Lincecum told
reporters in San Francisco on Sunday.
"I'll go in with that mindset today. Whatever they want me to do. That's
really all I can do. I don't make up the lineup. As much as I'd like to start,
I don't have that say. [Bruce Bochy] is the one making the decisions. That's
what he's there for, and I'm all for that. Any position I can be in to help the
team, whether that's coming out of the bullpen or making a long relief
appearance or anything, it doesn't really matter to me."
Lincecum rose to the occasion in Game 2 of the Reds-Giants NLDS, pitching two innings in relief and
yielding one hit while striking out two in a 9-0 Giants loss.
Before the decision, Lincecum was a candidate to start Game 3 for the
Giants. Instead, Bochy elected to go with Ryan Vogelsong, who posted a 14-9
record this season with a 3.37 ERA in 31 starts.
Lincecum — who started and won the series-clincher in Game 5 to win the
2010 World Series — understands the decision.
"I'm not going to be that guy that's throwing a tantrum just because I
didn't get what I want or I think I'm not getting what I deserve,"
Lincecum said. "It's not about that. Right now it's about the team, and it's
about winning. It's not about stats or individual awards, it's about the team."
It's an altruistic act from Lincecum, who is eyeing a second ring.