SAN FRANCISCO — RHP Tim Lincecum is set to start Game 4 of the NL Championship Series for the Giants on Thursday.
Manager Bruce Bochy said his one-time ace was available to pitch out of the bullpen Monday, if needed, but he was able to save him for a start as LHPs Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito have struggled this postseason. Bochy called it a "good possibility" Lincecum would get the ball at Busch Stadium.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner has pitched in relief three times this postseason. He was demoted to the bullpen after posting a 10-15 record and NL-worst 5.18 ERA in the regular season but has found his stride in the playoffs.
"If he starts, I'll be eager to see him the way he's throwing the ball," Bochy said.
Lincecum pitched the 2010 Game 5 World Series clincher for the Giants at Texas as the franchise captured its first championship since moving West in 1958. He has allowed one run and three hits in 81/3 innings this October, striking out nine and walking one.
CARDS CHOICE: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny appeared leaning toward giving RHP Lance Lynn the start in Game 5, despite Lynn's poor 32/3 innings in Sunday's 6-4 win. "I like where Lance is right now. I want him to continue preparing for his next start," Matheny said. "That's where my thinking is."
A-ROD DEFIANT: Alex Rodriguez was searching for a way to say the Yankees weren't dead yet in this AL Championship Series, despite being down two games to none. Then he came up with the money quote.
"Look, we've been through stretches like this all year," Rodriguez said. "It's been a very volatile stock market for us this year."
Maybe A-Rod's pal Warren Buffet could appreciate that analogy, but the only way these Yanks can avoid getting knocked out is to quickly mass produce some hits and runs.
"This is a best-of-seven, not a best-of-three," said Rodriguez, who is 3-for-23 in the postseason. "We won 90-some games for a reason."
GIRARDI FUNERAL: Jerry Girardi was memorialized as a dedicated laborer who built the ranch-style Illinois home where he raised five highly successful children — two doctors, a math professor, an accountant and Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The manager, who attended the funeral service in Peoria, Ill., during an off day in the AL Championship Series, sat quietly alongside his family.
TV RATINGS: Ratings for the Division Series were down from last year, but League Championship Series numbers were up considerably. Through the first two days of LCS coverage, FOX and TBS averaged 6.3 million viewers, a 39 percent increase from 2011. The 18 LDS games on TBS, with all four series going the distance, averaged a 2.4 rating, down 11 percent from the 2.7 for 19 games in 2011.
American League Championship Series
Tigers 2, Yankees 0
Game 1: Tigers 6, Yankees 4 (12)
Game 2: Tigers 3, Yankees 0
Tonight: at Detroit, 8:07
Wednesday: at Detroit, 8:07
Thursday: at Detroit, 4:07*
Saturday: at New York, 8:07*
Oct. 21: at New York, 8:15*
TV: All games TBS
National League Championship Series
Cardinals 1, Giants 1
Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4
Monday: Giants 7, Cardinals 1
Wednesday: at St. Louis, 4:07
Thursday: at St. Louis, 8:07
Friday: at St. Louis, 8:07
Oct. 21: at San Francisco, 4:45*
Oct. 22: at San Francisco, 8:07*
TV: All games Ch. 13
* If necessary