PHOENIX -- Tim Lincecum already has won Cy Young Awards and made All-Star teams. His performances through the years suggest that he could add another honor to his resume: a Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence.A play Lincecum made in Friday's season opener conjured this possibility. He mishandled a Chris Young comebacker in the fifth inning. Yet Lincecum maintained enough presence of mind and summoned enough dexterity to backhand the ball to first base, where Brandon Belt neatly grabbed the one-hop toss for the inning's final out. Lincecum seems to make a handful of arresting plays like this each year.
"I'll get something weird in there," Lincecum acknowledged Sunday.
Yet he's never mentioned as a Gold Glove candidate. He pointed out that the follow-through of his pitching motion carries him off the mound and slightly toward first base, which frequently prevents him from making routine plays."I think what keeps me out of the running, if I had to say anything, is the fact that I'm not a guy who gets to the defensive position quickly," Lincecum said. "I'm not balanced enough to make the play unless the ball's going my way or it hits me. I'm not a guy like [St. Louis' Adam] Wainwright, guys who follow through and they're already ready to field the ball."
Bochy tweaks Giants lineup for series finale
PHOENIX -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy executed his plan to field a slightly different lineup in Sunday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, in hopes of avoiding a three-game sweep.Bochy made only two personnel changes: Gregor Blanco replaced Angel Pagan (.111, 1-for-9) in center field and at the leadoff spot, and Emmanuel Burriss started at second base instead of Ryan Theriot. Burriss batted eighth while Brandon Crawford, who was hitless in eight at-bats but made promising contact in Saturday's game, was elevated from eighth to seventh in the batting order. "I need to keep these guys involved," Bochy said. Just as he did in Spring Training, when he made the Opening Day roster by hitting .333 with 13 stolen bases, Blanco virtually forced Bochy to use him. He slapped a pinch-hit single in Friday's ninth inning off D-backs closer J.J. Putz, affirming his reputation as an offensive catalyst. "Blanco certainly played his way into more playing time, which is what you want to see," Bochy said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.