Here is the opening to my column about Tim Lincecum, relief pitcher:


Tim Lincecum trotted in from the bullpen in the bottom of the fourth. It was still a game then, the Giants up 3-2 although they would win 8-3. This was no cameo appearance, no throwaway role, not garbage time.

When Lincecum reached the mound, he kicked the rubber and dug his groove in the red dirt. He threw his practice pitches to Hector Sanchez, always working from the stretch, his dark hair flying out behind his cap. Just when you thought he’d pitch, he turned his back to the batter — Ryan Ludwick — and kneeled down and tied his shoes. He was wearing baseball cleats, but you imagined him in Keds and you imagined him 13 years old. From certain angles, he looks 13.

Lincecum struck out Ludwick swinging, just toyed with Ludwick who had hit a home run earlier. He pitched 4« innings and gave up two hits and one run and he won the game.

To read the entire column, please click here.