SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum will remain a reliever as manager Bruce Bochy announced his World Series starting rotation on Tuesday.
Following Barry Zito, who will open the Series for San Francisco on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT on FOX, Madison Bumgarner will pitch Game 2, with Ryan Vogelsong drawing the Game 3 assignment and Matt Cain pitching Game 4.
The selections and the sequence were mildly surprising. Bochy could have chosen Cain, the Giants' regular-season ace, to start Game 3 on his normal four days' rest. That would allow Cain to start Game 7 if it were necessary. But Bochy stuck with the order in which Vogelsong (2-0, 1.42 ERA in three postseason starts) and Cain (2-2, 3.52 ERA in four starts) twice appeared back-to-back in the National League Championship Series against St. Louis.
Bochy said that Vogelsong is "throwing the ball as well as anybody on the staff. ... If Vogelsong gets the last start, we have no problem with that. I know Matt has worked hard. He's got a lot of innings. I didn't think we needed to flip-flop the two, to be honest, the way Vogey is throwing."
Faced with a choice between Bumgarner and Lincecum for Game 2, Bochy selected the 23-year-old left-hander instead of the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Bumgarner, who finished 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA in the regular season, struggled in his pair of postseason starts, losing both and recording an 11.25 ERA. But Bochy reasoned that Lincecum is more suited for a bullpen role than Bumgarner. Lincecum demonstrated that by allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings spanning two relief appearances during the Division Series against Cincinnati.
By contrast, Lincecum surrendered four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings and absorbed the decision in his lone postseason start, San Francisco's 8-3 loss to St. Louis in Game 4 of the NLCS.
Bochy explained that Lincecum's ability to work multiple innings could come in handy in Games 3-5 in Detroit, where the Giants will employ a designated hitter and won't have to bat for the pitcher. Moreover, Bochy said, Lincecum "doesn't take as long to get ready; 15 pitches, he's good to go. So it's nice to have an arm like that that's good against righties and lefties."
Bumgarner has not pitched since he allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in the Oct. 14 NLCS opener. Since then, he has worked extensively with pitching coach Dave Righetti and bullpen coach Mark Gardner on addressing mechanical flaws, including turning his back too excessively in his pitching motion.
Starting left-handers Zito and Bumgarner in the World Series' first two games didn't concern Bochy, who pointed out that their styles differ significantly. Zito's fastball rarely exceeds 85 mph, while Bumgarner relies on about 5-6 mph more velocity.
"I don't have any problem going righty-righty or lefty-lefty," Bochy said. "If they're on top of their game, they'll give you a chance to win."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.