Bruce Bochy seems to be playing to win the All-Star Game this year.
The San Francisco Giants have four pitchers in the 2011 All-Star Game.
And, sure, their selections have drawn a -- ahem -- touch of criticism from around the league.
But more importantly, how are Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Brian Wilson gonna get used?
Will they pitch the entire game as Bruce Bochy cackles manically from the dugout? No, they probably will not. (But if you enjoy kind of laughing at other managers like Jack McKeon and Clint Hurdle, that's fun to think about.)
Or will they all just pitch an inning each?
"I wouldn't say that," Bochy said, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. "We're going to do all we can to win the ballgame. I'll use my pitchers the way I'm going to use the other pitchers. They could go two. Even maybe three. I would do it."
Bochy was specifically referring to Lincecum, who he apparently doesn't consider just a "one-inning guy" during the midseason classic.
The important takeaway from Bochy's comments was that he's not going to manage the N.L. players in order to make sure that everyone a) gets to play and b) pitchers don't make appearances just for the sake of appearances.
Which means that Ryan Vogelsong, making his first-ever All-Star appearance, might not get a shot at pitching. In fact, it's likely that Vogelsong only takes the bump if the game goes extra innings.
Likewise for Brian Wilson, who won't see the mound unless there's a clear-cut save situation.
Back in 1999, Bochy managed the All-Star Game and ended up losing, mainly because he was so intent on getting all his players into the game and making sure everyone got a chance to pitch.
This time around, he clearly understands how important winning the game actually is -- last year it gave the Giants home-field advantage during their World Series title win.
Which is why you might see Lincecum go three innings and, if he and other National League starters are effective enough, no more Giants pitchers for the rest of the evening.