It was actually kind of a fun novelty Tuesday when Tim Lincecum was a last-minute scratch against the Padres. We were excited to finally see the newest Great Orange Hope, Madison Bumgarner, debut against San Diego.
Okay, fun's over now. Bumgarner pitched adequately but the Giants still lost 4-2, they fell to three games behind the Rockies in the NL Wild Card race, and now they're down a Cy Young pitcher.
But Lincecum is about as worried as a mullet-wearing California boy can get. Meaning, not at all.
"I’m pretty confident," Lincecum told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, when asked if he'd make his next scheduled start Moday against the Rockies. "The progression’s been good and they’ll keep treating it until I feel completely normal. They’re just getting the inflammation down, using muscle relaxers to help it calm down."
Is Lincecum really not worried, or is that just the muscle relaxers talking?
"No, I feel fine," Lincecum told the Merc. "With the steps my back has taken these last 48-60 hours or so, my back has gotten better progressively. I don’t see why I can’t make it out there in a few days. But we’re taking the right steps. No need to push it right now."
Meanwhile, back at the injured pitchers halfway house, Baggarly also reports that our old friend Randy Johnson is throwing pitches once again. "Randy Johnson threw 30 pitches off a mound yesterday," Baggarly writes."It was his second time off a mound. Still no firm timetable for a return, but it’s progress."
It will be even more progress when these guys return to popping out batters, instead of popping pills like Rush Limbaugh on a Mexican weekend bender.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has learned his lesson about mixing muscle relaxers with MD 20/20.