After three straight losing seasons, Tim Lincecum won’t let a bruised knee or an upset stomach keep him from beginning a year in which he hopes to regain his Cy Young Award-winning form.
The veteran right-hander takes the mound Thursday when the visiting San Francisco Giants conclude their four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Lincecum took a hard grounder off the left knee in Friday’s exhibition game versus Oakland. X-rays were negative and he was walking around the clubhouse and riding a stationary bike the next day.
"I think where it hit that part of the knee after an hour or so it (seemed) it calmed down quite a bit," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Lincecum also had to overcome a stomach ailment this week.
"It was pretty mild," Lincecum told the Giants’ official website.
The Cy Young winner in 2008 and 2009, Lincecum is 33-43 with a 4.03 ERA in 98 starts over the last three seasons. However, he went 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA in his last seven of 2013 and earned a $35 million, two-year contract in late October.
"I think everybody on our baseball side evaluating it said this was the right thing for the Giants," San Francisco president and CEO Larry Baer told the MLB official website of the signing. "I don’t want it to be misinterpreted that this was done because he’s popular. It was done because we think he can excel and get us to be where we need to be in the future."
Lincecum, who went 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in six spring training starts, improved to 4-3 with a 4.48 ERA in 10 starts at Chase Field after he went six innings in a 1-0 victory Aug. 30.
He won’t have an easy time topping the performance of teammate Tim Hudson, who allowed three hits and struck out seven without a walk in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-0 victory in his Giants debut Wednesday.
Angel Pagan and Michael Morse each had an RBI for San Francisco, which has six runs and 13 hits in the last two games after recording 12 in Monday’s 9-8 victory.
Pagan is batting .389 in his last 13 games at Chase Field.
Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 24 games by doubling for one of the three hits by Arizona (1-4), which totaled 13 runs and 27 hits in the first two of the set. Goldschmidt is hitting .392 during the streak.
Despite nagging back problems, Bronson Arroyo will make his Arizona debut Thursday after spending the last eight seasons in Cincinnati.
"I’ve made every one of my big league starts and it wasn’t because I felt good every time," the 37-year-old right-hander told the Diamondbacks’ official website. "You find ways to get out there and you hope things don’t come up that are this drastic to where it actually shuts you down."
Arroyo, who agreed to a $23.5 million, two-year contract in February, went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Reds.
After posting a 6.60 ERA and losing his first three career starts against the Giants, Arroyo is 6-2 with a 1.51 ERA in his previous 11, including the playoffs. In the regular season and postseason, he’s yielded only a solo homer to Brandon Belt over 22 innings while winning three straight versus San Francisco.