Tim Lincecum expects to start Game 1 despite relief appearance

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Just in case there was any doubt whatsoever, Tim Lincecum told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that he expects to start Game 1 of the World Series against the Rangers on Wednesday, despite facing three batters on Saturday night.

“I fully expect to make the start,” Lincecum said. “It’s not like they told me to get ready for Game 1. They just said, ‘Get ready for your next start.’ So I think that’s what they’re talking about, yeah.”

Going for the jugular, Bruce Bochy called on Lincecum to start the eighth inning. He struck out Jayson Werth to begin the frame, but then allowed back-to-back singles by Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez before Brian Wilson came on for a five-out save. It was Lincecum’s regular bullpen day after his Game 5 start on Thursday. As opposed to Roy Oswalt, who pitched in relief in Game 4, Lincecum skipped his throwing session.

And so, we’ll almost certainly have Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee going head-to-head in Game 1 on Wednesday. Granted, it doesn’t have the allure of Lee vs. Halladay, but it’s still pretty darn good.

The Reds are on pace to break their own record for home runs allowed

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The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.

That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.

After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.

Report: Twins close to acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves

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Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

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The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.

Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.