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.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”