Cardinals get off to quick start against Tim Lincecum in Game 4 of NLCS

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Tim Lincecum appeared to find himself while pitching in the bullpen this postseason, but that success hasn’t translated in his start tonight in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cardinals.

Pitching exclusively out of the stretch, Lincecum allowed a single to Jon Jay and a walk to Matt Carpenter to begin the game before Matt Holliday delivered an RBI single. Angel Pagan made a nice running catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Allen Craig for the first out, but Carpenter scored on the play to make it 2-0.

The Cardinals had the chance for more in the bottom of the first, but Lincecum got Yadier Molina to fly out for the second out and worked around a single by David Freese to get Daniel Descalso to strike out swinging.

Coming into tonight’s start, Lincecum had allowed just one run on three hits over 6 1/3 relief innings this postseason to go along with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.