Giants to start Tim Lincecum in Game 4, Barry Zito in Game 5

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The Giants made it official after the Game 3 loss to the Cardinals, naming Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito their starters in St. Louis the next two days.

Madison Bumgarner, who took the loss in Game 1 after allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings, will spend the rest of the NLCS in the bullpen.

Lincecum pitched two scoreless innings in relief in Game 1, and the Giants made it pretty obvious afterwards that their preference was to pitch in Game 4. It’ll be his first postseason start after three relief appearances in which he’s allowed one run and amassed a 9/1 K/BB ratio in 8 1/3 innings.

Zito will be making his second postseason start. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Reds, yet the Giants won anyway. They’ve prevailed in each of his last 12 starts.

With Lincecum starting, it will be interesting to see what the Giants do behind the plate Thursday. Hector Sanchez was Lincecum’s primary catcher throughout the second half, with Buster Posey often shifting to first base in Lincecum’s starts. However, the Lincecum-Posey pairing has worked out great so far during the postseason relief appearances. If Posey moves to first, then Brandon Belt, who is 3-for-11 with a double and an RBI in the NLCS, will take a seat.

Report: Manny Machado deal between Orioles, Dodgers may have hit a snag

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Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio reports that one or more of the prospects headed from the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal have issues with their physicals. As a result, the trade may have hit a snag and the door may be open for other clubs. So far, it appears that Phillips is the only one reporting this, but things have otherwise been quiet on the Machado front since last night’s news.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz is believed to be the centerpiece of the deal. The Dodgers apparently prefer to hold on to pitching prospect Dustin May and middle infield prospect Gavin Lux.

The first-place Dodgers have been playing Chris Taylor at shortstop since Corey Seager went down with a season-ending injury. The club has also gotten minimal production out of second base, which has mostly been handled by Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley. Adding Machado to play shortstop would allow Taylor to move over to second base.

Machado, 26, hit .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances in the first half. Defensive metrics have rated his defense at shortstop as subpar, uncharacteristically.