SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- You always wonder how pitchers will react to long successful postseasons, followed by short celebratory winters.
You never expect to hear that they upped their winter workload.
Tim Lincecum did.
The Giants right-hander started the final game of the baseball season, winning the clinching game of the World Series on Nov. 1. Not all that long after, he says he was throwing five days a week, getting so sharp so early that he threw all his pitches in Tuesday's first official bullpen session of spring training.
Is it the right decision?
We may not know that for months. What's interesting now is what seems to have motivated Lincecum to work so hard.
"When you see the downs like I did last year -- that month was about as low as I could be -- I don’t ever want to go through that again," Lincecum said.
"That month" was Lincecum's 0-5 August, and it's obvious now that it stuck with him almost as much as his brilliant September and outstanding October.
"Sometimes fear can be the best motivator," he said. "I just want to lay all the doubts to rest."
There aren't many doubts about a guy who won back-to-back Cy Youngs and followed it up by leading his team to the World Series title. But Lincecum hasn't exactly been a workout monster, and his awful August (7.82 ERA, .902 opponents OPS) did raise some questions.
His winter workout routine may answer those questions, even as it raises more.
Is it smart for a guy who threw 249 innings last year (regular season and postseason) to throw more than ever in a shorter-than-ever winter?
We'll have to wait and see.