Tim Lincecum almost fits in with the rest of the Giants relievers.

He's missing it by a whisker.

"Timmy's got the long, wacky hair on the top of his head, not on his face," closer Sergio Romo pointed out.

With everything else, though, Lincecum has the makings of a bullpen ace -- even if Giants manager Bruce Bochy vowed Saturday night that The Freak would be back in the rotation for 2013.

Bochy had to make such an assurance after Lincecum looked like a natural-born reliever again in Game 3 of the World Series. He delivered 2?1/3 more electric innings to help the Giants hold on for a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

"When the lights come on in the biggest stage, he's showed everybody what he's all about," said starter Ryan Vogelsong, the beneficiary of Lincecum's cleanup work. "He's thrown the ball unbelievably well this whole postseason out of the bullpen."

A mess during the regular season, Lincecum is 1-0 with 0.69 ERA in 13 relief innings during the playoffs. Only 10 times in playoff history has a reliever thrown at least 13 innings with a lower ERA. (Mariano Rivera is on the list four times.)

In those 13 innings, Lincecum has allowed just one run on three hits with two walks. The Freak-iest number of all: 17 strikeouts.

"He's been a big-time pitcher, and that's obviously a pretty nice weapon for them in the bullpen," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.