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As soon as we learned that Game 1 of the World Series would pit the Giants' Tim Lincecum against the Rangers' Cliff Lee, our imaginations went wild, but probably not wild enough to predict the actual result: Giants 11, Rangers 7, with neither starter making it to the seventh inning.
It was a decidedly weird game filled with surprises and miscues. Our Giants blog, McCovey Chronicles, is still trying to digest it.
Eighteen runs in a game started by Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum? The hum you hear might be coming from the ballpark, but it could also be locusts. Careful driving out there.
[...] Andres Torres was the run that tied the game at 2-2. Torres was on base because Cliff Lee hit him with a pitch. In over 236 innings this year, Lee had only hit one batter. Cliff Lee hitting a batter is as rare as, oh, an opposite-field home run from Juan Uribe. The playoffs are fun when the weird things happen for your team, and every year, one fanbase out of 30 gets to enjoy a wild, bizarre ride that leaves the weird ledger completely lopsided.
This was a matchup of Tim Lincecum against Cliff Lee. Lee, of course, looked like the hottest, most effective starting pitcher in the world coming in. So the Giants figured they wouldn't be able to make too many mistakes if they wanted to have a chance. Then they opened by making too many mistakes. McCovey Chronicles runs down the various points at which it would've been reasonable for a Giants fan to give up:
It’s hard the pick out the exact moment it was reasonable to lose a little faith. For the weapons-grade cynic, it might have been when the Rangers scored their first run. For the standard pessimist, it might have been when Freddy Sanchez was doubled off second base in the bottom of the first inning.
The author continues before advancing to:
Then the playoffs happened. It was weird, and it was beautiful.
Andres Torres was the run that tied the game at 2-2. Torres was on base because Cliff Lee hit him with a pitch. In over 236 innings this year, Lee had only hit one batter. Cliff Lee hitting a batter is as rare as, oh, an opposite-field home run from Juan Uribe. The playoffs are fun when the weird things happen for your team, and every year, one fanbase out of 30 gets to enjoy a wild, bizarre ride that leaves the weird ledger completely lopsided.
Click through for the whole post. All the Giants need to do is play .500 baseball for six games, and they'll be crowned world champions.
In something of a controversial move, Ron Washington opted to start Vladimir Guerrero in right field over David Murphy in Game 1. Though Murphy is left-handed and the better defender of the two, Washington wanted to find room for his cleanup hitter somewhere in the lineup, so he did what he did.
It looked like his call would pay off in the early going, when Guerrero came up with two runners on in the first and drove one of them home with an infield single off of Tim Lincecum's body. That early in the series, Guerrero was already making his presence known.
Unfortunately, that would be Guerrero's lone highlight, and the rest of his evening was miserable, both at the plate and in the field. At the plate, Guerrero made outs in his next three at bats.
And in the field, he was every bit the circus so many Rangers fans feared he would be. His lack of mobility allowed the Giants to take a few extra bases, and in the eighth, he made a two-base error when he couldn't handle a bounce on a single, and he made another error when he bobbled a Freddy Sanchez grounder down the right field line. Though he was understandably rusty, he also looked well out of place.
We'll see what Washington decides to do as we look ahead to Game 2. Guerrero didn't cost the Rangers a win, but he looked very bad, and he didn't do enough with the stick to make himself an obvious start.
Wednesday night, the Giants got production from nearly their entire order, as everyone but Pat Burrell and Tim Lincecum wound up with hits. But of all the guys that shined, no one shined brighter than second baseman Freddy Sanchez.
Against Cliff Lee in the bottom of the first inning, Sanchez hit a ball off the plate outside, shattering his bat. The ball, though, sailed past Mitch Moreland at first base and carried on down the right field line, allowing Sanchez to make it into second with a broken-bat double.
In the bottom of the third, Sanchez came up against Lee and this time ripped a ball into left field for a double that drove in the Giants' first run of the game.
And in the bottom of the fifth, Sanchez stepped in against Lee one more time and drove a high fastball into center field, where it would come down, allowing Andres Torres to score from second and Sanchez to replace him. Not only did the hit give the Giants their first lead; it was Sanchez's third double in three at bats.
Freddy Sanchez became the first player in baseball history to hit doubles in his first three World Series at bats. He also became the tenth player to hit three doubles in a World Series game, and the first player to do it since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007.
Not bad for a guy who's supposed to be a table-setter.
Sanchez would end up on second base again in the eighth after grounding a ball down the right field line, but Vladimir Guerrero bobbled the ball, and Sanchez wound up with a run-scoring single. It was initially ruled his fourth double of the game before the official scorer called it a hit and an error.
By no means was Tim Lincecum phenomenal in his World Series debut. As it happens, he actually allowed four runs over just 5.2 innings for the worst start of his admittedly brief postseason career. But he was good enough. Against an even less effective Cliff Lee, he was more than good enough.
Lincecum got off to a rough start, allowing the Rangers to score in both the first and second innings. In the first, Elvis Andrus led off with a single, moved to second on a walk, moved to third on a grounder, and scored on an infield single by Vladimir Guerrero.
In the second, Lincecum allowed a single to Bengie Molina and a double to Cliff Lee of all people, and Molina would end up scoring on a fly ball off Andrus' bat.
But that's when Lincecum would settle down. At least for a while. He kept the Rangers quiet and gave his lineup an opportunity to get back in the game, which they did and then some.
Following Andrus' sac fly, Lincecum retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced, leading into the sixth inning. By that point he was working with an 8-2 lead, and though he finished by allowing four consecutive baserunners and two runs, he departed with an 8-4 advantage that the bullpen was able to hold. Lincecum, then, wound up with the win, despite not being on top of his game. He'll take it. It isn't about being great. It's about being better than your opponent, and in Game 1, Lincecum was better than his opponent.
Needless to say, this wasn't exactly how the Rangers thought things would go.
Cliff Lee came into Game 1 of the World Series having made three playoff starts, allowing two runs over 24 innings with one walk and 34 strikeouts. He'd pitched as well as anybody had ever pitched before in the postseason, and he'd pitched that well against American League opponents. To put him in San Francisco, starting against the Giants - Lee seemed like a sure bet to be his dominant self once again.
But he wasn't, and he wasn't particularly close. He was fine for the first couple innings, but he allowed his first run in the third, when Freddy Sanchez doubled home Edgar Renteria. Buster Posey followed that with a base hit that scored another run and allowed the Giants to catch the Rangers at 2-2.
Lee rebounded in the fourth, but then everything came apart in a disaster of a fifth. Lee faced seven batters in the frame. One of them walked, two of them singled, and two of them doubled. Lee would stand in to watch the Giants score three, and after he was pulled by Ron Washington with two outs, he walked to the dugout and looked on as he was charged with two more runs when Juan Uribe took Darren O'Day deep for a three-run homer.
Lee struck out seven while walking only one, but his command was off and the Giants hit him hard. He wound up with seven runs allowed in 4.2 innings, which is the worst start he's had since June 30, 2009.
The Rangers knew they'd have a challenge, given that Lee was going up against Tim Lincecum. They didn't anticipate that Lee would be as hittable as he was. Seven runs should've been able to win them this game, and now they'll go forward with shaken confidence.
And we're all done with a game that didn't really turn out the way so many people figured it would.
Inheriting an 11-4 lead, Ramon Ramirez came out of the Giants bullpen for the top of the ninth and promptly allowed a single and a walk. He got Michael Young to fly out, but Young would be Ramirez's last batter, as Bruce Bochy came out to fetch Jeremy Affeldt.
Affeldt was in to face the lefty Josh Hamilton, but he couldn't get the job done, uncorking a wild pitch and then walking Hamilton on six pitches to load the bases.
That meant that it was time for Brian Wilson, since seven-run leads have been known to evaporate so quickly in the past. Wilson faced Vladimir Guerrero to start off, and Guerrero lined out to right. The fly scored a run but pushed the Rangers to their final out.
Nelson Cruz followed with a double to center that scored another two runs, making it an 11-7 game. Even still, the tying run was still in the hole, and Ian Kinsler would fly out to end the game.
It's a 1-0 series lead for San Francisco, who will send Matt Cain to the hill Thursday night.
This became an 8-4 game in the top of the sixth, and it remained that way into the bottom of the eighth after some good work on both sides by relievers Alexi Ogando, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, and Javier Lopez. It was Romo and Lopez who combined to keep the Rangers quiet in the top of the eighth, putting them three outs away from a loss.
And in the bottom half, the Giants have added some insurance by taking advantage of Mark Lowe and Vladimir Guerrero's defense in right field. Edgar Renteria lined a single to right, and Guerrero couldn't handle the bounce, allowing the ball to get behind him and Renteria to advance to third with nobody out.
Renteria then scored on a double to left off the bat of Travis Ishikawa, turning this into a five-run game.
And the Giants weren't done. Two batters later, Freddy Sanchez drilled a grounder down the first base line, getting all the way into right field. Guerrero again fumbled with the ball, and Ishikawa scored while Sanchez moved up to second. That put the Giants up 10-4. And after Ron Washington replaced Mark Lowe with Michael Kirkman, Nate Schierholtz ripped a single into center that scored Sanchez and made it 11-4.
We're off to the ninth, and all the Giants need to do is keep the Rangers from putting up a seven-spot. I think they can manage.
The Rangers thought they had a little something going, when they pushed two across against Tim Lincecum in the top of the sixth, but Santiago Casilla was able to come in out of the bullpen and shut down their rally.
That took us into the bottom half, when Alexi Ogando came in and made quick work of the Giants. Following a lineout, Ogando got both Buster Posey and Pat Burrell to strike out to send this game to the seventh.
For the seventh, Casilla returned to the mound to face the Rangers' 2-3-4. He got Michael Young to ground out and Josh Hamilton to fly out, bringing him just one out away from a scoreless frame. Vladimir Guerrero then sent a sharp groundball to first, where it took a funny bounce away from Aubrey Huff, allowing Guerrero to reach. If the error got to Casilla, though, it didn't show, and Nelson Cruz hit a soft liner to Freddy Sanchez at second to end it.
It's 8-4 Giants going into the stretch, and their odds of taking a 1-0 series advantage are looking very, very high.
But then a rally got started. Ian Kinsler fought back from a two-strike count to draw a ten-pitch walk. Bengie Molina ripped a high and tight slider into left field to score Kinsler all the way from first. Mitch Moreland hit an infield single off of Lincecum's body to put runners on the corners. And pinch-hitter David Murphy grounded a single through the hole into right field to score Molina.
Murphy's single made it an 8-4 ballgame, and Bruce Bochy came out to remove Lincecum. His line:
93 pitches (64 strikes)
Bochy called on Santiago Casilla to work out of a two-runner mess. Casilla was able to do just that, working back from a 2-0 count to strike out Elvis Andrus on an inside slider. The Giants have a four-run lead going into the bottom of the sixth.
This was already bad. This was already bad enough for the Rangers when they saw Cliff Lee get knocked out in the bottom of the fifth. At that point, the Giants had scored three runs in the inning to take a 5-2 lead, and they'd gotten themselves into the Ranger bullpen.
Then it got worse. So much worse. Darren O'Day came in out of the bullpen to face Juan Uribe. O'Day fell behind 2-0, missing with a pair of outside sliders. He tried to come back inside with a fastball, and Uribe was waiting for it, putting a good swing on the ball and driving it deep over the left-center fence.
Uribe's blast kept the crowd on its feet and turned a 5-2 thriller into an 8-2 blowout. The inning didn't even end there, as there was still time for a hit batter and a fielding error before O'Day was able to record the third out.
A six-run fifth inning has the Giants up by a very comfortable margin, and though there's ordinarily some worry that the starting pitcher gets cold sitting in the dugout for so long, Lincecum actually came to the plate twice in the frame, so his blood is pumping. All he needs to do now is pitch easy and get hitters out.
Tim Lincecum looks to be settled in. He's retired 11 of the last 12 batters he's faced, and he set the Rangers down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Nine pitches earned him a pop out and a pair of grounders.
That's great news for the Giants. Better news for the Giants is that, all of a sudden, they also have a big lead.
Lincecum started the bottom of the fifth with a groundout. But Andres Torres came up swinging, ripping a first-pitch cutter into left field for a one-out double.
And with the go-ahead run in scoring position, Freddy Sanchez stood in and came through yet again. Sanchez worked a 2-1 count and then crushed a high fastball into center field. The ball came down, Torres came around to score, and Sanchez arrived at second base with his third double of the game. That put the Giants on top 3-2.
Following that, Aubrey Huff ripped another single back up the middle to score Burrell from second. That put the Giants up 5-2, and brought Ron Washington out of the dugout to remove Cliff Lee from the game. In comes Darren O'Day, and here's Lee's line:
104 pitches (69 strikes)
O'Day inherits two outs and men on first and second.
The Rangers scored a run in the first. They scored another run in the second. The Giants scored two in the third. For a matchup between Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum, this game was getting a little too interesting and a little too high-scoring.
So they got together, talked about it, and agreed to shape up in the fourth. We just said goodbye to our first scoreless full frame of the game. Lincecum was able to retire the side on three groundouts, working around a two-out double by Mitch Moreland. His pitch count stands at 59.
And Lee did Lincecum one better, picking up his first 1-2-3 inning of the game. Aubrey Huff hit a harmless pop out to short. Juan Uribe followed with a strikeout. And then Edgar Renteria hit another pop-up to end it. Lee's pitch count stands at 75.
Off to the fifth we go, all knotted up at 2-2. The Giants have to be happy about the way they've battled back against Lee and forced him to throw a lot of pitches. But they still have a long way to go.
After a shaky pair of early innings, Tim Lincecum settled down in the third, putting the Rangers away 1-2-3 on just eight pitches. That brought the Giants bats back to the plate, and this time, they were able to do some damage against Cliff Lee. So much damage that we're all tied up.
Starting things off, Edgar Renteria pulled a grounder to Michael Young's left at third base. Young was unable to come up with the ball cleanly, and by the time he picked it up, he didn't have a play. Renteria reached safely.
Lincecum followed by popping up a bunt attempt, but then Andres Torres stood in and got hit by an inside pitch in the arm. The hit batsman was just Lee's second all season long, and it gave the Giants a pair of baserunners.
And they cashed in. Freddy Sanchez ripped a ball into the left-center gap for his second double of the game, scoring Renteria from second. And then Buster Posey hit a soft line drive over Elvis Andrus' head at short, scoring Torres from third.
That tied the game up, and the Giants still had men on the corners with one out. But Lee settled down, freezing both Pat Burrell and Cody Ross for consecutive strikeouts. It was a good job of bouncing back, and the Giants may go on to regret wasting an opportunity to add on, but for now, they'll be happy with the tie.
Cliff Lee has decided to make this game exciting.
Lee was able to work around a weakly-hit double in the bottom of the first. He hit a double of his own in the top of the second. And in the bottom of the second, he's worked around another double that wasn't hit particularly well.
Huff worked a 1-1 count, and lifted a fly ball into right field down the line. It didn't have much distance and it had a bunch of hangtime, but Vladimir Guerrero wasn't able to run it down, and the ball dropped in for a two-out double.
Huff, though, would be stranded, as Juan Uribe was unable to bring him home. Uribe worked a full count, but swung and missed at a thigh-high cutter over the outer half.
To the third inning we go.
The Rangers pushed a run across in the top of the first, and Cliff Lee worked around a double in the bottom half to keep the score 1-0. Lee then came out and helped his own cause in a second inning that saw the Rangers add another.
Leading off against Tim Lincecum, Bengie Molina lined a base hit the other way into right field. Mitch Moreland followed with a strikeout, bringing Lee to the plate, but after fouling a bunt off, Lee decided to swing away and drilled a fastball over the outer half into the left-center gap. The ball split Pat Burrell and Andres Torres, who had been playing shallow, and Lee wound up on second with a double. Molina advanced to third.
Elvis Andrus stepped in next and lifted a fly ball into moderate center field. Molina, of course, doesn't run very well, but he was nevertheless able to tag up and score on the fly, as Torres' throw home sailed well offline. Lee advanced to third, but was stranded there.
It's 2-0 Rangers going into the bottom of the second, and already, the Giants are up against it.
There's nothing the Rangers love more than being able to hand an early lead to Cliff Lee. And that's exactly what they were able to do in the first, after Vladimir Guerrero drove a run home in the top half. That meant it was 1-0 Texas before Lee took the field.
And when he did, he got off to a good start. Though it took six pitches, he was able to freeze leadoff hitter Andres Torres with a 2-2 fastball in the down-away corner.
Up next was Freddy Sanchez. And Sanchez came out swinging, going after a first-pitch fastball down off the plate. He made contact, and though the contact snapped his bat into pieces, the ball sailed just past Mitch Moreland at first base and bounced on the foul line. Sanchez would pull into second with a broken-bat double.
Rather than cash in and tie the game up, though, the Giants would see it all end there. Buster Posey subsequently lifted a pop-up into right field that saw Vladimir Guerrero and Ian Kinsler converge on the ball. Sanchez broke from second, maybe figuring that the ball would drop in front of Guerrero, but it was Kinsler who made the catch, and he was able to wheel around and throw to second for the inning-ending double play.
Off we go to the second.
Willie Mays, it turns out, is feeling under the weather, and wasn't able to come out and throw the ceremonial first pitch. But the pregame stuff all went off without a hitch otherwise. There was a flyover and introductions and everything, with the best moment being the introduction of Bengie Molina. Molina received loud applause and took a moment to acknowledge the crowd.
After all the ceremonial stuff, the game got going. And unfortunately for San Francisco, it got going in the Rangers' favor. The very first batter of the World Series was Elvis Andrus, and on a 1-1 pitch from Tim Lincecum, Andrus ripped a base hit into left field.
With Andrus on, Lincecum was immediately distracted, and the next batter - Michael Young - was able to work his way back from a 1-2 count to a seven-pitch walk.
That put two runners on for Josh Hamilton, who tapped a slow grounder to move the runners up. And then Vladimir Guerrero came in and swatted a grounder off Lincecum's leg. Aubrey Huff retrieved the ball, but there was no time to make a play, and Guerrero had an infield single. Andrus scored on the hit to put the Rangers up 1-0.
Standing in next was Nelson Cruz, with another run just 90 feet away. And what happened was, in a word, strange. Cruz hit a tapper back to Lincecum, who fielded the ball with ease. And Michael Young had broken home on the play, meaning Lincecum had Young in a rundown. Lincecum was able to run Young back to third base, but for whatever reason, he failed to throw to the third baseman, meaning everybody was safe. The Rangers had the bases loaded and only one out due to a momentary lapse in concentration.
Lincecum, though, worked out of it when Ian Kinsler stepped in and drilled a grounder to third. Juan Uribe stepped on the bag and threw over to Huff for a 5-3 double play, and that would end the frame.
Lincecum's pitch count stands at 22.
There are no surprises at all in the Rangers' starting lineup for Game 1 of the World Series. The lone position of interest coming into the week was right field for games played in San Francisco, as Ron Washington would have to make a choice between Vladimir Guerrero, David Murphy, and Jeff Francoeur, but as was revealed a few days ago, Washington is going to give Guerrero the first shot.
Guerrero has served as the Rangers' regular designated hitter for much of the year, batting cleanup. He used to be a decent defensive corner outfielder with a very strong arm, but age has taken its toll, and he no longer moves very well. Washington, though, believes in Guerrero's bat, and wants to have that proven stick in the middle of his order as often as he can.
The hope is that Guerrero won't be too much of a liability in the field. If he is, then that's when Murphy and Francoeur become options. Until Guerrero proves that he can't do the job, he'll keep it.
Wednesday evening, the 2010 World Series takes center stage in the sporting universe, and to help usher it in, the Giants are calling on some former stars to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Willie Mays will deliver the actual pitch. But standing alongside him on the mound will be Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, and Monte Irvin.
Hall of Famer Mays, of course, is one of the greatest players in baseball history, and played with the Giants from 1951 into 1972, moving with them from New York to San Francisco.
Hall of Famer McCovey spent 19 years with the Giants, from 1959-1973, and again from 1977-1980.
Hall of Famer Perry was with the Giants from 1962-1971. Hall of Famer Marichal (noticing a trend?) was with the Giants from 1960-1973. For Hall of Famer Cepeda, 1958-1966. And for Hall of Famer Irvin, 1949-1955. Irvin spent a decade in the Negro Leagues before becoming the first black player in Giants history. He also had his number (20) retired by the Giants during the 2010 season.
We've got the starting lineup for the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series, and there's good news for the team and its fans - Andres Torres is slotted in at the top, leading off and playing center field.
Torres injured his groin and hip sliding into first base during Saturday's Game 6 of the NLCS, and was soon thereafter replaced. However, the injury was considered fairly minor from the beginning, and even if Torres isn't quite at 100%, he's close enough that Bruce Bochy considers him able to start. Truth be told, nobody's going to be at 100% by this point in the year. Everyone's got some aches and pains.
Outside of Torres, the rest of the lineup is similar to the lineup the Giants have been using all postseason. Against the left-handed Cliff Lee, Juan Uribe will play third base, and Edgar Renteria will play shortstop. Both Pablo Sandoval and Mike Fontenot will thus be available off of the bench.
(Sports Network) - It has been 56 years since the Giants last won a World Series. The Texas Rangers have never won a title. Something will have to give when the 106th edition of the Fall Classic gets underway this evening at AT&T Park.
Maybe both teams were longshots at the start of the playoffs, but both earned their way into this year's World Series, as each took out the pennant winners from a year ago in their respective leagues.
Texas entered the postseason for only the fourth time in team history and its first appearance in 11 years. The club's three previous trips ended with losses to the New York Yankees, but after getting past the Tampa Bay Rays in five games of the ALDS to win their first-ever postseason series, the Rangers exorcised their Yankee demons by taking out the defending champions in six games to advance.
The Rangers possess a high-octane offensive attack, but the biggest reason Texas is still playing is its starting staff, a group that has pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 11 games in these playoffs.
Of course the Rangers are led by the incomparable Cliff Lee, who will take the ball in Game 1 for the American League champions. After a tremendous postseason run with the Philadelphia Phillies a year ago, Lee has been even better in these playoffs, going 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA.
With his win in Game 3 against the Yankees, Texas' midseason acquisition became the third pitcher in MLB history to win his first seven playoff decisions and is the first pitcher with three games of 10-plus punchouts in one postseason.
Lee's career ERA of 1.26 in the postseason is good for third best all-time.
"What I attribute my success in the post season to is confidence, relying on my routine, playing on a really good team, having a really good offense to lean on, Bengie Molina," Lee said. "Those are a lot of the reasons. But I think mostly it's probably just confidence and going out there and expecting to be successful, and what allows me to do that is my routine. I've proven to myself over and over that it works, and eventually it becomes what you rely on to make you successful, and that's where I'm at."
Lee has beaten the Giants all three times he has faced them and has pitched to a 1.13 ERA in those outings. His last start in San Fran came last season in his first outing with the Phillies and he turned in a brilliant complete-game win.
"I'm sure there's a lot of familiar guys, familiar faces," Lee said. "But obviously they've figured some things out and are playing as one unit over there. I mean, they're in the World Series. They're doing a lot of stuff right."
Offensively the Rangers are led by center fielder Josh Hamilton, who picked up the first of what could be many awards in the coming month with an ALCS MVP trophy thanks to a terrific bounce back series against the Yankees.
After hitting a mere .111 in the ALDS, Hamilton hit .350 in the ALCS with three home runs and seven RBI. It is safe to say that Hamilton, the front- runner for the AL MVP award, is back at 100-percent after missing 24 games in September with fractured ribs.
San Francisco, meanwhile, needed all 162 games to clinch the National League West but has made the most of its opportunity. The Giants disposed of the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, then took out the heavily-favored two-time defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
Although Cody Ross hit three home runs to gain NLCS MVP honors, the Giants haven't really had an offensive star in these playoffs, as 11 different players combined to score 19 LCS runs.
Ross' first major league home run actually came off of Lee as a rookie in 2003 with the Detroit Tigers.
San Francisco has also had a knack for winning the close games. Seven of the Giants' 10 postseason games have been determined by one run, and San Francisco has come out the winner in six of those contests.
"You get a lot of people -- family, friends -- telling us we give them a heart attack with these games," Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez said. "You know, I think we've been prepared for these games. We've had them all year."
Runs figure to be at a premium this evening with Lee on the hill, but the Giants will have a pretty solid pitcher of their own going in reigning two- time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum won five of his final six starts of the regular season and has carried that success into the postseason, where he has gone 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in four games.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing," Lincecum said. "Prior to this year, I didn't know if we'd ever get here or what was going to happen or how far we'd get, but we got the right tools and brought the right people in at the right time, and we're here now."
He has never faced the Rangers.
While the Rangers are enjoying the first real postseason run in the team's 50- year franchise history, the Giants are no strangers to the World Series and will be making their 18th appearance. However, this is just the team's fourth trip to the Fall Classic since moving to San Francisco in 1958. Their last appearance ended in heartache in 2002 when they lost in seven games to the Angels.
The Giants haven't won a World Series since 1954, a series that was highlighted, of course, by one of the greatest plays in baseball history: Willie Mays' on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track to rob Vic Wertz.
The Rangers are the fourth team in the past six seasons to be appearing in their first World Series. However, the previous three all lost in five games or less: Houston (2005), Colorado (2007) and Tampa Bay (2008).
These two teams obviously have zero postseason history against one another, but the Giants lead the all-time series against Texas 15-7 and have won the last seven and 11 of the previous 12 meetings.
Texas has also lost 11 in a row in San Francisco, where it is just 2-12 all- time.
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