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.