Baseball is back, folks. After what felt like a three-month layoff, the Giants and Rangers are set to go tonight in Game 1 of the World Series, with Tim Lincecum and the incomparable Cliff Lee ready to get their respective balls on the mound. Sure, it may not be the sexiest of matchups, but a tip of the hat to both teams, who used upsets of defending league champions (the Yanks and Phils, of course) to earn their shot at glory.
In a way, you could also call this matchup the Bengie Molina Bowl, since the Texas catcher is in line to grab a ring regardless of who wins. Molina, who signed with San Francisco after a not-so-standout season in Toronto in 2006, was dealt to the Rangers in July after the emergence of some young gun named Buster Posey, who’s since handled the catching duties for the Giants. The 36-year-old Molina, who Lincecum credits for showing him the ropes en route to a couple Cy Young Awards in his first three seasons, is leaning towards riding off into the sunset after this one wraps up.
As for tonight’s game, it’s shaping up to be a bit of a pitcher’s duel. Tiny Tim, who won five of his last six regular seasons starts and allowed just five runs in three starts in the first two postseason rounds, will definitely have his hands full with Lee, who I’m leaning towards calling the greatest pitcher to ever play the game. In three playoff starts this month, he’s 3-0, having given up just two runs in 24 innings while fanning 34. In eight career playoff starts, Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA and a K-to-BB ratio of 67-to-7. Statistically, Lee has the edge, but I’m gonna let this one be decided between the lines.
Anyway, enough talk — this one gets going at 7:57, with the Giants holding court at home.