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Giants to start Lincecum in Game 1

October 26, 2010

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— Tim Lincecum is the Game 1 guy for the Giants again.

Lincecum will start Wednesday night’s World Series opener for San Francisco against the Texas Rangers. Fellow right-hander Matt Cain will follow in Game 2 on Thursday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Monday.

While the Giants considered going to Cain for the opener, Bochy said Lincecum will be well rested despite briefly pitching in relief Saturday night in the NL championship series clincher at Philadelphia.

“We just kept things in order and let Timmy have the first one,” Bochy said before his team’s workout Monday night at AT&T Park. “Matt hasn’t pitched in a while. He didn’t have to pitch in that seventh game, so he’s ready. Jonny just threw. Matt’s one of our guys, too.”

When the series shifts to Arlington, Jonathan Sanchez will start Game 3 on Saturday, and Madison Bumgarner will be on the mound for Game 4 on Sunday.

Cliff Lee starts the opener for Texas, making it a matchup of Cy Young Award winners. Lee won the 2008 AL Cy Young for Cleveland. Lincecum has won the last two NL awards.

“We’re feeling good about it. We’ll start it out with Timmy against Cliff,” Cain said. “This is what we’ve all dreamed of doing.”

The 26-year-old Lincecum will be the first Giants pitcher to start a World Series opener at home since Billy O’Dell lost to the Yankees’ Whitey Ford at Candlestick Park in 1962.

Lincecum, who wasn’t available for interviews until today’s workout day, has never faced Texas.

As much as was made of Phillies star Roy Halladay in the last series, the Giants will be ready for the hype surrounding Lee. The lefty is 3-0 during this playoff run and 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA for his career in the postseason, covering eight starts in five series with the Phillies and Texas.

“It was the Halladay show a week ago after he threw the no-hitter against the Reds,” Giants right fielder Cody Ross said. “We’re not surprising anybody, believe me. Everybody knows how good our pitching staff is. But I think we prefer for everyone to talk about everybody else.”

Cain has pitched against the Rangers once, allowing one run and three hits over eight innings and getting a no-decision in the Giants’ 2-1, 11-inning win on June 20 last year.

Sanchez has faced the Rangers just once, winning with two-thirds of an inning of hitless relief on June 29, 2006, when he got Mark Teixeira to hit into a double-play grounder.

Like Lincecum, Bumgarner hasn’t faced Texas.

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