Lincecum Leads Team of Characters

Lincecum Leads Team of Characters

There was no doubt, there was only Tim Lincecum, on the mound, reaching for history.

No doubt: The face of the Giants franchise was going to take this one home.

There was Lincecum -- a small pitcher, at his largest on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights, when the great ones rise above it all.

And begin to etch their names on plaques and monuments.

"There's a time and a place," pitching coach Dave Righetti said, when asked about Lincecum's performance.

Game 5 of the World Series was the time. Rangers Ballpark was the place.

The chance to clinch the Giants' first World Series championship in 56 years (and first in the team's San Francisco history) was the moment.

And there was nobody else the Giants would ever -- now or in their franchise history -- want pitching this game than Lincecum.

He craved it. The entire Bay Area waited for the climax of this improbable, remarkable run to destiny, and it was in his hands.

The franchise collectively held its breath.

Then Lincecum went out and blew the Texas Rangers away, going eight dominant innings in the Giants' 3-1 victory, and there was nothing left to do but scream and shake.

"Excited! Exhausted!" Lincecum said when it was over, looking and sounding very much the latter.

"This whole season came to fruition here in this series. And now we can let it all pour out and enjoy it."

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