SAN FRANCISCO — More than anyone, Bengie Molina knows how good the pitching should be in this World Series.
That's because he spent the first half of the season catching the Giants pitchers and, after a July 1 trade, the second half catching the Rangers.
"They get people out, both of them," Molina said. "So it's going to be a fun series, to see what we can do against what they can do."
The show should start with tonight's opening game pairing of former Cy Young Award winners, Cliff Lee for the Rangers and Tim Lincecum for the Giants.
"A hell of a matchup," Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "Supposedly you've got one guy who is a surgeon and the other one who flies by the seat of his pants in a sense, but when you break it all down they're a lot alike, right? They're just good.
"They pose a lot of questions, and a lot of people pay attention to what they're doing, including opposing hitters. And it makes for a great World Series."
Lee's postseason legend continues to grow, as he beat the Rays twice in the division series and the Yankees once to run his career numbers to 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight starts.
And there's little secret to his success besides boring consistency. "I think mostly it's probably just confidence and going out there and expecting to be successful," Lee said, "and what allows me to do that is my routine."
Lincecum, who is 2-1, 1.93 in his four postseason appearances (three starts), remains a bit more of a mystery, even after two NL Cy Young Awards, primarily because of an unorthodox delivery he learned from his father to maximize the power of his slight 5-foot-11, 163-pound frame.
"It took a lot of time, a lot of practice, a lot of repetition to get that secondary feel," Lincecum said. "That's why it kind of just works for myself."
Lee and Lincecum are just the beginning of trouble for hitters on both squads. The Rangers were third in the AL in ERA during the season, with lefty C.J. Wilson a solid No. 2 starter and a deep and strong bullpen. The Giants hold a better hand with a homegrown rotation that includes Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner and an experienced pen featuring lefty Javier Lopez and closer Brian Wilson.
"The pitching on both sides is very good," said Giants outfielder Pat Burrell, the ex-Ray who also has seen both staffs. "All you've got to do is watch some of the videos to see what's been going on."
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.