Game 1 eased Tim Lincecum's nerves

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Because the Texas Rangers couldn't puncture San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum when they had chances early in Game 1 the way the Giants got to Rangers ace Cliff Lee, it was the latter who absorbed more heat for not having his typically dominating stuff to start the World Series.

But, Lincecum remembers that he wasn't exactly spot-on in San Francisco's 11-7 win that veered far from the predicted pitchers' duel. Lee lasted just 4 2/3 innings and Lincecum wasn't far behind. He was gone after just 5 2/3. Lincecum couldn't get the shutdown inning completed after the Giants broke it open and Lincecum left having allowed four runs on eight hits, with three strikeouts and two walks.

On Sunday, Lee talked of redemption in today's Game 5 rematch against the youthful Lincecum. Not needing redemption, Lincecum spoke on another Lee theme: location, location, location.

"I just want to be more aggressive, of course," said Lincecum, who has a chance to pitch his team to a World Series title on Monday. "I just gave up a lot of hits that game, or at least more than I wanted to. But, I just [want to concentrate on] quality of strikes as opposed to just throwing strikes."

Lee entered the World Series with the overall experience edge over Lincecum as well as in the postseason. Lee was dominant with the Philadelphia Phillies a year ago and won the Phillies' only two World Series games against the New York Yankees.

Lincecum said the Game 1 experience will benefit him as he goes against the same Rangers' lineup with one exception: With the American League designated hitter rule in effect, Lee won't be in the batting order to double off him as he did in Game 1.

"Just the experience of being there is the big help," Lincecum said. "You know, just going through the lineup again knowing that you're pitching in another World Series game eases the tension there. I just try to approach it, just try to keep my nerves together and keep poised."