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Lincecum's clincher ranks among Series best

Lincecum's clincher ranks among Series best

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Tim Lincecum put the finishing touches on the Giants' dominant performance in the 2010 World Series by shutting down the Rangers for eight innings in Monday's Game 5, striking out 10 and giving up three hits in the title-clinching 3-1 victory. The lone Texas run came on a seventh-inning Nelson Cruz homer.

As Madison Bumgarner had done the night before, Lincecum's mound mastery etched his name and accomplishments into baseball's books forever.

In a seemingly nightly parade of noteworthy feats of arms, Lincecum, all 5-foot-10 of him, stood tall on Monday night in Texas, when he pitched the Giants to their first San Francisco title and first franchise World Series win since 1954.

Lincecum's Game 5 Series-clinching heroics -- eight innings, one run, 10 strikeouts -- put him in elite company.


Only two other pitchers in World Series history pitched eight or more innings in a clinching game while allowing one or fewer runs and three or fewer hits and striking out 10 or more -- and they all did it on the road.

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax did it in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he threw a three-hit shutout, striking out 10 as the Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Minnesota Twins.

And the fabulously named Orval Overall did it in 1908, pitching the Cubs to a Game 5 victory and Series championship over the Detroit Tigers. Overall also tossed a three-hit shutout with 10 punchouts, and he achieved legend status in the process as the final architect of the last World Series victory enjoyed by the Cubs.

FINISHING FLOURISH
Pitchers with eight or more innings in a World Series clincher while allowing no more than one run and three hits, while striking out at least 10
Pitcher Date Score IP H R K
Tim Lincecum 11/1/10 SF 3, TEX 1 8 3 1 10
Sandy Koufax 10/14/65 LAD 2, MIN 0 9 3 0 10
Orval Overall 10/14/08 CHC 2, DET 0 9 3 0 10

There have been many memorable Series-clinching pitching performances throughout the years and various eras of baseball, and the efforts of Koufax (who also turned in a complete-game doozy in the 1963 clincher over the Yankees), Overall and now Lincecum rank high on the list. Here are a handful of the many others that stand out:

Jack Morris, Game 7, 1991: The mustachioed Morris, pitching in the Metrodome for the Twins, was a true bulldog here, matching young Braves flamethrower John Smoltz pitch for pitch through nine innings of a cuticle-munching 0-0 tie. But Morris did Smoltz one better, gutting out a 10th shutout inning and then getting the win when Gene Larkin's RBI single over a drawn-in infield ended Game 7 -- and one of the best World Series of all time -- with a 1-0 victory. Morris struck out eight and walked two in his seven-hitter -- and only needed 126 pitches to do it.

Tom Glavine, Game 6, 1995: Glavine delivered longtime Braves skipper Bobby Cox his lone Atlanta World Series title with an incredible outing against the power-packed Indians. Glavine gave up one hit in eight scoreless innings, giving way to closer Mark Wohlers in the ninth. The Cooperstown-bound lefty struck out eight and walked three.

Josh Beckett, Game 6, 2003: How about this one for a 23-year-old? Beckett stormed into the Bronx with the World Series on the line against the Yankees and hammered another nail into their hearts, going the distance on a five-hit shutout, striking out nine, and even ending the game on a rare 1-unassisted putout on a Jorge Posada dribbler up the first-base line.

Ralph Terry, Game 7, 1962: Two years after giving up one of the most famous home runs in baseball history -- Bill Mazeroski's Game 7 walk-off blast -- to lose to the Pirates, Terry delivered for his Yankees in the ultimate game against the Giants. Terry gutted out a 1-0 victory for the title with a complete-game four-hitter, striking out four and not walking a batter.

Ernie Shore, Game 5, 1916: Shore helped the Red Sox to a five-game Series win over the Brooklyn Robins with a complete-game masterpiece, giving up one earned run on three hits while striking out four and walking one in a 4-1 win.

Jose Rijo, Game 4, 1990: The hard-throwing Reds right-hander capped off a stunning upset sweep of the stacked A's with a stunning performance of his own. At the age of 25, Rijo went 8 1/3 innings and gave up one run on only two hits, striking out nine and walking three in a 2-1 triumph.

Bob Gibson, Game 7, 1967: Gibson added to his Hall of Fame legacy by willing the Cardinals to a seven-game World Series title over the Red Sox, pitching nine innings in baseball's ultimate game and giving up two runs on three hits. Gibson struck out 10 to tie the record in Series-clinching games that Lincecum equaled Monday.

Bret Saberhagen, Game 7, 1985: At the remarkable age of 21, Saberhagen sealed his Series MVP Award by winning his second game of an epic Fall Classic, pitching the Royals to the title in Game 7 over the Cardinals with an 11-0 shutout. Saberhagen only struck out two, but he didn't walk anyone and gave up five hits.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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