In 1998, the Padres traded for Brown, who spent only that year in San Diego. The year before, he was a member of the World Series-winning Marlins and was traded away in their post-championship fire sale. A year later, he signed a $100 million free-agent deal with the Dodgers.
But for that one year it was a happy marriage. During the regular season, Brown was 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA in 35 starts. In the postseason, he defeated Randy Johnson -- then with the Astros -- in a memorable 2-1 Game 1 of the NL Division Series, and the Braves' Tom Glavine, 3-0, in Game 2 of the NLCS. Bochy even used Brown in relief to no avail later in that series.
Despite an 0-5 August, Lincecum was 16-10 during the regular season with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts. Thus far in his first postseason, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been nothing short of spectacular. He defeated Derek Lowe and the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS, 1-0, allowing only two hits and striking out 14 in throwing a complete game. In Game 1 of this series, he outlasted Halladay, 4-3. In his prior start, Halladay had pitched only the second no-hitter in postseason history.
Bochy, in his 16 years of managing (the first 12 with the Padres), hasn't been back to the World Series since '98. If he does go back this time, it will be because Lincecum has replicated Brown, winning the most important games against the opposition's best pitchers.
"I guess the best comparison I can make between the two is they're incredible talents and they both have the great makeup you like from a starting pitcher," Bochy said. "They compete very well. Timmy didn't have that playoff experience, but this kid's pitched Opening Day for us and those things help a young pitcher.
"It gets down to having the equipment that these guys have -- the tough pitchers. They're good because of their mental toughness. Brown, he had it; Timmy has it."
The big difference, of course, is that Lincecum is homegrown. Brown wasn't. Lincecum was the 10th pick overall by the Giants in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and is one of four pitchers in the playoff rotation who all came up through the system.
"It just goes to show the philosophy of this organization, -- building around pitching," Lincecum said. "It's gotten us here. The games in which we haven't scored a lot of runs, our pitchers have come up big."