SAN FRANCISCO -- Throughout the season as the Giants clawed their way to the National League West title, some fans and reporters noted the difference between this year's team and rosters of the past.
While other recent great San Francisco teams were built around Barry Bonds and other sluggers, this squad was fashioned around a dominant pitching rotation, headlined by Tim Lincecum. Aside from Bonds and Lincecum being the marquee names on their respective teams, they also share a standing as the Bay Area's favorite player.
Prior to Wednesday's Game 4 of the NL Championship Series, Lincecum spoke of how appreciative he is of how San Francisco has embraced him during his four years here.
"This city has taken me in ... as one of their own," Lincecum said. "Even in my mistakes and my faults and things that I've said wrong or done wrong, they've accepted me and still rooted us on and rooted myself on. I can't say enough about the city. It's been great to me, the opportunities I've had here, the way people have embraced me. It's been great."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it's easy to see why Giants fans are so enamored with Lincecum.
"He's unique with his stature and how well he throws, and fans love to see a kid like this have success," Bochy said. "I enjoy watching him. I'm a baseball fan when he's out there. So no question, anytime you have an impact type player like Timmy or any great player, it does a lot for the fans to come out and watch."