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Bengie Molina, the former San Francisco Giants catcher, lends his insight to Texas Rangers

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 1:11 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - There is one obvious common thread between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers in the World Series, and it is one that could make the Giants' pitchers a bit uncomfortable.

Their former starting catcher, the man who guided them through games from 2007 through the first half of 2010, and who knew the innermost secrets of their craft, is now doing the same job for the Rangers.

Bengie Molina will earn a World Series ring no matter which team wins. He was the Giants' catcher until a July trade sent him to the Rangers, at which point the Giants installed rookie Buster Posey as their starter.

Presumably, Molina has provided his Rangers teammates with a fairly thorough scouting report on the Giants' pitchers.

"Hopefully he's not giving away too much," said Tim Lincecum, the Giants' Game 1 starter.

Both Lincecum and Matt Cain, the Giants' Game 2 starter, have credited Molina's mentoring as a big factor in their developments.

"He's the guy that I was able to talk to in between starts and maybe pick his brain a little bit of ways to pitch to guys," Cain said. "He did a great job of really opening up my eyes."

Rain expected in Bay Area

Local forecasts for Thursday night show a 40 percent chance of rain, which means there is a chance Game 2 could be affected. If the game is rained out, it would be played on Friday - currently scheduled as a travel day - with Game 3 in Texas on Saturday, as scheduled. However, Friday's forecast is even worse - an 80 percent chance of rain.

Guerrero in the field

The Rangers' Game 1 lineup, as expected, had Vladimir Guerrero in right field, where the slugger, who typically serves as the Rangers' designated hitter, started just 15 times during the 2010 regular season. He committed two errors.

Wilson works as a starter

C.J.Wilson's Game 2 start for the Rangers comes just eight months after he began his transition from a reliever to a starter - a bit of a calculated risk for the Rangers that paid off handsomely when the lefty went 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA.

"The only [doubt] I had on C.J. was if he could pound the strike zone enough, and he proved that he could," said Rangers Manager Ron Washington. "Other than that, he proved to us in spring training that was in the starting rotation to stay."

Building from within

The Giants will feature an all-homegrown starting rotation in the World Series - with right-handers Lincecum and Cain in Games 1 and 2, followed by lefties Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner - marking the first time that has happened in a World Series since 1986.

That year, the Boston Red Sox featured an all-homegrown rotation (pitchers who were drafted and developed by the organization) of Bruce Hurst, Roger Clemens, Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and Al Nipper.

Of the Giants' four starters, all were first-round draft picks except Sanchez, who was a 27th-round pick in 2004.

Here's the pitch

The Giants trotted out a quintet of Hall of Famers for the ceremonial first pitch - Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, Monte Irvin, Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal. However, Willie Mays, who was supposed to have participated, was absent due to an illness, according to a Giants spokesman.

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