Last season, Giants fans were dealt some painful heartbreak when Clayton Kershaw out-dueled Tim Lincecum. The pair of aces squared off four different times and Kershaw walked away with an unblemished 4-0 record, while Lincecum was winless at 0-3.
Of course, it's not as simple as wins and losses -- the final total score for those four games was Dodgers 7, Giants 3. They were pitching matchups to the extreme, beautiful baseball games to watch, and they caught ESPN the Magazine's attention, as Lincecum and Kershaw are on the cover of the magazine's baseball preview.
The story on the two star pitchers revolves around an oral history -- of sorts -- of the four matchups from 2011. And the cover, as you can see (this is my own picture, since ESPN refuses to stop sending the magazine, no matter how many times you cancel Insider), involves their awkward relationship.
OK, not awkward. It's just that they're clearly friendly (again, see: cover) and yet loathe each other at the same time. If only because, you know, one of them makes it really hard for the other one to win games.
But on the bright side, it's an amazing pitching rivalry and I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Bochy in hoping it lasts as long as possible.
"I hope they're talking about it 50 years from now," Bochy said. "Every era's got special matchups, and I've got a feeling this one is going to go on for a while."
It could certainly continue going in 2012, and likely will. But Lincecum-Kershaw 2K12's going to have to wait a little while, since the teams don't square off until a three-game series in Los Angeles beginning May 7.
In the meantime, you can always just relive last year's games. If you can stomach it.