The game between the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks has just about everything a season opener needs.
Rivals that expect to contend send a pair of the National League's best pitchers to the mound - two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum for San Francisco and Ian Kennedy, 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA in a breakout season a year ago, for Arizona.
A capacity crowd at Chase Field will watch Friday evening's nationally televised contest, the opener of a three-game set that Lincecum says is not just any old series.
Arizona clinched the NL West with a victory last Sept. 23 over a San Francisco team that was coming off a World Series championship in 2010. The Giants remember watching that celebration.
''It's one of those things to maybe get some redemption early on if it falls that way, but it's still early on in the season to the point where we're going to run into them a bunch of times,'' Lincecum said. ''It's not do or die but it's something where we want to make a statement.''