After two World Series rings and two Cy Young Awards, San Francisco Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum, added another memorable moment to his career with his first no-hitter on Saturday night against the San Diego Padres.
It would only make sense that the little hurler nicknamed “The Freak,” struck out 13 batters on July 13th. To make matters even freakier, the no-hitter came exactly 13 months after teammate Matt Cain’s perfect game against the Houston Astros on June 13, 2012. Cain also struck out 13 in that game too.
Lincecum’s no-hitter was another piece of history for the 29-year-old and had plenty of baseball history to it. Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau, The Freak’s night was put into perspective.
Joining elite company, the only other pitchers to throw a no-hitter, win multiple Cy Young Awards, and pitch for the winning team in more than one World Series are Bob Gibson (1 no-hitter, 2 Cy Young Awards, 2 WS titles), Sandy Koufax (4 NOH, 3 CYA, 3 WS), and Jim Palmer (1 NOH, 3 CYA, 3 WS). Not a bad group to join at all.
Nolan Ryan and Lincecum are also alike with no-hitters, due to wildness. Lincecum walked four batters while striking outt 13 in his no-hitter. The last pitcher to record that many walks and strikeouts in a no-hitter was Nolan Ryan, who walked eight and struck out 15 Twins for the Angels on September 28, 1974.
With two Cy Young Awards to his name, throwing a no-hitter now almost seems late for Lincecum. Only Lincecum, Johan Santana, Brett Saberhagen, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson threw their first no-hitter after winning multiple Cy Young Awards.
The Padres were baffled by Lincecum. He tied Randy Johnson — who looks the complete opposite of Lincecum — with 29 swings and misses, most in a no-hitter since 2000. The amount was also a career high for Lincecum.
Swing and misses for Lincecum, is a big step, but his location was huge. All but two of Lincecum’s strikeouts were at the bottom of the zone. You can see his location in this Heat Map.
When The Freak came out at night, history was made and Lincecum reminded us of the past again. He is listed at 170 pounds and that’s soaking wet, yet when he had history in his sights, he threw 148 pitches to throw a no-hitter. Lincecum is tough and may be learning how to win at 89-90 miles per hour instead of 93-96.
In his last 16 innings, Lincecum has struck out 24 batters over his last two starts. He has been working on his mechanics and they looked much better last night and the results showed.
This no-hitter can mean a lot. Does this increase his free agency value? How about trade value? Does this make the Giants more inclined to re-sign him?
No matter what it means, Lincecum showed brillianes and told us his storied career is far from over. Lincecum and the Giants have to be excited about this and happy that he threw 148 pitches right before the All-Star break.
Obviously Lincecum is the hero in San Francisco 9-0 victory, but let’s not forget the huge night Hunter Pence had.
Thanks to Pence’s diving catch in the bottom of the eighth inning, Lincecum’s no-hit bid was still in tact.
According to Elias, Pence is the fourth player to record at least five RBIs in a game in which a teammate threw a no-hitter. On the night, Pence went 2-for-4 with a home run, triple and five RBIs.
While a no-hitter is a work of magic on the mound, a little help offensively and defensively, never hurt.