The Freaky Franchise.
Big Time Timmy Jim.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner.
After tonight’s performance, he can forever be known as:
Tim “No-Hitter” Lincecum.
It was no ordinary no-hitter, if there can even be such a thing. This could go down as one of the most impressive no-hitters in history. He was able to tough it out through 148 pitches. His pitch count climbed so high largely due to his 13 strike outs. I cannot blame the Padres’ hitters on this stat, though. Did you see how filthy his breaking pitches were tonight?
Sure, like almost any no-hitter, it required some help. His help came in the form of his teammates’ timely defense. Both third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, and right fielder, Hunter Pence, made dazzling plays late in the game to conserve the no-hitter. Rightfully, Lincecum thanked both in his post-game interview with MLB Network.
A quick thanks goes to the “baseball gods” for having this outing occur just before the All-Star Break. This cannot be understated. Would manager, Bruce Bochy, have had second thoughts on leaving Lincecum out there for 148 pitches if he was set to pitch again in five days? That is something we will never know, but I am sure the extended break between starts helped convince Bochy to leave him out there to have a shot at history.
Although the game was played at Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, the average viewer would not have been able to tell this–especially during the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. The crowd got louder and louder the closer Lincecum got to that 27th out.
To end this post the right way, I have included some quotes from Lincecum immediately following the game. I obtained these quotes via MLB Network‘s TV broadcast. (Huge thanks goes out to MLB Network for providing baseball fans with live look-ins for moments like tonight)
When asked about how he felt at the time, he said, “I still feel like I am out there on the field.”
When asked how he felt out there on the mound, he responded, “I felt fine from the first pitch…a little sweaty, but I felt great.”
When asked about Pence’s catch in right, he smiled then calmly described it as “really impressive, great play for us.”
When asked if anyone talked to him throughout the game, he laughed and said, “Not one person talked to me during the game…I’m usually a sociable guy.”
He, like most pitchers who have thrown a no-hitter, said, “I tried to not think about it at all…even during the last inning, just stay within myself.”
Lastly, at the end of the brief interview, he was asked who the first person he was going to call was going to be. Smiling, he stated, “My dad.”
Of course, it is fitting for him to say that. After all, his dad is the one that taught him that unique throwing motion that has brought him great success throughout his career.
One cannot forget that Lincecum has had a rough year. Tonight’s win was just his fifth of the season, and his overall record now sits at 5 wins and 9 losses. For baseball’s sake, let’s hope that tonight’s outing coupled with his extended rest during the All-Star Break can help turn his season around.
I may be a St. Louis Cardinals fan, and after last post-season, I most definitely do not like the San Francisco Giants, but I do respect good pitching when I see it. Lincecum has most definitely providing a lot of good pitching in his six year career.
Thus, very impressive performance, Tim Lincecum. For one night, I tip my cap to you, and I hope the majority of Cardinal Nation will do the same.
Until next time…