San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum can add a no-hitter to his impressive list of career achievements. The 29-year-old hurler tossed his first no-no in the Giants' 9-0 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park Saturday night.
It was truly a vintage Lincecum performance. He completely overpowered the Padres lineup with a brilliant combination of pitches, registering an incredible 13 strikeouts to just four walks.
It was also a great display of as he threw 148 pitches in nine innings.
According to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said there was no chance he would have taken him out due to the high pitch count:
Bochy: "He wouldn't have talked to me the rest of the year if I took him out. There was no chance."— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) July 14, 2013
Despite a career that features two National League Cy Young Awards and three NL strikeout titles, "The Freak" had never thrown a no-hitter. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the longest he was able to maintain a no-no was 6.1 innings against the Colorado Rockies in 2011:
Lincecum becomes just the second pitcher to accomplish the feat in 2013. Ironically enough, the only other no-hitter this season was thrown by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey against the Giants.
Tim Lincecum with 114 pitches through 7 IP. His previous longest no-hit bid was 6 1/3 innings on April 18, 2011 vs Rockies.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 14, 2013
The opposing pitcher? You guessed it, Lincecum.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, that's a feat that has only happened once. In 1906.
The last Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Matt Cain, who threw a perfect game in 2012. Last season saw seven no-hitters, a surprisingly high number for the usually rare achievement.
Tim Lincecum lost in Homer Bailey's no-hitter. The only pitcher who was the loser in a no-no & then threw the NEXT one was Mal Eason (1906).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 14, 2013
The impressive performance may be just what Lincecum needs to get his season back on track. He entered the start with a 4-9 record, 4.61 ERA and a WHIP of 1.41.
Saturday night, Tim Lincecum looked much more like the pitcher that went 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and WHIP of 1.17 in just his second season in the majors.