It may have taken a while, but Tim Lincecum can finally say that he’s thrown a no-hitter, and there were certainly some exciting moments throughout the night.
The two-time Cy Young winner was able to throw his first career no-no on Saturday night against the San Diego Padres. Arash Markazi of ESPN mentioned Lincecum’s pitch count for the night, which was astronomical:
That was a 148-pitch no-hitter for Tim Lincecum. (13 K, 4 BB)— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 14, 2013
Lincecum has had a rocky season to date, but this is certainly a heck of a way to try and turn it around. He is now 5-9 on the year with a 4.26 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 116.1 innings pitched.
Like most no-hitters, Lincecum couldn’t do it alone, and he had to rely on some great defense along the way. Here are some of the best moments from Lincecum’s big night, including two amazing plays by his teammates.
Pablo Sandoval Makes Great Throw in Seventh Inning
Say what you want about Sandoval’s size, but the guy can certainly field grounders at third base.
Jesus Guzman was able to hit a grounder sharply towards the line at third base, but Sandoval found a way to grab it and make a great throw to first to end the inning and preserve the no-hitter for Lincecum.
ESPN Stats & Info was able to provide the pitch count and a little more context to the significance of the moment for Lincecum after the play ended the seventh inning:
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
It was a great play, but it was nothing compared to what happened in the eighth inning.
Hunter Pence Saves No-Hitter with Tremendous Catch in Eighth
With two outs in the eighth inning, it looked like the Padres had finally broken through against Lincecum.
That was, of course, until Pence came out of nowhere.
Pence charged the ball, and thanks to a great jump, was able to make a terrific diving catch to end the inning. As you can see from the video, he was pretty pumped up to make the catch.
ESPN’s Baseball Tonight made sure to let Pence know that he’d end up on their Web Gems after the catch:
After Pence was able to end the inning, it seemed like Lincecum was destined to finish off the no-no in the ninth.
Is there anything more awesome in baseball than the celebration after a no-hitter?
Lincecum was able to get the final out on a short fly ball out to left field, and then his team swarmed him to celebrate the victory.
ESPN Stats & Info mentioned that Lincecum was able to accomplish something pretty rare with his no-hitter on Saturday:
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 MLB Twitter account noted that Lincecum threw the second-most pitches in a no-hitter on what was certainly a wild night for the Giants:
The league’s account also was able to get a great quote from Lincecum after the game:
"I felt fine out there from the first pitch. Maybe just a little sweaty." - Tim Lincecum. pic.twitter.com/31g5vwX7PB— MLB (@MLB) July 14, 2013
Congratulations to Lincecum and the Giants for a terrific game and the first no-hitter of his career.