Tim Lincecum came on to pitch in the bottom of the 14th inning and earned the save in the San Francisco Giants' 9-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night. It's the first save of his career:
Tim Lincecum helps the #SFGiants close out tonight's game in the 14th inning & earns his 1st career save. FINAL: Giants 9, Phillies 6— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) July 23, 2014
You can see how the game ended below.
In earning the save, Lincecum also went without a strikeout—the first time in his 254 appearances on the mound that he's failed to do so, per Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com:
So this was the first time in 254 career appearances that Tim LIncecum has not recorded a strikeout.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) July 23, 2014
As Bob Nightengale of USA Today pointed out, Bruce Bochy had no other recourse but to call out "The Freak" to finish the game. He was the ninth pitcher used on the night by San Francisco:
Philadelphia went through seven hurlers.
The two teams had been deadlocked since Buster Posey's home run in the top of the ninth inning tied the game at 5-5. Then, in the top of the 14th, Brandon Crawford doubled, scoring Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco to make it an 8-5 game. Hector Sanchez followed with a single to bring in Crawford.
Lincecum, who entered the game for George Kontos in the 14th with two on and one out, allowed one inherited runner to score on a groundout by Cody Asche. Two batters later, he induced a groundout from Domonic Brown to end the game, which stranded Wil Nieves at third and Cameron Rupp at first.
With the increased specialization of relief pitchers, starting pitchers rarely get an opportunity to close out an MLB game. Yet Lincecum, who starred in relief during the 2012 playoffs, handled the increased stakes well.
For the two-time Cy Young Award winner, it's another unusual moment to what's been a wild season. What are the chances a pitcher tosses a no-hitter and picks up a save in the span of a month?