Found July 14, 2013 on
The Freak. The two Cy Young Awards. The 2010 World Series title. The regression. The frustration. The worries about his delivery and durability. The temporary move to the bullpen in last year's playoffs. The World Series resurgence. Another championship. Then another decline, with a 5.12 ERA at the beginning of this June.
For a while, we've wondered where Tim Lincecum goes from here.
Saturday, for one night, we could again celebrate the marvel he's been -- and maybe still is.
Lincecum threw the first no-hitter of his career -- in the Giants' 9-0 win in San Diego -- and there will be those who discredit it by saying he needed 148 pitches to do it. I won't be one of them.
A no-hitter is a no-hitter. If you record 27 outs against a major-league lineup without surrendering a hit, you deserve to be cheered wildly -- as Lincecum was Saturday, by a predictably large contingent of Giants fans at Petco Park.
So, Lincecum isn't finished at age 29. In fact -- although not yet his Cy Young self -- he had restored his value to the San Francisco rotation long before blanking the Padres. Lincecum had a 3.83 ERA over his last seven starts before Saturday, while averaging more than one strikeout per inning.
The Padres, who rank near the middle of the National League in runs scored, are a fairer barometer for judging a pitcher than they've been at any point in recent memory. And to the extent that Lincecum's previous struggles could have been attributable to a temporary confidence shortage, Saturday's performance should deliver a lasting ego boost.
Now comes the fun part: Can the Giants really trade Lincecum now?
Multiple sources told me recently that some teams -- the Tigers are one -- have interest in acquiring Lincecum as a reliever for the stretch drive. Of course, that presumes that the Giants will become sellers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. That's far from certain, even with a 43-50 record.
The National League West remains winnable, Lincecum (even at 80 percent of his peak) could stabilize the rotation in the second half, and defending champions rarely take themselves apart.
Besides, what happened Saturday night -- however unexpected -- is certain to galvanize Lincecum's many supporters in San Francisco. He's the foremost hipster hero in baseball, a perfect fit for the Bay Area. To trade him now would be very unpopular, and the Giants are reluctant to do anything that might jeopardize the sustainability of sold-out gatherings at AT&T Park.
Still, even a no-hitter didn't change one fundamental dynamic of Lincecum's baseball career: He's earning $22 million this season, and no team is likely to pay him that much in annual salary once he becomes a free agent after this year. The Giants, for their part, need to see more consistency from Lincecum in the second half before giving serious thought to having him in their 2014 rotation. The bullpen might be his best role in the future, but that conversation quite obviously has been tabled until a later date.
Saturday's game didn't prove that Lincecum is all the way back. It did, however, show that he has something to offer the Giants -- or perhaps someone else.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
First of all…Tim Lincecum, I want to say Congratulations…and Thank You. I know that the relationship between you and the fans hasn’t been so clean the last couple of seasons, but we are still rooting for you, and we appreciate that you are still working on your art and craft, and doing it so that Giants fans can appreciate it, rather than some who don’t, and wait until...
Tim Lincecum accidentally hit the home-plate umpire in the "family jewels" during the eighth inning of his no-hitter, eliciting the perfection reaction from the pitcher.
HE DID IT!
Tim Lincecum threw the second no-hitter of the season and seventh in Giants history. Read all about the pitcher's accomplishment.
In the third inning of Friday night’s San Francisco Giants-San Diego Padres game at Petco Park, a routine fly ball along the third base line wasn’t caught because an umpire boxed out Giants shortstop Brandon
OK, no clue how the umpire got hit in the balls but, The Big Lead has this Gif of Tim's reaction to such.
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WHAT A PLAY
Tim Lincecum and his soul patch threw his first career no-hitter Saturday night against the Padres, but Lincecum is going to owe Hunter Pence dinner or naming rights to his first born or something after Pence made a remarkable diving grab to end the eighth and keep the no-no in tact. Lincecum also got some nifty help from Pablo Sandoval an inning earlier. It’s the Giants’ 14th...
Tim Lincecum has had a rough go of things over the last two years. His struggles have prompted questions about his ability to pitch going forward and about his health. However, this isn't an injury article today. Lincecum tossed his first career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres last night. And that's pretty cool. So take a look.
What a long strange trip it has been for San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum. At one time he appeared like he was set to be the next G.O.A.T. Than he seemed to lose his mojo and became a mere mortal like the rest of the us.
But not Saturday night.
It may have taken him 148 pitches, but the man tossed his first career no-hitter. Oh--and he had 13 strikeouts to boot...
If you live on the East Coast, there is a good chance you missed San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum salvage what has been according to most people a horrible season.
Lincecum threw a 148 pitch, 9 inning no-hitter leading the Giants to a 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres late Saturday night.
Yes, he threw 148 pitches. He also struck out 13 and walked 4.
By most experts...
Tim Lincecum discusses his first career no-hitter.
On July 2nd, Tim Lincecum was the opposing pitcher when Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds threw a no-hitter against his San Francisco Giants. Just when everyone thought the Freak was all washed up, Tim Lincecum celebrates his first ever no-hitter at Petco Park in San Diego. The 29-year-old Lincecum dissected the San Diego Padres Saturday night with a thirteen strikeouts...
Tim Lincecum pitched his first career no-hitter and the second in the majors in 11 days, a gem saved by a spectacular diving catch by right fielder Hunter Pence in the San Francisco Giants' 9-0 win over the last-place San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner in a season-long funk was the loser when Cincinnati's Homer Bailey no-hit the Giants...
Despite Brian Kenny's protestations, a no-hitter is still an event to get excited about, like Christmas morning even after you know Santa Claus isn't coming. The combination of talent meeting luck, as an entire team is stymied by the pitcher and nine men who, for one day, are positioned in just the right way so no hard liners, bloop singles, or slow rollers can find safe...
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum pitched his first career no-hitter Saturday night in a 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Lincecum has won two Cy Young Awards and two World Series rings.
Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Tropicana Field prior to the Astros-Rays game. Nobody should ever call her again for this.-TO
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