LincecumThe common thought was that Tim Lincecum's time to throw a no-hitter was behind him.
His combined ERA over the past two seasons was 4.97. He was allowing exactly a hit per inning this season, a career-high pace. He hadn't even pitched to a batter in the eighth inning this season. But he turned the tables on conventional thought Saturday night with some vintage electric stuff.
Lincecum worked hard for his slice of history. His career high for pitches before Saturday was 138 back in 2011. He needed 148 in this one, which was one pitch shy of Edwin Jackson's 2010 no-no for the most in the last quarter century.
Twenty-nine of those pitches induced swings-and-misses. That's an astounding number considering it was Lincecum's career high and the second-most by ANY pitcher in the past five seasons. In fact, none of the other 32 no-hitters since the turn of the century saw more whiffs.
Most Swings And Misses In No-Hitter
The most potent pitch of the bunch was Lincecum's changeup. The seven strikeouts that came via that pitch were the most for him in more than two years.
His overall strikeout total of 13 fell short of his career high (15), but consider that only six different pitchers have EVER had more strikeouts in a no-hitter than Lincecum.
In a long line of special no-hitters, this one ranks up there as one of the more dominating ones.
• An amazing bit of history here: Remember that Lincecum was the losing pitcher in Homer Bailey's no-hitter earlier this season. The only other time a losing pitcher in a no-hitter went on to throw the NEXT no-no in MLB history was Mal Eason in 1906! He lost to Johnny Lush on May 1 and then reversed the tables on the Cardinals on July 20 that season.
• Lincecum, who entered with a pedestrian 4.68 ERA, becomes the fifth pitcher to have multiple Cy Young awards at the time of his first career no-hitter. The others are Johan Santana, Bret Saberhagen, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson.
• Buster Posey becomes the 48th catcher to catch multiple no-hitters.
SAN DIEGO STORY
This was San Francisco's third no-hitter since 2009, two of which have come against the Padres (Jonathan Sanchez being the other). That has to be a little extra salt in the wounds of San Diego, which remains the only MLB team without any no-hitters to call its own.
This was the fourth time the Padres faithful had to witness their team get no-hit in their home stadium, the first at Petco Park (Bud Smith, A.J. Burnett and Dock Ellis).