Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:51 pm
Tim Lincecum no-hits Padres
Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 12:35 am, Sunday, July 14, 2013
San Diego --
Tim Lincecum was not thinking straight. His body was swimming in adrenaline that made him go, go, go, pitch after pitch, 148 in all.
When Yonder Alonso hit the easy fly to left that ended the 15th no-hitter in Giants history Saturday night, Lincecum was ready to pitch some more.
Buster Posey knocked the reality into Lincecum by charging from the plate and grabbing the 29-year-old pitcher from behind in a bear hug, and hoisting him in the air as Gregor Blanco squeezed the flyball to end the Giants' 9-0 victory.
"I wasn't thinking it was the last out at the end of the no-hitter," Lincecum said long after the truth set in. "I was just running on adrenaline the last couple of innings. My mind kept wanting to go into pitching mode."
Then came the dog pile, the joy and Ryan Vogelsong charging toward him with a big red water bucket. That huge splash, later replicated in the clubhouse with Champagne, doused any notion that Lincecum's days as an impact starting pitcher are over.
Eleven nights after the Giants were no-hit by the Reds' Homer Bailey, Lincecum was as dominating as ever in his first no-no since high school.
He struck out 13 for the first time since 2011, including six in a row from the second to fourth innings. He also walked four. It was easy for the 40,342 fans, including thousands in black and orange, to transport their minds back to Lincecum's Cy Young days.
"He had that eye-of-the-tiger look," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Good for Timmy. He's had to deal with a lot for a couple of years. Now he's part of history. I couldn't be happier for him."
Neither could Hunter Pence, who stamped his imprimatur all over this historic feat. He drove in five runs for the first time with the Giants with a groundball, a three-run triple and his 14th home run.
But that was not the half of it.
After Pablo Sandoval saved the no-hitter in the seventh by ranging far behind third base to field a Jesus Guzman groundball and throw to first for the third out, Pence saved it with two outs in the eighth when he raced in, lunged and caught Alexi Amarista's sinking line drive, the closest the Padres got to a hit.
Pence popped into the air like a jack-in-the-box as Lincecum raised his fist and pumped it repeatedly.
"That was really special," Lincecum said. "To be honest with you, I thought that was a hit off the bat. Hunter comes flying in out of nowhere and makes the Superman catch. It was hard not to feed off the excitement that that caused."
Pence always plays at that speed, but he felt an even greater obligation to charge that baseball.
"At that point, you've got to have all your chips in," he said. "Any ball that's close you're going to lay out for."
Lincecum's biggest enemy was not the Padres, but pitch count. His high this season had been 114. He had that after seven innings, and 131 after eight. His previous career high was 138.
However, with the All-Star break just ahead and Lincecum looking fluid, Bochy said he had no thoughts of removing Lincecum before the Padres got a hit, even though the bullpen was active in every inning after the sixth.
"He wouldn't have talked to me the rest of the year if I took him out," Bochy said.
Pitching coach Dave Righetti checked on Lincecum after the seventh and eighth innings and got the same answer. He was fine.
"I think I was pretty loose and fluid the whole game," Lincecum said. "I didn't feel fatigued one bit, not any more than I usually do in these games."
He started the ninth inning with his 13th strikeout, getting Chase Headley for the second time. Carlos Quentin then hit a fly to left before Alonso did the same to set off a celebration that this team has needed for a while now - that Lincecum needed after so much professional turmoil.
Shortly after the game, the team congratulated Lincecum en masse in the clubhouse and he tried to utter a few words. In describing that scene, Lincecum made the startling admission that the team has not always played with the required fire in this disappointing season.
"I just said thank you for the big plays, the big offensive output we had and no lack of excitement and energy throughout the game, which has kind of been the plague of us at times, not staying up through games."
On Saturday, they did, and the night ended in euphoria.
S.F. Giants' no-hitters
On Saturday night, Tim Lincecum became the seventh San Francisco Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter. A look at those seven:
Date Opp. Pitcher, score
7/13/13 at S.D. Tim Lincecum, 9-0
6/13/12 vs. Hou. Matt Cain, 10-0*
7/10/09 vs. S.D. Jonathan Sanchez, 8-0
9/29/76 at Atl. John Montefusco, 9-0
8/24/75 vs. N.Y. Ed Halicki, 6-0
9/17/68 vs. St.L. Gaylord Perry, 1-0
6/15/63 vs. Hou Juan Marichal, 1-0
* Perfect game
Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:52 pm
Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:31 am
Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:09 am
Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:42 pm
rlj4ep wrote:Can't say the same for my Phillies.......
Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:18 pm
rlj4ep wrote:No hitters are very special.
Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:42 pm
rlj4ep wrote:Congratulations!!!!!! No hitters are very special. It's a wonder he had anything left with throwing 148 pitches.
You are right DOC, it's been and up and down year for the Giants. However the NL West is very competitive and will probably go right down to the wire in September. The Giants do have the talent to take the NL West and go deep into the playoffs.
Can't say the same for my Phillies.......
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