The 27 Padres who came up fruitless against Tim Lincecum on Saturday night in San Diego can attest that the rumors of Lincecum’s demise as a pitcher may have been a wee bit premature.
Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young winner and fan favorite in San Francisco, threw his first career no-hitter in a 9-0 romp over San Diego.
Once a phenom, the 29-year-old has struggled over the past two seasons, rarely showing flashes of his dominant, early career self.
As a result, there have been whispers that the diminutive hurler’s best days were long, long behind him.
Funky mechanics? Violent delivery? Tiny frame?
“The Freak” was every bit as dominant as the several-years-ago Timmy who would dazzle Giants fans and frustrate hitters who could rarely hit anything other than air against him.
His control was still a bit amiss: It took him 148 pitches to complete the gem and issued four walks. But when hitters were swinging, they weren’t hitting much.
Lincecum struck out 13 and induced the most swings and misses (29) since his gem in the 2010 NLDS when he had 31 against the Atlanta Braves (h/t McCovey Chronicles).
He was aided by his teammates, too. Pablo Sandoval made an impressive play at third base in the seventh inning and Hunter Pence made the final out of the eighth when he charged a line drive off the bat of Alexi Amarista to make a diving catch. Lincecum later called Pence’s play a “Superman catch.”
When he got Yonder Alonso to fly out to left fielder Gregor Blanco to make the final out, catcher Buster Posey bum rushed Lincecum and the celebration was on for a team that has had little to celebrate about this season.
“I wasn’t thinking it was the last out at the end of the no-hitter,” Lincecum told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman. “I was just running on adrenaline the last couple of innings. My mind kept wanting to go into pitching mode.”
Added manager Bruce Bochy: “He had that eye-of-the-tiger look. 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.”
Although San Francisco was thrashed in the series finale 10-1, it still heads into the All-Star break with a slight bit of optimism after winning a rare series and the feel-good memory of Lincecum’s historic feat.
The Giants (43-51) are six and a half games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
He must work out.
You’re not the only one who just lost their appetite for that doughnut after seeing the pictures of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Body Issue.” (See them here via Bleacher Report)
Kaepernick’s meteoric rise to nationwide fame hit new (OK, nude) levels when he and tight end Vernon Davis flaunted their freakishly athletic selves for ESPN.
For Kaepernick, it also presented him with an opportunity to show off his vast array of body art, too.
And because this is San Francisco, you’re not fully inducted into local sports folklore until you’ve bared almost everything on camera. Welcome, Colin.
And in other Kaepernick fashion-related news, some people made a big fuss because he was spotted donning a Miami Dolphins hat at a 4th of July party.
A freakin’ hat. Our faces are being palmed as much as yours are.
Doughnuts and tweets this way: @seanswaby