What a roller coaster ride it has been for Tim Lincecum.
Just three years ago, in 2011, Lincecum was one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in all of the major leagues. At age 27, Lincecum had netted two Cy Young awards and been to four All Star games. He could not have fallen the mountain off any faster than he did.
Lincecum had a 5.18 ERA in 2012. He lost 15 games, most in the National League. Lincecum went from the Giants ace to being a below average starting pitcher. While he showed dominance at times, Lincecum was not the same dominant pitcher he once was.
He has improved, but not by much. Lincecum posted a 4.37 ERA in 2013, but was dominant for one night, no-hitting the San Diego Padres. But he wasn't done. Lincecum decided to no-hit the San Diego Padres again this year, throwing the nine, nearly perfect frames this afternoon.
He wasn't overpowering by any means. But he worked the count, changed speeds, and got ahead in the count all night. He only stuck out six, but his great command only allowed one walk, to Chase Headley, with one out in the top of the second inning. After that, Lincecum retired the final 23 hitters in order, clinching the no-hitter.
Just for one night, Lincecum gets to be the king of the hill. He gets to have his moment, do his thing, and clinch the no-hitter. It was definitely one special afternoon for the 30-year-old.
Lincecum becomes the second pitcher in major league history with two no-hitters against the same team, joining Hall of Famer Addie Joss. He joins Christy Mathewson as the only Giants pitchers to throw two no-hitters. And he becomes the fourth active pitcher with two no-hitters, joining Homer Bailey, Mark Buehrle, and Justin Verlander. Lincecum becomes the 22nd pitcher in MLB history with more than one no-hitters.