On Saturday night, San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. As impressive a feat as that is, this game does not signal a rebirth for the struggling pitcher.
The four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner has seen his glory days. The 2008 and 2009 seasons were easily his best, recording a combined record of 33-12 and a fantastic ERA of only 2.54 during that span. Rightfully so, Lincecum brought home the trophy for the MLB’s best pitcher in consecutive years. During the first few years of his career, fans called him “The Freak” for his jolting throwing motion and ability to demolish offensive lineups.
Since then, Lincecum has declined in dominance and has struggled to repeat his performances of the past. His issues grew so deep that, in 2011, he finished the season below .500 for the first time in his career. In the year and a half since then, his record is a shabby 14-24 with a bloated ERA of 4.97.
Early on his career, Lincecum fooled a lot of batters with his jagged delivery and fancy hair that gave him an intimidating look. The hair aside, hitters have figured Lincecum out and he will continue to struggle despite this one, fantastic performance.
One game does not make him a hero make nor does one regular season game against the worst team in the NL West have the ability to turn the season, nor the career of Tim Lincecum around.
Look for Lincecum to turn back to his ways of old for the rest of the season. If manager Bruce Bochy and the pitching coaches know what is best for them, they will put Lincecum in the bullpen where he can pitch short outings, and batters will not have enough time to figure out the action on his pitches.
Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+. You can see all of his articles here.