On July 13, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. On Monday night, Lincecum returned to the mound attempting to become only the second pitcher in MLB history to record back-to-back no-hitters.
Trying to duplicate this amazing feat accomplished by the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 is a nearly insurmountable task, and Lincecum joined the 164 men who previously failed.
Pitching against the very Reds team that Vander Meer played for so many years ago, Lincecum’s bid at history was over almost immediately. Leadoff batter Shin-Soo Choo took Lincecum’s sixth pitch of the night deep to left field on a line drive that landed for a double. With the chance at a performance for the history books eliminated, the Freak was unable to recover from his rocky start.
Big Time Timmy Jim’s outstanding performance last week and his abysmal showing Monday are on opposite ends of the spectrum. If his no-hitter was a 10, his game against the Reds was a zero as he threw 78 pitches in only 3.2 innings, giving up eight earned runs off nine hits. The Reds took Lincecum deep for three home runs as manager Bruce Bochy’s hook in the fourth inning should have come much sooner.
Although no one realistically expected Lincecum to get a second consecutive no-hitter – statistically, he had about a 0.43 percent chance – anyone who follows Lincecum closely enough should have seen this one coming. Right after Lincecum’s no-hitter last week, I did not think his amazing performance was the turning point in his roller coaster season and career.
Lincecum’s career as a MLB pitcher is not over by any means, but if he intends to keep his spot on a pitching staff, he will need to lower his 4.73/1.29 ERA/WHIP and improve his -0.5 WAR.