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article imageSF Giants Tim Lincecum tosses 2nd no-hitter of career

By Mike Rossi     Jun 26, 2014 in Sports
San Francisco - The Freak has gone and done it again.
For the second time in his career — and the second time in less than a calender year — San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum has thrown a no-hitter.
Oh yeah, and he's done it against the same team too.
Unlike last year's no-no against the Padres which took place at a desolate Petco Park in San Diego, this year Timmy got to share the experience in front of a roaring home crowd of 42,000 at AT&T Park.
Maybe that explains why he looked so much stronger on the mound this time around.
When attempting the feat last year, Lincecum looked rattled at times, unsure of both his control and velocity. Yes, he struck out 13, but he also walked four and took 148 pitches to make it through all 27 outs.
That didn't happen yesterday, as the two-time Cy Young award winner appeared dominant from the start.
No, his fastball did not crack the mid-90s of his youth, but Lincecum's command was excellent. Groundballs and popouts were the order of the day. He took just 113 pitches to mow down the Padres, striking out six and walking one.
That's right, one batter.
Big-time Timmy-Jim was one walk away from throwing a perfect game, which would have cemented his place in Cooperstown.
Not that he really needs to worry.
With two Cy Young awards, two World Series rings and two no-hitters under his belt — not to mention nearly 1,600 career strikeouts — the man known as The Freak should have no trouble making his way to Baseball's hallowed ground.
The undeniable star of Wednesday's game didn't just dominate on the mound, he had a pretty good day at the plate too.
As mentioned by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lincecum had two base knocks against the Padres' Ian Kennedy, scored two runs and — wait for it — drew a walk.
The pitcher managed to reach base three times in one game and score two runs, on top of keeping the opposing team from getting a hit.
That combined defensive and offensive effort might actually be more impressive than a complete game.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of Lincecum as the years march on. His career has been a roller coaster of highs and lows, both as an individual and as a part of the team.
As a professional he's only worn one uniform, that of a San Francisco Giant, and he's contracted with the team through 2015 so at least that much is settled. But no one, not even The Freak himself, can deny that velocity continues to evaporate from his fastball and with it his general effectiveness.
To extend his career into his mid-30s, Lincecum will need to reinvent himself as a pitcher. He will need to learn how to consistently paint the corners of the plate like Greg Maddux rather than just blow people away with heat.
But that's food for future thought.
Right now, Timmy doesn't have to worry about any of that. He just threw the second no-hitter of his career and the Giants sit in first place in the National League West.
Go ahead and tip a few back this weekend, Mr. Lincecum. You earned it.
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