Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Five Best Tim Lincecum Pitching Performances


After a dominating performance in Colorado last night where Tim Lincecum took a no hitter into the 7th inning, it seems fitting to bask in the glow of this majestic pitching performance and remember some of the other great pitching performances from "The Franchise."

Here are the five best from his career.

5. July 27, 2009 Giants: 4, Pirates 2

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF
9.0 4 2 0 3 15 0 115 80 87 34

This is Lincecum's 15 strikeout gem that represents his career high in strikeouts. He gave up two runs but both were the unearned variety due to an error from Edgar Renteria. Lincecum absolutely pounded the strike zone, with 80 of his 115 pitches going for strikes and the Pirates were unable to do anything against him all day.

He beautifully mixed his fastball with his new change-up and his big curve ball.

4. September 13, 2008: Giants 7, Padres 0

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF
9.0 4 0 0 3 12 0 138 86 88 33

This was probably the game that put him over the top for Cy Young #1. There were some concerns at the time about him being overused and that the Giants were being short sighted in letting him ring up 138 pitches in a game that was a blowout and meaningless for the standings.

The heavy work load doesn't seem to have hurt anything, as Lincecum seems as strong as ever and, even in this game, he had an amazing fastball that averaged 94.4 mph and touched 96.6. The Padres managed four hits (all singles) while Lincecum struck out 12 and walked three.

3. November 1, 2010: Giants 3, Rangers 1

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF
8.03112101101718029

The World Series masterpiece.

There may have been better statistical games that are being left of this list, but none of those can compare with this game to the magnitude and pressure of this games. Lincecum was absolutely dominate, out-dueling media darling Clif Lee. The only blemish on the stat sheet is a lone home run to Nelson Cruz. Beyond that, the Rangers never really got anything going.

Lincecum mowed through the Rangers with his new out pitch; his slider. This was a beautiful game and one that Giants fans could watch over and over again.

2. June 29, 2009: Giants 10, Cardinals 0

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF
9.0 20008095609129


This is the closest Lincecum has come to perfection. He came out dealing and never looked back. This was an efficient game, with Lincecum never throwing more then 13 pitches in an inning and if it weren't for the offensive barrage from the Giants this game, he could have been finished in less than two hours.

Lincecum only brought the perfect game into the fifth inning, but that doesn't take anything away from the greatness of this game. This also was his second complete game in a row and came as part of a 31 inning scoreless streak. So yeah, he was dialed in.

1. October 7, 2010: Giants 1, Braves 0

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF
9.0 2001140119759630

This outing came on the heels of Roy Halladay's no hitter of the Reds but in many respects, it was a much more impressive feat. This game was incredibly close, as Derek Lowe shut down the Giants offense with the only run coming on a blown call on a Buster Posey stolen base and a seeing eye ground ball through the 5-6 hole. Lincecum had no margin for error and he made the one run of support stand up.

This is also the game that he introduced the nationwide audience to his slider and it was down right unfair on this night. He got an astounding 28 swing and misses on his way to 14 strikeouts. This game set the tone for the rest of the playoffs for the Giants. They had the best pitching in baseball and were good enough to shut down any lineup.

This game was a classic and so far represents the pinnacle of Lincecum's career, but I have a feeling that the best is yet to come.

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