He doesn’t throw 98 mph anymore. His last Cy Young Award was five years ago. Since then, the guy nicknamed “The Freak” has seemed almost human. Tim Lincecum doesn’t have the overpowering stuff he used to have when he made hitters look silly on a weekly basis.
But the kid from Liberty High School and the University of Washington can still pitch and give you a good outing.
On Wednesday, Lincecum no-hit the Padres for a second straight season in a 4-0 win at AT&T Park.
Lincecum struck out six and walked just one batter. He needed just 113 pitches to accomplish the feat.
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It was far different from last July’s no-hitter against the Padres, when he needed 148 pitches. He struck out 13 batters, walked four and hit a batter in that outing.
“I’m just relieved right now. To be a part of something like that is fun,” Lincecum told reporters. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. At the very end, it kind of caught me by surprise.”
Lincecum was the third pitcher this season to throw a no-hitter. Dodgers pitchers Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw each threw one. Lincecum joins Toronto’s Mark Buerhle, Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey as the only active pitchers to throw multiple no-hitters.
Only one other pitcher has no-hit the same team twice — Addie Joss of the Cleveland Naps, threw two no-hitters against the White Sox.
“Right now, I guess it’s really cool,” Lincecum said. “When I get older, I’ll be able to reflect on it a little bit more and take it for what it’s worth. Right now, I’m still kind of just in the moment.”
But Lincecum was also just as ecstatic with his game at the plate. He had two hits, singling twice off Padres starter Ian Kennedy and scoring twice.
“Until today I only had one hit and a pretty … poor batting average,” he said. “I got the thing over .100 and feel a little better about it.
“I even worked a four-pitch walk in that last at-bat. That felt pretty special.”
10 more years at the Coliseum
Not sure if it is a good thing, but Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff said his club has reached a 10-year lease agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to stay at the Oakland Coliseum.
The deal would run through 2025.
“I commend the Oakland Athletics and the JPA for their efforts in reaching an extension for a lease at O.co Coliseum,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “The agreement on this extension is a crucial first step towards keeping Major League Baseball in Oakland.”
But fans in Oakland are more concerned with a first step toward a new stadium. It’s a situation that Selig must share some of the failures for.
His special committee to work on that development — which many Bay Area fans don’t believe exists — has not made any progress. A proposed stadium in San Jose has been lingering for years but has been blocked because of issues involving the Giants and territorial rights.
There was some hope that the A’s could build the stadium on the Oakland Waterfront along Jack London Square at Howard Terminal. But Wolff told the AP in an email that “Howard Terminal as a potential ballpark site has been and is totally rejected by MLB and the A’s.”
Selig did admit in his statement that a new stadium is needed.
“I continue to believe that the Athletics need a new facility and am fully supportive of the club’s view that the best site in Oakland is the Coliseum site. Contrary to what some have suggested, the committee that has studied this issue did not determine that the Howard Terminal site was the best location for a new facility in Oakland,” Selig said in a statement.
Stadium authority Nate Miley also released a statement showing support of Selig’s support.
“We very much appreciate Commissioner Selig’s support for Oakland to be the home of the A’s,” Miley said.
The problems with the Coliseum are numerous. It’s been constructed to be a priority for football, making it a poor field to play in and watch a game in. The amenities in the stadium are subpar and there is also the issue of sewage overflowing into clubhouses and bathrooms when there are large crowds.
It’s a reason why the A’s rank 24th in MLB attendance.
What do the players think?
“Obviously, everyone knows that it’s well-documented, the history of the Coliseum and the things that they’ve dealt with in the past few years,” first baseman Brandon Moss told reporters.
“But honestly,” he said, “as players who play in it every single night, we don’t come in and say, ‘God, we wish we had a new stadium!’ Obviously we do, but at the same time we understand that that’s our home and that’s where we play and it’s our job to go out and perform regardless of where we are.”
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373
On Twitter: @RyanDivish