Tim Lincecum no-hits the Padres again, but in a very different fashion, plus other action from Wednesday and what to watch today.
The Wednesday Takeaway
Until yesterday afternoon, only one pitcher in major league history had no-hit the same team twice. In the series finale between the Giants and Padres, Tim Lincecum gave long-ago Cleveland Naps right-hander Addie Joss—who baffled the White Sox in 1908 and 1910—some company by dominating Bud Black’s lineup for the second time in less than a year.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Is there a downside to trying to protect a pitcher by cutting an excellent outing short?
Last week, we talked about Tim Lincecum's 148 pitch no-hitter and found that while there might be some consequence for a pitcher's next start due to such a long outing, it was relatively small and generally gone by the second start. So there's not much penalty in the short term for leaving a pitcher in to throw a lot of pitches; what about the penalty for taking him out?
Is there a price to pay in the start after an outing in which a pitcher throws a lot of pitches?
A week ago, Tim Lincecum pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres, striking out 13, walking four, and throwing—gulp!—148 pitches. He also drew a walk at the plate and scored a run. I'm sure recording the last out is a moment he’ll remember for the rest of his life, just as it was for Johan Santana, who last year pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history in a comparatively efficient 134 pitches.
Tim Lincecum's no-hitter was a great moment for Giants fans, but it didn't make Brian Sabean's job any easier.
The Weekend Takeaway Tim Lincecum accomplished more in his first three-plus major-league seasons than most pitchers do in decade-long careers.
Back-to-back games with double-digit strikeouts on July 26 and August 1, 2008. Back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009. A four-hit shutout on September 13, 2008. A two-hitter with 14 strikeouts in Game One of the 2010 National League Division Series, the first step toward the first of his two World Series rings.
Paul helps you set your fantasy rotation for the coming week with a look at the two-start pitchers and their matchups.
Welcome to the Weekly Pitching Planner. Each week I will cover the pitchers are who slated to make two starts and help you decide who you should start and who you should sit. Sometimes guys will be in the “consider” where they might have one good start, but a second tough one and then your league settings might determine whether or not you should go forward with him. The pitchers will be split by league then by categories:
Auto-Starts – These are your surefire fantasy aces. You paid a handsome sum for them either with an early draft pick or high dollar auction bid so you’re starting them anywhere, anytime. Guys can emerge onto or fall off of this list as the season evolves. There won’t be many – if any – notes associated with these groupings each week. We are starting them automatically so why do I need to expound on how awesome they are and will be in the coming week?
Tim Lincecum rarely pitches to Buster Posey. On Wednesday, Hector Sanchez's flaws were on display.
Wednesday was the first start of Tim Lincecum's season, which felt worth watching closely because new seasons are new starts. There's a feeling, perhaps justified and perhaps not, that the borders between seasons might actually matter, and that a player might find his former self more easily once a new year has begun.
Watching Lincecum, though, also meant watching—or, at least, seeing, if not noticing—another player's first start of the season. Hector Sanchez was behind the plate, as he usually is for Tim Lincecum, and as he rarely is for anybody else, because Hector Sanchez isn't much of a catcher. He's Lincecum's catcher for reasons that, so far as I can tell, have never really been made explicit by the Giants, but those unexplicit reasons have meant that Buster Posey has left his usual spot behind the plate for 18 of Lincecum's past 20 games. The Giants don't use the exact phrase, but Sanchez has acted as Lincecum's personal catcher.
A closer look at the impending free agents who have the most riding on a return to form or a return to health in 2013.
Before last season, no one would have predicted that fragile White Sox starter Jake Peavy would earn a bigger contract at the end of the year than Angels workhorse Dan Haren. Peavy, entering his age-31 season, was coming off three injury-plagued and ineffective seasons in which he’d thrown a combined 320 1/3 innings with an above-league average ERA; Haren, also entering his age-31 season, was coming off his seventh consecutive 200-plus-inning campaign, having led the AL in starts and strikeout-to-walk ratio and finished seventh in Cy Young voting the season before.
But 2012 proved pivotal in determining the size of the contract that each impending free agent could command. Peavy picked the perfect time to find his form, avoiding the DL, topping 200 innings, and making the All-Star team for the first time since 2007. Haren had back problems and saw his sinker lose speed and his stats decline across the board. As a reward for his resurgence, Peavy got a two-year, $29 million extension from the Sox, while Haren had to settle for a one-year deal with the Nats at a slightly lower annual value.