San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum recorded his second career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in a 4-0 win on June 25.
The feat comes almost a year after his first no-no against San Diego on July 13, 2013. He joins Christy Mathewson as the only Giants players in franchise history to pitch two no-hitters, per MLB.com's Chris Haft:
"Proving that he's a performer for the ages, Tim Lincecum reached across the centuries Wednesday to match a feat that only one other Giant accomplished.
"Lincecum became the second Giant to pitch two no-hitters, barely missing a perfect game while silencing the San Diego Padres in San Francisco's 4-0 triumph at AT&T Park.
"The great Christy Mathewson no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs on July 15, 1901 and June 13, 1905, respectively. Lincecum joined the 'Big Six,' as Mathewson was nicknamed, by bookending the 16th no-hitter in Giants history with his epic 148-pitch effort in San Diego last July 13.
"'Any time your name is alongside any of the Giants greats that have come through and put on his uniform, it's a blessing,' said Lincecum, who turned 30 on June 15.
"The diminutive right-hander increased the list of Major Leaguers with multiple no-hitters to 32, including three other active pitchers: Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, Toronto's Mark Buehrle and Detroit's Justin Verlander. 'It's hard enough to do one. To do two, that puts you in a little differenct class,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
"Lincecum also fashioned the season's third no-hitter, joining Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
"A paid crowd of 41,500 which alternately sat in nervous silence and stood to unleash ecstatic cheers, watched Lincecum record the Giants' eighth no-hitter since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958. It was also the third no-hitter at AT&T Park, all by Giants, since it opened in 2000.
"Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez stymied the Padres, 8-0, on July 10, 2009, and Matt Cain pitched a perfect game against Houston in a 10-0 rout on June 13, 2012.
"As he did in his first no-hitter against the Padres, Lincecum thrived without the overpowering fastball that distinguished him when he won the National League Cy Young Awards in 2008 and '09. To be sure, he employed the fastball, and did so effectively, throwing it to spots where Padres hitters were vulnerable and at times when they expected a different delivery.
"'I didn't feel like my stuff was great,' said Lincecum, who threw 73 strikes in 113 pitches. 'The more it was down, the more movement it had, and I was getting the ground balls that I needed and the weak pop flies. So I was leaning on that. I didn't feel like it was a 'stuff' day; I felt like it was a location day.'
"As has been the case for the last few years, Lincecum's velocity peaked at 92 mph -- around 5 mph slower than his heater traveled at the outset of his Giants career. Lincecum, who denied himself a perfect game by walking Chase Headley with one out in the second inning, relied on finesse rather than force as he continued his transition from power pitcher to precision expert.
"'He really was an artist out there,' Bochy said."
According to SFGate.com's Henry Schulman, Bochy was not as stressed as he was in Lincecum's first no-hitter last year. Lincecum also expressed relief as he boosted his batting average to .120 after he had two hits for two RBIs:
"'We just toasted Timmy in the clubhouse,' said manager Bruce Bochy, who was a nervous wreck last year as Lincecum's pitch count soard along with the drama. 'I just wanted to thank him for making this one less stressful.'
"Bochy called Wednesday's game 'The Tim Lincecum Show' because the 30-year-old also singled twice against Ian Kennedy twice and scored twice, an all-around performance for a pitcher that was common in Mathewson's day.
"Lincecum said he knew his day would be special after his first single and declared that he was more impressed with his hitting than pitching, as if anyone would believe that.
"'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.'"
Lincecum is in his eighth season in San Francisco. He has a 5-5 win-loss record with a 4.90 ERA in 82.2 innings pitched through June 25, per ESPN stats.