The San Francisco Giants may have only won one game this week, but that didn’t stop Tim Lincecum from grabbing the Player of the Week honors. In light of his superlatives on the mound, tossing his second no-hitter this year – the same calendar year – against the San Diego Padres, it was almost inevitable that Lincecum would snatch the honors.
The Giants may be in an uncontrollable slide of form, but there was one bright spark this week. Lincecum matched off with Ian Kennedy of the Padres, and hurled an absolute gem. When Will Venable got on top of a breaking ball, rolling it to second baseman, Joe Panik, who eat up the ground ball and tossed it to first base to complete the out, Lincecum had his second no-hitter, the 16th in Giants history.
Whilst many have rubbished the historic attempt, due to the fact that Timmy no-hit a team, who, to say the least, have struggled to hit, MLB still recognised the flabbergasting performance as the best of the week. The Giants have regularly featured on the honors list the season, as Madison Bumgarner was the Player of the Month, for the month of May.
Linecum walked only one batter, and struck out six along the way. The two time Cy-Young award winner, who has struggled so much this year, was probably able to dazzle due to his tremendous pitch selection, and his ability to actually get over the ball.
Prior to his amazing effort, Lincecum had struggled to get his breaking balls into the dirt, and had struggled to locate his fastball. Against the Padres, however, all of his pitches were on point. His fastball, which he only threw 36% of the time – 10% lower than average – was extremely effective. Mix that in with a perfect split change, curveball and slider, and you’ve the stuff to throw a no hitter, and become the National League Player of the Week.