Flash back five years ago.
Tim Lincecum, with his freakish appearance and odd pitching motion, dazzled hitters in the 2010 playoffs, leading the Giants to their first World Series win in San Francisco. His best performance — 14 strikeouts and a complete-game shutout against the Atlanta Braves in his playoff debut.
And now, in 2015, at just 31 years old, his career might be over — and on a down note.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group, Lincecum suffered a setback as he rehabbed from a bad hip.
In fact, also according to Baggarly, Lincecum underwent hip surgery Thursday, making him out until 2016.
With his struggles, surgery, and impending free agency, he probably threw his last pitch as a Giant on June 28, when he was hit on his arm by a line drive while pitching against the Colorado Rockies.
Even Lincecum doesn’t seem to be sure about his future.
“I really don’t know. I mean, I hope not,” Lincecum told Baggarly about whether he threw his last pitch with San Francisco. “I can’t predict the future. I have good days and bad days.
Whether he pitches at AT&T Park again or not, Giants fans will always remember “The Freaky Franchise” and two-time Cy Young-award winner, who gave fans hope when the Barry Bonds era ended.
Here are Lincecum’s top 5 moments.
1. 2010 NLDS Game 1 Complete-Game Shutout
After a seven-year playoff drought, raucous Giants fans were ready to cheer on the orange and black in the postseason. Up stepped Tim Lincecum in his playoff debut. Game 1 of the National League Division Series started shaky. He gave up a leadoff double to Omar Infante, but stifled the Atlanta Braves after that. In his complete-game shutout, Lincecum gave up only two hits, while striking out 14. But although it was just the beginning of his postseason heroics, his dominant debut set the tone for the rest of the playoffs, which led to the Giants’ first World Series championship in San Francisco.
2. 2010 World Series Game 5, Lincecum Gets Win
The Giants were up 3-1 in the 2010 World Series against the Texas Rangers. They were just one win away from their first championship in San Francisco. And you guessed it — their star pitcher had a chance to bring home the title. And he did, with the help of a three-run home run by Edgar Renteria. But three runs usually is not enough at the launching pad in Arlington, Texas. Lincecum, however, made it stand. He pitched eight strong innings, giving up just one run while striking out 10 to help clinch the World Series title.
3. Tim Lincecum’s First Career No-hitter
The Giants were going nowhere in 2013, one year after winning their second World Series title in San Francisco. They finished the season 76-86 that year, 16 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. And Lincecum was having his second-straight down year too, finishing 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA. But he had one bright spot in a down season for him and his team — his first career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
4. Tim Lincecum’s Second-Career No-Hitter
The Giants needed a lift on June 25, 2014. After leading the NL West by 9.5 games over the Dodgers, their lead was dwindling fast. But the Giants were briefly energized by their “Freak” once again. Lincecum was having another miserable year, his third straight. But not on June 25. Again — the Padres were the victims of another Lincecum no-hitter.
5. Super Reliever Lincecum
Tim Lincecum turned into one of the Giants’ postseason heroes in 2012, and he didn’t do it by pitching complete-game shutouts. He just shut out offenses from the bullpen. Lincecum had his worst season as a Giant in 2012 — 10-15, 5.18 ERA, 1.468 WHIP. He was statistically the worst starting pitcher that year. But he stepped up at the right time. We won’t bore you with stats here. Just watch — from Game 4 of the NLDS and Games 1 and 3 of the World Series.