SAN DIEGO – Among the many quirks that make Tim Lincecum a unique pitcher is that he never ices his arm after starts. He wasn’t about to break with tradition after throwing a 148-pitch no-hitter.
“Nope, no ice,” Lincecum said Sunday morning, a day after he made history in a 9-0 Giants victory over the San Diego Padres. “Not even in the drinks I didn’t have last night.”
Lincecum, a former Washington Husky, said the celebration of his first no-hitter was muted and mostly consisted of watching movies with his girlfriend and two dogs. He also spoke to his father, Chris Lincecum, who always taught his son to limit excitement after good starts and disappointment after bad ones. While Tim cherished the reactions of friends and family members, he said he was trying to “hover in the middle” and not get too worked up.
In the middle of his seventh big league season, Lincecum is hovering well above the shaky ground he walked at the All-Star break last season. Lincecum gave up 13 earned runs in his final two first-half starts a year ago and entered the break with a 6.42 ERA. After throwing the 15th no-hitter in franchise history, Lincecum heads for a brief vacation with a 4.26 ERA. In his last eight starts, Lincecum has a 3.16 ERA that is in line with the 2.98 career mark he took into the 2012 season.
Lincecum, once known for his blazing fastball, said he has learned to pitch effectively with a new repertoire.
“At the end of the day, it’s buying into the changes you need to make,” he said. “It’s not being resistant to them and being accepting of the process.”
While sitting in the home dugout an hour before Sunday’s game, Lincecum was also still marveling at Buster Posey’s show of appreciation. As Lincecum stood on the mound late Saturday night and watched the clinching out, Posey ran up behind him.
The catcher slammed into his surprised pitcher, the bearhug immediately bringing huge smiles to the faces of two superstars who have long tried to quash rumors that they don’t get along.
“I don’t know where it comes from,” Lincecum said, a wide smile breaking across his face. “I guess it looked like we were so angry at each other when he picked me up off the mound.”