It wasn’t a no-hitter, but Tim Lincecum was about as dominant as it gets on Thursday night in San Francisco as the Giants captured Game 1 of the NLDS by a score of 1-0 over the Braves.
Racking up a postseason franchise record 14 strikeouts over nine innings of work, the 26-year-old from Bellevue, Washington carved through Atlanta’s lineup with ease. He allowed just two hits — a double to Omar Infante, a double to Brian McCann — and walked only one batter.
Lincecum, the 2008 and 2009 National League Cy Young Award winner, didn’t
have the best 2010 regular season and finished up on September 29 with a
relatively pedestrian 3.43 ERA over 33 starts. That’s all in the
past now. Lincecum is still “The Freak,” or “The Franchise,” or whatever you want to call him.
But, again, the umpiring is going to dominate the night’s headlines. The Giants plated their lone run largely because of a blown stolen base call in the bottom of the fourth inning that put rookie catcher Buster Posey into scoring position and allowed him to cross home plate a few batters later.
Had the right call been made, the game probably would have moved to extra innings at a 0-0 tie and Lincecum surely wouldn’t have gone the distance.
Alas, the Giants boast a 1-0 lead in the five-game series.