On Wednesday, for the second time in a year, Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter. For the second time in a year, it was against the San Diego Padres. As Rob Neyer wrote yesterday, one pitcher throwing two no-hitters against the same team in a year is a pretty unlikely outcome, especially considering the fact that Tim Lincecum stopped being TIM LINCECUM a few years ago. If you were going to list off pitchers who would throw multiple no-hitters, you probably wouldn’t go with the guy with the seventh-worst ERA among qualified starters since the start of the 2012 season.
But there’s something a little bit unique about the recent vintage of Tim Lincecum. Something that makes these no-hitters maybe a little bit more understandable.
Below, I’ve charted Lincecum’s seasonal batting average allowed based on whether or not the bases are empty or if there were runners on. The blue line represents the situations in which Linecum would be able to pitch from the wind-up, while the Red line represents — not perfectly, but well enough — situations where Lincecum would have to work from the stretch.
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