One day after Roy Halladay tossed just the second no-hitter in postseason history, Tim Lincecum took the mound and delivered a dominant debut of his own.
The San Francisco Giants’ ace – known as ‘The Freak’ because of his “high velocity, slight frame and unusual mechanics,” as SI.com’s Joe Lemire puts it – pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 batters in his team’s 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS.
Pitching on seven days rest, the two-time Cy Young winner outdueled Atlanta’s Derek Lowe and allowed just three men to reach base all game. His most impressive performance of all came in the second inning where he threw nine pitches, all of which Braves batters swung at, and struck out the side.
With the Braves hobbled by injuries and the Giants trotting out another ace tonight in Matt Cain, San Francisco could prove to be too much for Atlanta in this series.
One thing’s for sure, the Year of the Pitcher is still going strong.
Here is the diamond action going on today (all times Eastern):
Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies (6:07 p.m., TBS)
The Reds look to redeem their hit-less effort from Game 1 and tie the series with the Phillies tonight. While Phils starter Roy Oswalt has been dominant this season, he’s collected a 6.65 ERA over his last four starts against Cincinnati.
Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants (9:37 p.m., TBS)
Another pitching duel could be in store as Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson and San Francisco’s Matt Cain square off. The Braves will need more than two hits Friday if they hope to pull off an upset by the bay.
By The Numbers
13 – Shots missed by a rusty Kobe Bryant in the Lakers’ 92-88 loss to Barcelona in an exhibition game Thursday. Bryant finished with 15 points, but shot just 2-of-15 from the field, including two missed 3-pointers with under a minute to play that would have tied the game.
382 – Total yards per game Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is averaging this season, which is more than what 59 Division I teams are averaging this season.
$126,000,000 – Size of Giants pitcher Barry Zito’s contract. Zito, who went 9-14 this season with a 4.15 ERA, was left off San Francisco’s playoff roster.