Wednesday, June 25, 2014
#Tim Lincecum #No Hitter - 5 Reasons Unlikely Coincidence - Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum #No Hitter - Unlikely Coincidence? - #Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum, SanFranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints, No Hitter - #PEDs?
It seems like whenever the Giants are on a skid, something like this happens, eg Lincecum no-hitter, the second in two years and against the same team. One just has to wonder at least a little bit...
The Giants had just lost 10 of 13 and two in a row to San Diego and suddenly Lincecum, now 30, blows away San Diego, this year more with cut pitches more than the fastball. Last year he was suddenly throwing mid-90s fastballs and 140 total pitches, unheard of for most pitchers, especially the diminutive Lincecum. This year he did it with the cut stuff and seemed to do it effortlessly and as if he knew it it was coming. Tim Lincecum No Hitter , Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanFranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints, No Hitter, #PEDs?
WHY UNLIKELY TIM LINCECUM NO HITTER?
1) First Pitcher in 100 Years to Throw Two No Hitters for San Francisco Giants
(Christy Mathewson through the other). Even the great Juan Marichal didn't throw two.)
2) First Pitcher to Throw Two No Hitters Against the Same Team
3) One of Only a Handful of Pitchers to Throw No Hitter After Age 30
On the Downside of His Career
4) Perhaps the only Pitcher to throw Two No Hitters Despite a near 5.00 ERA
5) Threw No Hitter Almost Effortlessly, Almost Expected
Lincecum is only the second pitcher in the history of the Giants to throw two no-hitters...and he nearly threw a third last year against Chicago and he's doing it well past his prime Cy Young seasons, which makes things seem even more odd. This year he's been able to throw 93 mph on occassion but used other pitches, too. In addition, Lincecum got two base hits, more than his total for the whole year.
Again, one just has to wonder at least a bit how this could happen. We've seen Sandoval suddenly hit three homeruns against Detroit top pitching in playoffs and more homers in October than the rest of the season. We've seen other late career players like Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell suddenly ramp it up for the playoffs and World Series -in fact the entire Giants team has almost
magically 'caught fire' late in seasons with different cast of characters. It was very unlikely and perhaps unbelievable to see the Giants, led by players like Lincecum to blow out much better teams in those 2010 and 2012 playoffs
And, again, this time, when the Giants needed a lift, almost magically, probably the Giants weakest starter(near 5,00 ERA for the season) puts up a no-hitter, something he couldn't even during his prime - and now he's done it twice in two years at age 30.
San Diego may be the weakest hitting team in baseball but they've been hot lately, beating the Giants twice. Tim Lincecum No Hitter - Unlikely Coincidence?, Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanfranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints
The Giants are known to look for things like this to spark not only the team but the fan base - and have long turned the other way concerning the use of Performance enhancing drugs. No , we're not saying Lincecum used them, yet there are too many coincidences here. We can't say for sure - the fastball wasn't a key factor here by which we often use to help measure performance trends and likelihood of PED use - but PEDs work for other pitches, too, adding dip, curving action, etc. NOW WITH THE LATEST DESIGNER DRUGS- FOR WHICH MLB HAS STILL NOT INSTITUTED TESTS (WHICH DO EXIST) THAT CAN DETECT THEM - PLAYERS CAN GO ON AND OFF THE DRUGS ON A WHIM AND HAVE THEM OUT OF THE SYSTEM WITHIN HOURS, eg Lincecum can take a dose before the game and have it out of his systems hours later. Why do you think players like Sandoval and others have sudden spurts of success amidst failures.
Furthermore, we can look at empirical data of known #PED users such as Bartolo Colon, comparing F/X (FANGRAPHS) (velocity) stats with those of Lincecum. We DON'T see an expeced increase in velocity, but a natural age-related decrease in velocity. For Colon, the fastball showed a drop from 92.1 to 90.9 and for Lincecum the fastball dropped from 93.6 mph to 89.8 in a seven year period from 2007 and 2014. No, we can't be sure Colon and LIncecum were users the entire seven year period but we can assume that Colon probably was. And, instead of an expected increase of velocity from the PEDs we actually see a drop. Likewise with Lincecum. Then, of course, there are different types of PEDs. Steroids such as creatine used by Mark McGwire , popular earlier, add mass and bulk, thereby especially enhancing one's bat speed, ie power, while also aiding in hand-eye coordination, ie seeing and hitting the ball better.
SO, HOW DO THE NEWER DESIGNER PEDs HELP PLAYERS? Today , the newer designer drugs like testosterone may not add the bulk but ,rather, still improve accuracy/hand-eye performance , ie we may not see a huge rise in homeruns but we see improved batting averages and reduce strikeouts while on the PEDs. In pitching , with the newer drugs , we would see similar changes, including ball movement. Pitches will do unusual things such as giving exaggerated movement to the pitch/ball. Players have become smarter and have learned to 'hide' their improved performances. No longer do we see cartoon-like homerun totals but higher batting averages, take known PED user Melky Cabrera who suddenly raised his batting average 50 points when he joined Kansas City / San Francisco before being suspended as a Giant. The above is our take / opinion on a subject that we hope we can stop writing about one of these days , but for now we feel, as 'old-school' baseball fans, needs to be brought before the public.
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Tim Lincecum No Hitter - Unlikely Coincidence?, Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanfranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints