MLB Week in Review (June 21-27)

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The MLB would see yet another no-hitter this week, marking three so far this year, as the MLB continues to see pitchers dominate the MLB. This week the star of the no-hitter would be Tim Lincecum who would put up his second career no-hitter. His latest would be another chapter in the strange career of Lincecum who shows signs of greatness but can never seem to break through. That wasn’t the case when Lincecum first started his career in the MLB as he was considered one of the best young pitchers in the league. Making his debut thanks to an injury to a Giants’ starter in 2007 Lincecum immediately made an impact going 7-5 with a 4.000 ERA in his debut season in the MLB. The next year Lincecum would show a lot more than in his first few games in 2007 as he would be one of the most dominant pitchers in the MLB. Going 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 265 strikeouts on the year Lincecum would earn the NL Cy Young Award for his dominant performance. He would follow that season up with another great year going 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 261 strikeouts to earn his second consecutive Cy Young Award. In his third full season Lincecum would be the ace of the Giants who would break, at the time, the longest World Series drought in the MLB. Lincecum was a major reason for the championship and it seemed like the Giants had found their ace for the foreseeable future. After four straight all-star years and two Cy Young Awards the dominance seemed to be going away. In 2011 he would pitch well again with a 2.74 ERA but would receive no run support and would finish the season 13-14 for his first losing season. In 2012 a new offseason routine would see Lincecum lose 30 lbs heading into spring training after his knees began to break down. The weight loss may have been a problem as Lincecum would have his worst season yet going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA. Despite the lack luster performance by one of their best pitchers the Giants would make the playoffs and while in the postseason the expression of the fall of Lincecum would be fully expressed. Instead of having Lincecum in the rotation throughout the playoffs the Giants would put him in the bullpen and go with a four man rotation. Lincecum would have a good playoffs out of the bullpen throughout the postseason but was used sparingly. The Giants would go one to win another World Series but this time it was not thanks to Lincecum. Heading into his contract year in 2013 he would look to recover and show that he belonged in the rotation with rumours swirling that the Giants didn’t want him back or were open to putting him in the bullpen. The season was better for Lincecum but it was still not the dominance that was expected of the young pitcher. Going 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA, Lincecum was clearly no longer the same pitcher he used to be. On July 13 that old pitcher would show itself though as he would earn his first career no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies. That performance and his improvement from the year before was enough to earn another contract with the Giants. On his new contract Lincecum has once again not been the dominant pitcher and the ace he used to be but he has done a good job in the rotation. He is currently 6-5 with a 4.42 ERA and has a lot of room for improvement but is showing he still belongs in the rotation for the Giants. Lincecum is not the future dominant pitcher that the Giants were seeing in his early career but with his second career no-hitter in the books the signs that he not completely done are there. The amount of pitchers who have thrown a no-hitter is not a large list compared to the amount of pitchers that have thrown in the MLB. The amount of pitchers who have thrown multiple no-hitters is much less as there are only 27 pitchers who have thrown more than one no-hitter in their career. Lincecum has put his name among that distinguished list as another great accomplishment but if he cannot recover from this slide he may go down as a fizzle-out pitcher who had three great years and fell off of a cliff in terms of performance.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)

Trout’s legend grows
Mike Trout is already considered one of the best players in the MLB at age 22 and already has a legend surrounding him, which would grow when he hit an MLB record 486 foot home run against the Kansas City Royals this week

Power bat for Toronto
With the MLB Trade Deadline, July 31, fast approaching the rumours are growing including the rumour that the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in 3B Chase Headley as the Jays look for some help in a banged up infield

Vandy gets it done
The College World Series would end this week when the Vanderbilt Commodores beat the Virginia Cavaliers 3-2 in Game 3 of the best of three series to win their first ever College World Series

 

standings_w13

 

Key Scores:
Baltimore Orioles 6 – 1 New York Yankees
– With the Toronto Blue Jays sitting on top of the division and staying just above the rest in the East the Orioles and Yankees are fighting for the second place spot which the Orioles would take after their offensive output in this game

Milwaukee Brewers 9 – 2 Washington Nationals
– The Brewers are on fire as they have had one of their best starts to a season in franchise history and they are looking to continue to hold that top spot as they would show their offence against the Nationals for another win

San Francisco Giants 4 – 0 San Diego Padres
– The Giants have struggled as of late but still hold the top spot in the west and with a performance to remember from Tim Lincecum who would earn his second career no-hitter they would add another win to their lead

Milwaukee Brewers 3 – 2 Colorado Rockies
– It can be called the battle of the Breweries as the two regions are known for beer but this year they are both doing well on the field as well although this time it was the Brewers who continue to be red hot that would take the win

 

Next Week:
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (Saturday June 28th; 7:15 pm ET)
– The rivalry is always a good one no matter where either team sits and that will be put to the test when the Yankees look to stay at the top of the division while the Red Sox are trying to get away from the bottom

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Tuesday July 1st; 1:07 pm ET)
– The Brewers are the hottest team in the MLB right now while the Blue Jays were the hottest team and are now cooling off as they look to show they can compete in front of a sold out crowd on Canada Day

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants (Thursday July 3rd; 3:45 pm ET)
– The Cards will travel to San Francisco as two of the top teams face off with the Giants looking to stay atop the west division and the cards trying to catch up to Milwaukee in the Central division

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Friday July 4th; 5:05 pm ET)
– The battle of Pennsylvania does not have its usual heat with the teams at opposite ends of the standings but on July 4th there is sure to be plenty of fans watching for either team to get the win against their in-state rival

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