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Poor opponent or not, Tim Lincecum's no-no deserves celebration

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Lincecum's no-no: Second of his career | Heyman: Freak has a knack

Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum threw the second no-hitter of his career Wednesday. Here's the final out and immediate aftermath:

Now, since no one is ever allowed to be excited about something without a certain cynical segment of the population showing up to rain on the parade, I'll grant that, yes, this feat came against the worst offensive team in the majors.

In fact, the Padres have a shot to be historically bad. The offense entered the game collectively hitting .216/.275/.340. It ranked 30th in the majors in runs, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. This was all before being no-hit on Wednesday.

The individual batting lines of the Padres' lineup Wednesday resembled a high-school wrestling weigh-in more than an MLB team's batting averages. After Wednesday, the averages of the eight position-playing starters read: .197, .223, .290 (woo hoo, Seth Smith!), .179, .199, .253, .216 and .209.

So, yes, they are bad with the bats in their hands. Real bad. I know that.

Guess what else I know? This was still special.

For as bad as they are, the only player to no-hit the Padres in either 2013 or 2014 is named Tim Lincecum. If it's so easy, why hasn't anyone else done it?

A second no-hitter is special regardless of the opponent, too. Lincecum is now just the 29th man in the history of baseball to throw more than one no-hitter in his career. Just to give an idea how exclusive a club that is, a quick search on baseball-reference.com shows that 5,488 men have started at least one game in the majors since 1914.

The only other active players with at least two no-nos are Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Homer Bailey.

Lincecum's second no-hitter against the same team meant that he became the first man to accomplish the feat twice against the same team since Addie Joss no-hit the White Sox in 1908 and 1910. That's pretty rare, but also note that no one had ever no-hit the same team in consecutive seasons -- until now.

The only other Giants pitcher to throw two no-hitters? Some dude named Christy Mathewson, otherwise known as one of the best pitchers in MLB history.

Both Joss and Mathewson are Hall of Famers.

Getting the picture yet? As I said, this was special.

Even if we tossed all this stuff aside -- and we really shouldn't, by the way, because it's the above reasons that make this particular gem of Lincecum's especially notable -- it's still a no-hitter. A pitcher had to get 27 outs before allowing a base hit against a team full of major-league players. That's always been something worthy of praise and I see no reason to start diminishing it now.

So feel free to scoff if you wish, but Lincecum's no-hitter Wednesday was special and it should be celebrated. If you have an issue with that, that's your problem, not an issue for those of us who enjoyed it -- and it's definitely not Lincecum's problem.

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