Tim Lincecum

What Pat Burrell remembers most from Giants' 2010 World Series run

What Pat Burrell remembers most from Giants' 2010 World Series run

This season was supposed to help vault the Giants into the future, but it was also going to celebrate a huge part of their past.

The organization planned to spend much of the summer looking back at the 2010 team that finally brought a World Series title to San Francisco, culminating with a weekend reunion in the middle of August. The Giants planned to hold the reunion August 16 and give out replica rings to the first 30,000 fans to stream through the gates. 

That's all up in the air now, and while games that far ahead haven't been canceled yet, nobody can imagine a situation where fans are able to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of that team in person anytime soon. On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, Pat Burrell, an integral part of the lineup that year, said he's hopeful the organization still honors that team at some point. 

"I hope we get a chance to do something and it's not like a Zoom reunion," Burrell said, laughing. 

The Giants certainly will find a way when baseball gets back to normal. They do ceremonies better than anyone, and the 2010 reunion was going to be a big one. Many of those players returned last September for Bruce Bochy's final game and talked about how much they were looking forward to the 2010 reunion, and even the elusive Tim Lincecum was expected to be back. 

When Burrell, now hitting coach for the San Jose Giants, was asked what stood out about that team, he mentioned that pitching staff that included Lincecum. But the first thing that came to mind was something else.

"The momentum. If you were close to that team or around it, there was such a sense that there was something special there," Burrell said. 

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Burrell, a Bay Area native, signed with the Giants in late May of that season after being DFA'd by Tampa Bay. He provided a needed dose of power, hitting 18 homers in 289 at-bats. That was one of several significant under-the-radar moves that general manager Brian Sabean made to bolster the lineup, which didn't need to do much. The pitching just needed a little help.

"The pitching was so next-level and I don't think a lot of people realized how good the pitching was," Burrell said. "I did because I had come from other places that were heavily loaded offensive teams and always searching for the pitching. When I got to San Francisco, to see the arms, the starting pitching, the bullpen -- the bullpen, I don't know that they could ever get enough credit for what they did for those block of years with the three championships -- that just doesn't happen a whole lot.

"You can interchange offensive parts like they did and be successful, but it's really hard to lose pitching, and they were able to keep those guys around. Once we started scoring a little more runs, once our offense got into sync there, we started gaining momentum, and it just didn't stop." 

That staff was led by Lincecum, the two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner, and Matt Cain, who had a 3.14 ERA in 223 1/3 innings. Jonathan Sanchez had his best season in 2010 and a 20-year-old Madison Bumgarner bolstered the rotation down the stretch and in October. The bullpen was brilliant, with Brian Wilson backing the Core Four. 

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The lineup skewed much older, and Burrell remembers a sense that everyone was coming together to take one final run at big league success. 

"It was kind of the last chance for us to do something," Burrell said. "We couldn't have asked for a better environment. As an offense, we really weren't asked to do so much because the pitching was so good."

Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace

lincecum-bullpen-2010playoffs-ap.jpg
AP

Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace

You the fans have spoken.

We asked you to designate your favorite version of former Giants ace Tim Lincecum, and the social media response was overwhelming.

Lincecum was a part of all three World Series-winning teams in 2010, 2012, and 2014 in San Francisco.

During his first postseason run in 2010, Lincecum put together an impressive stretch of performances, solidifying himself as a franchise icon.

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He kicked off the 2010 MLB Playoffs by throwing a 119-pitch shutout with 14 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves in Game 1, propping up an offense that only mustered one run of support to give the Giants a leg up in the five-game division series.

He followed that effort up by striking out eight Phillies in a Game 1 road win in Philadelphia, when Cody Ross’ two home runs led the Giants to a 4-3 win.

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Lincecum wrapped up the postseason by earning two World Series wins, including the series clincher in Game 5, striking out 10 Texas Rangers over eight innings as the Giants won their first Fall Classic since the franchise relocated to the west coast in 1958.

Although Lincecum earned plenty of nicknames during his legendary career in San Francisco, “Champ” definitely has a nice ring to it.

Five things you might have forgotten about Tim Lincecum's second no-hitter

Five things you might have forgotten about Tim Lincecum's second no-hitter

Programming note: Watch the re-air of Tim Lincecum's second no-hitter tonight at 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

It seems like just about every no-hitter includes that moment that turns a teammate into the game's second star. Gregor Blanco will forever be a big part of Matt Cain's perfect game, and Hunter Pence's diving catch was a memorable moment during Tim Lincecum's first no-hitter. 

But when Lincecum no-hit the Padres again a season later, there was very little drama. Nobody had to dive or leap over the top of the wall. Lincecum cruised, dominating the Padres with an onslaught of sliders -- he threw 40 of them and got 13 outs -- and inducing soft contact all afternoon. He calmly and efficiently put his name back in the record books. 

The second no-hitter in under a year made Lincecum one of just four pitchers since 1961 to pull that off. He joined Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers with multiple Cy Young Awards and multiple no-hitters, and Lincecum and Koufax are the only two who also have multiple World Series titles, as well.

It was a day that added one last highlight to one of the greatest runs in franchise history. "It was the Tim Lincecum show," Bruce Bochy said on June 25, 2014. "He really was an artist out there."

The show will re-air tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area. As you watch, here are five things you might have forgotten about Lincecum's second no-hitter ...

Dual Threat

Lincecum truly was a remarkable athlete, although that rarely showed in other facets of the game. He was a smooth runner but not one of those pitchers that you would ever consider as a pinch-running weapon. And while he would occasionally get in a groove during BP, he never homered in a game and batted just .112 as a big leaguer. 

Lincecum had five multi-hit games, and one happened to come on this day. He singled in the third and again in the seventh, by which point the whole crowd knew what was at stake. When he met with reporters the next day, Lincecum admitted he watched highlights after the game, but not of his pitches.

"I watched the replay of my hits," he said. "I was really pumped about those, to be honest with you. I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't. I watched those quite a bit."

He Threw It With a Stache

One of the funniest parts about Lincecum's Giants career was that he often showed up to FanFest with an all-new look. No joke, reporters and cameramen would scramble to get a good spot in front of Lincecum's podium every February, knowing there was a decent chance you would have to send a photo out via Twitter right away.

One year, I sent out a FanFest photo and a couple hours later saw that it had been picked up by the New York Post. 

The 2014 tweak was one of the best. Lincecum showed up with a mustache, amusing his teammates and fans. 

The caterpillar was still going strong when he pitched his second no-hitter. 

(Sidebar: If you're not using shelter in place to experiment with a sweet stache, you're making a mistake.)

Memorable Defensive Day

This is one day that's missing from those #BusterHugs montages, because Posey played first base that day since it was a day game after a night game. He went 4-for-4 and drove in two of the runs.

That meant Hector Sanchez, 24 at the time, got to guide Lincecum through the day and sit on the podium with him afterwards. 

The final out was recorded by Joe Panik, who was making his fourth career start. 

No Time for Jinxes

Linecum was on second base during a pitching change in the seventh inning and he jogged over to the dugout, fist-bumping reliever Juan Gutierrez and chatting with third base coach Tim Flannery. Lincecum was about the last pitcher who would ever worry about the game's traditions, and he spent the final innings chatting it up with teammates. 

Asked later why he didn't sit by himself like most starters working on a no-hitter, Lincecum said, "It's more awkward when they don't talk to you than when they do." That makes a lot of sense, actually.  

Lincecum was carefree that entire day. At one point, the cameras caught him mimicking his own running style in the dugout:

Timmy Being Timmy

One of the main reasons Lincecum became such a fan favorite was how relatable he was. He would forget that the mic was live during on-field interviews with Amy Gutierrez. He would talk openly about how much he could eat at In-N-Out. There were other indulgences that were well known and fit in with the city he played in. 

So it wasn't much of a surprise when Lincecum smiled when a reporter asked how he would celebrate. 

"I'm going to go to my house and drink a little bit," he said. "Can I say that?"