Giants

Mike Krukow calls 2010 NLDS Game 1 Tim Lincecum's best ever for Giants

Giants

Tim Lincecum's career with the Giants was that of a star shooting across the sky. It was memorable and breathtaking. It will stop you in your tracks when remembering but didn't last long enough.

There's always that want for more. 

The highs were incredibly high, though. Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009. He then threw no-hitters in consecutive seasons against the San Diego Padres in 2013 and 2014, when his best days were behind him. For broadcaster Mike Krukow, the best version of Lincecum came on Oct. 7, 2010.

But to Krukow, Lincecum's greatness really began to click a month prior to that day, after an awful stretch of starts in August. 

"Right around the end of the month, right into his first start of September, he got it," Krukow said Wednesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "It kicked right in. He found what he was doing wrong. And the month of September, every start he kept building and kept building." 

With his wonky delivery and slight frame, Lincecum's mechanics were all out of synch in August. He went 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA over five starts that month. And then September came. 

Lincecum struck out nine batters and allowed one earned run -- a solo home run -- over eight innings in a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 1. The right-hander rode that hot start and went 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in six September starts. 

 

Once Game 1 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves arrived, then-manager Bruce Bochy handed the ball to Lincecum and his best self showed up on the bright stage in San Francisco. Lincecum threw a two-hit complete-game shutout while striking out 14 batters.

It was pure dominance. 

"It all got going in San Francisco when Lincecum got on the hill, and he shoves it. Strikes out 14," Krukow remembered. "It was one of the most dominating things that we'd ever seen. The entire month of September he kept building for it and to me, that was the icing on the cake.

"And it was also a message to the rest of the baseball world. 'Oh guess what, he's back.' And not only is he back, but he's better than ever."

Krukow believes the Giants fed off Lincecum's greatness, which led to their first World Series title in San Francisco. 

"I don't think he was ever better than he was that night, in that playoff game," Krukow said. "It set the tone and the mood in that clubhouse, and they carried it right there to a championship."

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Lincecum threw the no-hitters and won his three rings. His absolute best, though, came that October night in front of a packed crowd of raucous Giants fans. 

The stars aligned in San Francisco for The Freak and fans never will forget that moment.