SAN FRANCISCO -- While they all do it, most athletes won't actually admit to watching their highlights after a particularly noteworthy night. A day after he threw his second no-hitter, a beaming Tim Lincecum admitted he went back and relived some of Wednesday's best moments.
"I watched the replay of my hits," Lincecum 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."
The slender right-hander had two hits in a 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres, doubling the total from his first 15 starts. That 16th start also happened to produce a no-hitter, the 16th in franchise history. Before batting practice Thursday, Lincecum said he was particularly grateful that the historic moment came at home, with 40,000 fans roaring in the seats and teammates, coaches, friends and management on hand.
"Everything that I've been through with this team makes that moment more special," he said. "I know I haven't been doing what this team has needed me to do the last couple of years, but there's that old saying, 'I'm not as good as I once was, but I was as good once as I ever was.' Hopefully I can duplicate that and ride this confident wave."
Lincecum's next start comes Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. After that he'll face the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, where he no-hit them last July 13. Regardless of the name on the opposing jersey, Lincecum said he'd try to keep the rhythm and approach that worked Wednesday.
Lincecum's second no-hitter in 347 days put him in a handful of small, impressive groups. Only four pitchers -- Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax -- have multiple Cy Young Awards and multiple no-hitters. Only Lincecum and Koufax have also won two World Series titles. By doubling up on the Padres in less than a year, Lincecum joined Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Homer Bailey -- Sunday's starter for the Cincinnati Reds -- as the only pitchers since 1961 to throw two no-hitters inside of a year. Lincecum said he heard some of the historic facts Wednesday night.
"It's kind of crazy to think about," he said. "Those aren't the kinds of things that I'm leaning on, but at the same time, it's cool. I'm part of a pretty elite group. That's hopefully not where it ends."
The day after began with an early wake-up call. Lincecum wore a customized Team USA soccer jersey during a postgame champagne toast Wednesday and he was up in time to watch the Americans lose to Germany on Thursday morning but still advance to the next round of the World Cup.
"I wanted something better," he said. "But I'm glad they made it through."
In a quiet clubhouse, Lincecum played cards with outfielder Tyler Colvin. The game was interrupted when manager Bruce Bochy walked over with the previous day's lineup card. Lincecum thanked Bochy, sprinted to his locker to deposit the keepsake and then back to the game.
"I told him he could put it on eBay and make a couple bucks," Bochy joked.
With his body feeling fresh, Lincecum eagerly joined the other pitchers for early batting practice, ready to use his newfound .120 batting average as ammunition in the ongoing and trash talk-filled competition between the starting pitchers. The rest of the no-hitter had been pushed to the back burner.
"I wasn't really thinking about it when I woke up this morning, just embracing the new day," he said. "It's another day to work. Leave last night as what it was."
There was one part of Wednesday that couldn't be left alone, though. During a postgame news conference, Lincecum joked that he would celebrate by going home and maybe having a few drinks. So, how did he commemorate his second no-hitter?
"I just did what I said I was going to do," Lincecum said, smiling.
A look at the pitching lines from Tim Lincecum's two no-hitters:
Date Opponent Score IP BB SO NP ST
Wednesday San Diego W, 4-0 9.0 1 6 113 73
July 13, 2013 at San Diego W, 9-0 9.0 4 13 148 96