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Lincecum Shuts Out Braves, Has Better Debut Than Halladay – SportsUntapped.com
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Added October 8th, 2010 by Chalk

Lincecum Shuts Out Braves, Has Better Debut Than Halladay
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Another day, another historic postseason debut by a Cy Young-winning pitcher. Wednesday, Roy Halladay pitched the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history, walking just one batter in the Phillies 4-0 win over the Reds in their NLDS Game 1. Thursday night, Tim Lincecum pitched a complete game two-hitter with one walk and 14 strikeouts in the Giants 1-0 win over the Braves in their NLDS Game 1.

Here’s what makes Lincecum’s two-hit gem historic:

  • Only the second pitcher in MLB history to strike out at least 10 and allow two hits or fewer in a shutout in a postseason debut, first since 1906 (Ed Walsh, White Sox).
  • Only Bob Gibson and Roger Clemens have struck out more batters in a postseason shutout.
  • Tied the record for strikeouts in a postseason debut, done by three others, most recently in 1986 (Mike Scott, Astros).
  • Third pitcher ever to throw a 1-0 shutout with 10 or more strikeouts, (joins Mike Scott and Dave McNally of the 1969 Orioles).

Yesterday, when I suggested Halladay’s no-hitter wasn’t very impressive because he was spotted a 4-0 run lead after two innings, my arguments were called “ludicrous,” “asinine,” and “farcical.” Today, the New York Times Bats blog makes a nearly identical argument that Lincecum’s debut was obviously more impressive than Roy “Billie” Halladay’s.

Dan Rosenheck has a pretty simple argument for Lincecum — he pitched better than Halladay, and his performance was more valuable because of the score of the game.  Lincecum pitched better because he struck out more batters — 14 to Halladay’s 8:

… with normal luck, a pitcher with Halladay’s eight strikeouts, one walk, and zero home runs allowed in 28 batters faced would give up an average of 1.55 earned runs per nine innings, while one with Lincecum’s 14 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 0 home runs allowed in 30 batters faced would surrender just 0.37.

The more valuable argument should be obvious — it’s tougher to be near perfect in a 1-0 game than in a 4-0 game — but Rosenheck breaks it down statistically. “A statistic called Win Probability Added (WPA) measures the added value of pitching under pressure,” he writes. “Halladay’s pitching improved the Phillies’ chances of winning by 30.6 percent, while Lincecum’s increased San Francisco’s likelihood of victory by 75.4 percent.”

So there you have it — Lincecum’s gem was about 250% more impressive than Halladay’s.

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2 Responses to “Lincecum Shuts Out Braves, Has Better Debut Than Halladay”

  1. George says:

    Lincecum gives up several doubles, and “Chalk” declares it better than the second post-season no-hitter in history . . .

    About the most dim-witted MLB post this week. By about 250%.

  2. AFN says:

    congratulations on writing idiotic articles to get attention. it worked.

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