The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cards and their fans get “Super Freaked”


San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, aka “The Freak”, brought his freak show to St. Louis on Monday night. Two hours and six minutes later, the Cardinals were scared out of their own ballpark on two measly hits, no walks and eight strikeouts as Lincecum spun a complete-game shutout.

The Giants offense also managed to plate ten runs in a most economical performance that at least put Cardinals fans out of their collective misery quickly, if not painfully. And in case you didn’t notice, the perennial doormat Giants have a better record (41-34) this season than do the reeling Cardinals (41-37).

It was the second time in a week that St. Louis was shut out in a double-digit output from their opponent. I was in New York last Wednesday when the Mets hung 11 on the Cards. Perhaps not coincidentally, Brad Thompson started both games.

Let’s give credit where credit is due, however. As opposed to New York’s Fernando Nieve, whose hold on a rotation spot is as tenuous as Thompson’s, and was hammered his next time out, the Cardinals lost to an elite pitcher on Monday.

With a bow to another long-haired entertainer from another generation, the late Rick James, I call Lincecum’s performance a “super freak” job, as it was the 25-year-old’s second consecutive shutout over the Cardinals. His last time out against St. Louis, on April 18 of last season, Lincecum went seven scoreless, also at Busch.

Over his four career starts against St. Louis, three on the road, the right-hander has amassed a 4-0 record, a 1.61 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and an opposing batting average of .204. That, my friends, is total dominance!

Sure, the Cardinals are in a terrible slump offensively, but to go off on the players and coaches because of what happened Monday night is ridiculous. Of course, that is exactly what the message board and call-in show extremists have done.

The Cards missed Lincecum during their only 2009 trip to San Francisco at the end of May. As a result, they will most likely not have to face “The Freak” again until 2010. At that time, Lincecum will have the opportunity to dominate the Cardinals as no other opposing pitcher has done since 1956.

In what has to be one of the most impressive runs ever, Bob Friend of the Pittsburgh Pirates tossed three consecutive complete game shutout outings against St. Louis – all during a three-week period in May and June of 1956. Friend is the only opposing hurler to spin three straight shutouts at St. Louis in at least the last 55 years.

Lincecum joins 51 other pitchers in having put together two consecutive scoreless starts against the Cardinals since 1954. The list includes Hall of Famers like Steve Carlton as well as obscure pitchers such as Amaury Telemaco (23 career MLB wins).

It only seems fitting that a Giant, Jim Barr, was the pitcher to throw three pairs of consecutive shutouts at the Cardinals, in 1972, 1974 and 1978. The complete list follows, thanks to Tom Orf.

Teams StreakStart Streak End G W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO
Bob Friend PIT 5/23/1956 6/16/1956 3 3 0 3 3 3 27 20 0 0 7 16
Tim Lincecum SFG 4/19/2008 6/29/2009 2 2 0 2 1 1 16 8 0 0 3 13
Jake Peavy SDP 5/11/2007 8/7/2007 2 2 0 2 0 0 13 6 0 0 4 15
Brad Hennessey SFG 7/9/2005 8/19/2005 2 1 0 2 0 0 14.1 8 0 0 4 5
Greg Maddux ATL 5/5/2002 4/23/2003 2 2 0 2 0 0 13 7 0 0 1 7
Justin Thompson DET 6/23/1998 6/13/1999 2 1 0 2 0 0 14.2 8 0 0 5 13
Amaury Telemaco CHC-ARI 7/14/1996 6/20/1998 2 0 0 2 0 0 5 5 0 0 4 0
Greg Maddux ATL 6/27/1996 5/16/1997 2 1 0 2 0 0 15 10 0 0 2 14
Greg Maddux ATL 8/20/1995 9/5/1995 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 9 0 0 0 17
Chris Hammond FLA 5/21/1994 7/28/1995 2 1 0 2 0 0 9 6 0 0 5 6
Mike Hampton HOU 5/5/1995 6/28/1995 2 2 0 2 0 0 15 8 0 0 2 14
Bobby Jones NYM 9/29/1993 5/7/1994 2 1 0 2 1 1 19 12 0 0 7 14
Ramon Martinez LAD 7/9/1992 8/22/1993 2 2 0 2 1 1 17 7 0 0 6 14
Bret Saberhagen NYM 4/23/1992 9/24/1992 2 0 0 2 0 0 17 10 0 0 0 8
Shawn Boskie CHC 6/8/1992 6/16/1992 2 0 0 2 0 0 4.2 2 0 0 1 2
Orel Hershiser LAD 6/4/1991 6/14/1991 2 0 0 2 0 0 12.1 8 0 0 7 7
Zane Smith PIT 9/21/1990 5/29/1991 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 6 0 0 2 15
Mike Morgan LAD 4/24/1990 5/26/1990 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 8 0 0 1 9
Dennis Cook PHI 4/15/1990 4/20/1990 2 2 0 2 1 1 17.2 10 0 0 4 4
Doug Drabek PIT 9/13/1989 9/27/1989 2 1 0 2 2 2 14 8 0 0 2 8
Sid Fernandez NYM 10/1/1988 8/1/1989 2 2 0 2 1 1 15 5 0 0 6 9
Rick Reuschel SFG 7/24/1988 5/6/1989 2 2 0 2 1 1 15 12 0 0 4 4
Fernando Valenzuela LAD 7/20/1985 5/3/1986 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 8 0 0 2 15
David Palmer MON 4/21/1984 6/20/1984 2 1 0 2 1 1 13 6 0 0 0 8
Bob Knepper HOU 5/23/1984 5/29/1984 2 2 0 2 1 1 16.2 12 0 0 5 11
Jeff Robinson SFG 4/7/1984 5/4/1984 2 2 0 2 0 0 14 9 0 0 6 10
Bryn Smith MON 9/19/1983 9/28/1983 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 9 0 0 5 11
Steve Carlton PHI 6/28/1982 9/13/1982 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 9 0 0 4 16
Nino Espinosa PHI 7/4/1980 9/12/1980 2 0 0 2 0 0 15 6 0 0 1 1
Jim Barr SFG 5/3/1978 5/14/1978 2 1 0 2 1 1 9.1 6 0 0 1 2
Rick Reuschel CHC 7/3/1977 7/7/1977 2 1 0 2 1 1 15.2 13 0 0 3 7
Steve Renko CHC 9/4/1976 6/30/1977 2 1 0 2 0 0 13.2 12 0 0 2 12
Woodie Fryman MON 7/28/1976 9/19/1976 2 2 0 2 1 1 15 12 0 0 7 10
Fred Norman CIN 6/13/1976 9/1/1976 2 1 0 2 0 0 16 13 0 0 7 14
Jon Matlack NYM 4/20/1976 7/1/1976 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 11 0 0 5 12
Don Sutton LAD 4/29/1976 5/11/1976 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 10 0 0 1 7
Don Gullett CIN 8/18/1975 8/28/1975 2 2 0 2 1 1 14 8 0 0 3 8
Jerry Reuss PIT 4/30/1975 6/19/1975 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 11 0 0 3 10
Jim Barr SFG 6/17/1974 5/18/1975 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 10 0 0 6 8
Jon Matlack NYM 9/22/1973 6/29/1974 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 5 0 0 4 16
Jim Barr SFG 8/29/1972 4/27/1973 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 5 0 0 1 4
Steve Carlton PHI 4/19/1972 8/5/1972 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 8 0 0 1 12
Don Gullett CIN 6/16/1971 8/18/1971 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 11 0 0 3 10
Dock Ellis PIT 7/9/1970 6/1/1971 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 8 0 0 4 14
Sandy Koufax LAD 9/18/1965 9/25/1965 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 9 0 0 4 18
Sandy Koufax LAD 9/17/1963 4/14/1964 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 10 0 0 0 9
John Tsitouris CIN 9/20/1963 9/27/1963 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 5 0 0 3 11
Tony Cloninger MLN 7/3/1962 9/5/1962 2 1 0 2 1 1 10 5 0 0 4 4
Dick Drott CHC 5/21/1961 7/18/1961 2 0 0 2 0 0 8 3 0 0 4 5
Glen Hobbie CHC 9/25/1960 5/19/1961 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 13 0 0 3 9
Bob Buhl MLN 6/11/1959 7/31/1959 2 2 0 2 2 2 18 8 0 0 5 13
Joey Jay MLN 7/23/1958 6/24/1959 2 2 0 2 2 2 16 10 0 0 3 9
Jim Brosnan CHC 9/3/1956 4/15/1958 2 2 0 2 1 1 15 14 0 0 8 12

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