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Reds reflect on Lincecum's 148-pitch no-hitter

ATLANTA -- The last time the Reds talked about Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, it was after he was on the losing end of Homer Bailey's no-hitter on July 2.

Sunday morning, he again was a topic of discussion following a no-hitter, this time his 148-pitch effort against San Diego.

The number of pitches -- 39 more than Bailey needed to complete his gem - brought up a quandary for Baker. What would he do in such a situation?.

"That puts you in a tough situation. I mean how often are you going to pitch a no-hitter?" said Baker. "Then, on the other hand, are you risking injury or have they been injured before? Like in the case of [New York Mets pitcher Johan] Santana, they said that wasn't what led to it but contributed to it. It's a tough situation. Either way, you get scrutinized for what you did or didn't do. My guys have been pretty honest. I haven't been in that situation."

The Reds' "honor system" came up on Friday, when starter Bronson Arroyo came out after seven innings, having thrown 90 pitches with Cincinnati holding a 4-2 lead. Arroyo agreed with his manager about the extraordinary pitch count.

"Would it be worth it? Yeah, sure. I mean I've probably thrown up around 130 a few times," he said. "The difference between 115 and 148, it's definitely going to take its toll on your arm, but at the time you're not going to feel it a whole lot. I mean, the aftermath of it is going to be you're probably going to be as sore as you've ever been in your life, but you've got the All-Star break, you've got extra days' rest. To take a no-hitter into a ball game, it only gets to happen maybe once in a lifetime. Twice if you're amazing like Homer Bailey. So you've got to push the envelope a little bit.

"There are a lot of factors going on there and at some point I guess you would have to pull a guy whether he had a no-hitter or not based on pitch count," he added. "But I don't think 148 is that crazy. If you go back and look at guys like Luis Tiant, they were probably throwing like 160 pitches plenty of times."

Baker, a former hitting coach and a premier hitter in his playing days, did find a bright side in the no-hitter.

"Usually I'm not glad for a pitcher throwing a no-hitter, unless he's on my team," he said. "But for a guy that was on top and has sort of been struggling the last couple of years. … There's a good chance when we face him next week he won't throw a no-hitter."

Jon Cooper is a contributor to
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