NEW YORK -- In the wake of Giants righty Tim Lincecum throwing 148 pitches in his no-hitter on Saturday night -- the second-most pitches in a no-hitter dating back to 1947 -- Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire said he still stands by his decision three years ago to lift then-Twins starter Kevin Slowey after seven no-hit innings.
On Aug. 15, 2010, Slowey had not allowed a hit to the Athletics while striking out five and walking three through seven frames. The problem was he had already surpassed the 90-pitch limit he was on after missing his prior start due to shoulder issues.
"I was the bad guy. We said his pitch count was going to be 90 pitches and he has a no-hitter going, and he's got like 90 in the sixth," Gardenhire said. "I'm like, 'We can't put him back in.' He had just come [back from a shoulder injury], so I take him out with a no-hitter going."
With Slowey at 107 pitches through seven, Gardenhire turned the game over to the bullpen, which promptly served up two runs off a pair of hits in the eighth. By comparison, Lincecum had thrown 114 pitches through seven frames Saturday night before tossing 17 each in the eighth and ninth innings.
"I got hammered for it," Gardenhire said. "But, you know what? I'll take a career over getting hammered. Our job was going to be to protect him."