Newspaper article International New York Times

For Giants, No-Hitters Are No Longer a Surprise ; Team Has Thrown One Every Year since 2012 and Is Piling Up Titles, Too

Newspaper article International New York Times

For Giants, No-Hitters Are No Longer a Surprise ; Team Has Thrown One Every Year since 2012 and Is Piling Up Titles, Too

Article excerpt

Throwing a no-hitter might seem easy around the Giants, who have won three of the last five World Series behind a stingy pitching staff.

Chris Heston twirled a no-hitter against the New York Mets on Tuesday, Matt Cain has thrown a perfect game against the Houston Astros, and Tim Lincecum has twice kept the San Diego Padres hitless.

The best pitcher on the San Francisco Giants? He has thrown a no- hitter, too -- against the Patriots of Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C. It was the only no-hitter Madison Bumgarner threw in his career at South Caldwell High, and he has none as a professional.

Throwing a no-hitter might seem that easy around the Giants, who have won three of the last five World Series behind a stingy pitching staff. But throwing one four years in a row, as the Giants have, is so rare that only one team had done so before: the 1962-65 Los Angeles Dodgers -- Sandy Koufax each time.

Greatness does not lead directly to no-hitters. Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton combined for more than 1,000 career wins without one. The Padres still do not have one. The Mets would not, either, if instant replay had been around in 2012, when an umpire missed a ball that nicked the chalk on the left-field line during Johan Santana's no-hitter.

So Heston, with just 13 career starts, is now officially a part of baseball lore. The Hall of Fame took his cap and a ball from Tuesday's game.

"Who would have thought that I'd have something in the Hall of Fame at this point?" Heston said, still floating a little the day after. He had a stack of New York tabloids in his locker, suitable for framing someday, he said. The photo on each back page depicted him embracing his catcher.

"They're all kind of Buster hugs," Heston said, referring to Buster Posey. "Those are always the fun ones."

Posey caught Cain's perfect game and Lincecum's first no-hitter before guiding Heston on Tuesday. The last three Mets struck out looking -- a payoff, Heston said, for the way Posey had set them up earlier in the game. …

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