Chris Heston narrowly missed a perfect game, but still managed a no-hitter against the New York Mets en route to an outstanding 5-0 victory at Citi Field. Opposing Mets prodigy Noah Syndergaard, Heston, and seasoned battery mate Buster Posey remained dialed in all evening long, taking 110 pitches to accomplish the feat. With his wicked sinker throwing off New York's talented roster, Heston mowed down 11 batters to give San Francisco their 17th no-hitter in franchise history, good for fourth on MLB's all-time leaderboard. He walked none, went 2-4 with two RBI's at the plate, and received stellar defensive play to help drop his abysmal ERA down to a more respectable 3.77.
Posey, catching his fourth no-hitter in four years, was magnificent in framing Heston's pitches all night. The rookie southpaw missed his perfect game when he plunked Ruben Tejada in the fourth, then grazed Lucas Duda in the seventh before hitting his third batter in the ninth, Anthony Recker. Thanks to excellent play from Brandon Crawford, Heston's quest was preserved until that elusive last pitch. All told, Chris Heston pitched a tremendous game and managed to receive a standing ovation from the 23,155 home fans who witnessed his final pitch freeze Tejada, a 91 MPH sinker. When strike three was called, Heston threw his arms up before being hugged by Posey and mauled by his teammates.
Since 2012, no-hitters have been nearly expected each year by San Francisco's arsenal of aces. Tim Lincecum tossed two no-no's, one each in 2013 and 2014. Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012, the first in Giants history and the year they claimed their World Series win, rounds out four years of Giants pitchers tossing hit-free gems. Prior to Cain's 2012 perfecta, the last Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Jonathon Sanchez, who missed a perfect game by virtue of an error in 2009. For Heston, this game will be remembered for how well he executed pitches he previously couldn't.
Chris Heston threw the first hitless game in 2015, but probably not the last. In fact, you'd have to head back to 2005 if you're looking for the last season with zero no-hitters thrown. Prior to Heston's gem, the last no-hitter thrown in the MLB belongs to Jordan Zimmermann, who tossed his near-perfect game on the last game of 2014, defeating the same pitcher who tossed a no-hitter on the last day of 2013 -- Henderson Alvarez.
With Heston's gem, the Giants moved to one game back in the West behind the Dodgers, with Tim Hudson taking the mound Wednesday against Matt Harvey.
[Photo by Al Bello / Getty Images Sport]