Though last night held its share of disappointment for the Bay Area sporting scene, there was a noticeable bright spot in Chris Heston's appearance on the mound for the San Francisco Giants. In his 13th career start, the 27-year-old rookie pitched the first-no-hitter of the Major League Baseball season.
At Citi Field, Heston led the Giants to a 5-0 victory over the New York Mets, leaving them with 33 wins and 26 loses this season to date. "Lot of emotions going through my mind right now," ESPN reports that Heston said after the win. "Hasn't sunk in yet. Looking forward to catching my breath and celebrating a little bit."
This marks the fourth season in a row that the Giants' pitching staff has thrown a no-hitter. Last year and the year before it was Tim Lincecum and in 2012 it was Matt Cain with a perfect game. The four-year streak is only matched by the Dodgers, with Sandy Koufax pitching one no-hitter each season from 1962 to 1965. The Giants have now thrown 17 no-hitters, which ranks fourth in the majors overall.
Heston did strike three batters, but those were the only three men on base for the Mets during the game. With Heston on the mound, only two balls reached the outfield, and the pitcher struck out 11 batters, six of them looking, with 72 strikes in 110 pitches.
For his part at the plate, the pitcher had two hits including a two-run single, the Examiner takes note.
The game-winning pitch was a 91 mph sinker, a pitch that powered him through the game. This one sent the crowd of over 23,000 into a standing ovation.
Heston descended the mound calmly and was greeted by a hug from Giants catcher Buster Posey and a mob at the dugout. Of the win, Posey later said "It's fun to see good things happen to good people."
Heston is a graduate of Bayside High School (Palm Bay, Florida) and attended Seminole Community College. He later enrolled at East Carolina University, and though he had been selected in late rounds by Minnesota and Washington in past years, he only signed after the Giants took him on a 12th round pick in 2009.