From 1891 to 2013, New York to San Francisco, 14 Giants achieve feat
Tim Lincecum's no-hitter Saturday night against the San Diego Padres was the 15th no-hitter in club history.
The most recent of San Francisco's no-hitters was Matt Cain's 2012 perfect game against the Astros. It was the first perfect game in club history, as Cain provided one of the most dominant performances in baseball history. He tied Sandy Koufax's perfect-game record with 14 strikeouts and a game score -- a statistic that rates pitchers' starts (usually from 0 to 100) based on innings pitched, runs, hits, strikeouts and walks -- of 101, the best of any Major League outing since Kerry Wood's 105 in 1998.
Cain's perfection was preserved by outfielder Gregor Blanco's incredible diving catch on the right-center-field warning track in the seventh inning.
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez twirled the 13th no-hitter in club history against the Padres in 2009. The only baserunner to reach against him came on a Juan Uribe error in the eighth inning, ending Sanchez's bid for perfection. Sanchez struck out 11 in the first no-hitter recorded at AT&T Park.
You have to turn the calendar back 33 years prior to Sanchez's outing to find the next no-hitter in club history. John Montefusco's 16th win of the season was a special one, as the right-hander allowed only one baserunner, a leadoff walk in the fourth inning. While the no-hitter will not go down as the flashiest in history -- Montefusco's four strikeouts are relatively low -- it notably came away from San Francisco at Atlanta's Fulton-County Stadium.
Although it took 33 years for the Giants to twirl another no-hitter after Montefusco did so in 1976, his was the second in two seasons -- the shortest interval between no-hitters in club history. Ed Halicki no-hit the Mets in the second game of a doubleheader Aug. 24, 1975, in what turned out to be the last no-hitter thrown at Candlestick Park. Halicki struck out 10 and allowed just two walks in front of home-plate umpire Bruce Froemming, who retired in 2007 having worked a record 11 no-hitters.
Gaylord Perry twirled the club's 10th no-hitter Sept. 17, 1968, in a 1-0 win over the Cardinals. Perry's no-hitter was one of five in 1968, which is known as The Year of the Pitcher. The Giants scored the only run Perry needed in the bottom of the first inning against Bob Gibson, who finished the season with a 1.12 ERA and the league's Most Valuable Player Award. Coincidentally, the Cardinals' Ray Washburn no-hit the Giants the very next day at Candlestick Park.
Five years prior to Perry's outing, the legendary Juan Marichal threw his only no-hitter, on June 15, 1963, against the Houston Colt 45s at Candlestick Park. It marked the organization's first no-hitter since moving to San Francisco and ended the longest no-hitter drought in club history, as the last one had come in 1929. Only two baserunners reached against Marichal, and they came on walks in the fifth and seventh innings. He finished the 1963 season with a National League-best 25 wins.
Carl Hubbell recorded the Giants' last no-hitter while based in New York on May 8, 1929. In the 11-0 win against the Pirates, Hubbell was excellent in front of a defense that committed three errors. He struck out four and walked just one at the iconic Polo Grounds.
Seven years earlier, Jesse Barnes threw the seventh no-hitter in team history May 7, 1922, against the Philadelphia Phillies. The game's only baserunner reached on a walk, but otherwise Barnes' afternoon was unblemished. The Giants scored five runs in the game's first two innings and cruised to the 6-0 victory as the team recorded its 16th win in 20 games to start the season.
Rube Marquard became the second left-handed Giant to throw a no-hitter when he did so in the second game of the 1915 season against the Brooklyn Robins, who later became the Dodgers. Marquard arranged his sale to Brooklyn just four months later after struggling for much of the season outside of the no-hitter.
On Sept. 6, 1912, Jeff Tesreau threw the fifth no-hitter in team history and the second of three against the Philadelphia Phillies. Tesreau's signature pitch, the spitball, helped him keep the Phillies hitless near the end of his first regular season in the Major Leagues. Tesreau led the National League with a 1.96 ERA in 1912 and helped the Giants reach the World Series.
Hooks Wiltse nearly became the first Giant to throw a perfect game 104 years before Cain achieved the honors at AT&T Park. With two outs in the ninth against the Phillies, Wiltse hit a batter, the only Philadelphia player to reach in the game. After recording the 27th out of the game a play later, there was just one problem: The Giants had not scored a run yet, and the game went to extra innings. In the 10th, they scored a run for Wiltse, who retired the side in order in the inning to become the first pitcher in baseball history to throw a no-hitter in extras.
Christy Mathewson is the only pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters in a Giants uniform, with the first coming in 1901 and the second in 1905. Interestingly, neither were thrown at the Polo Grounds, where Mathewson dominated hitters for 17 seasons.
The second outing featured one of the fiercest pitching duels of the early 20th century, as Mathewson and his counterpart, Cubs pitcher Mordecai Brown, both carried no-hitters into the ninth inning. After the Giants scratched out a run against Brown in the top of the ninth, Mathewson completed his second-career no-hitter in the next half-inning. The only two baserunners who reached against Mathewson that day stemmed from two errors by Giants shortstop Bill Dahlen.
Amos Rusie threw the first no-hitter in Giants history, on July 31, 1891, against the Brooklyn Grooms. It marked his sixth shutout in what turned out to be a 33-win season. He led the league with 337 strikeouts in 1891, an incredible amount for any season, but especially considering, as Rusie said years later, "It took a lot of pitchin' to strike a man out in those days. The foul strike rule hadn't come in. A guy had to miss three of 'em clean before he was out."
Although Rusie threw the first no-hitter in club history, he -- or, perhaps, his fastball -- is most famous for being the main reason Major League Baseball moved the pitcher's mound back from 50 feet to the present-day 60 feet, 6 inches.
Andrew Owens is an associate reporter for MLB.com.