Which SF Giants pitcher is most likely to throw a no-hitter in 2021?
By Nathan Bannerman
It’s been five years since SF Giants fans celebrated a no-hitter. Pitcher Chris Heston went the distance in a 5-0 victory over the New York Mets on June 9th, 2015. It ended a stretch of four consecutive years of no-hitters or perfect games for the franchise. Of course, former Giants star Matt Cain threw the first and only perfect game in San Francisco Giants history, back in June of 2012.
Here are some highlights to reminisce:
On the mound, this 2021 season is already off to a special start. San Diego Padres starter Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres franchise history, while Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon was a foot away from a perfect game. He settled for a no-hitter of his own instead.
MLB has already seen two no-hitters this season. Which SF Giants pitcher is the favorite to join the elite group in 2021?
Now we’re all wondering when the next Giants no-hitter or perfect game will be. Pitcher Johnny Cueto was close last season before outfielder Hunter Pence lost a flyball in the light. Cueto may be on the 10-day injured list due to a Grade 1 lat strain (If you’re superstitious this is the point where you knock-on-wood, rub the lucky rabbit’s foot, or whatever you do), but he’s still the franchise’s best shot at a no-no in 2021.
In 20 innings so far this season, he’s been the most efficient starter with a 1.94 FIP. He was also just one out away from going the distance against the Colorado Rockies, allowing one run and four hits. Perhaps most importantly of all, he’s looked as close to his prime self from 2011-2016 as he has in years. That ace-caliber play gives him as great a shot as anyone at making history.
SF Giants honorable mention:
With the way things are headed for the Giants, whoever is pitching to backup catcher Curt Casali should have a shot at completing the rare feat. Casali has caught five consecutive shutouts already in 2021. On April 22nd, he helped pitcher Aaron Sanchez go five innings of two-hit ball, while the bullpen and closer Jake McGee shut the Miami Marlins out.
Take note starting rotation: if you’re scheduled to throw to Casali you best be dialed in because it’s time San Francisco fans see some history of their own this year. Of course, even if he’s not behind the dish, starters will get to look in at the same catcher who caught Cain and Heston’s historic games in Buster Posey.
As Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) from NBC’s The Office famously said: “I’m not superstitious… but I am a little-stitious.” Could 2021 be the year we witness an SF Giants pitcher make history once again? Let’s hope so.