On Tuesday, Giants rookie pitcher Chris Heston accomplished one of the greatest feats in baseball, throwing a no-hitter. This is amazing for him, considering he has made only twelve other starts in his career. That says something about no-hitters. While it may be tough to swallow, it is undeniably true. No-hitters do not indicate past or future success for pitchers.
This is not to say that they can’t predict success, but that is usually the case with pitchers who have recorded more than one no-hitter. Examples include Nolan Ryan (7), Sandy Koufax (4), Cy Young (3), Randy Johnson (2), Justin Verlander (2), and Tim Lincecum (2).
There are many pitchers with one no-hitter (or perfect game) who have little to no track record of success in the Major Leagues. A perfect example of this is former White Sox pitcher Phillip Humber, who threw a perfect game in 2012. That one game had no bearing on his career record of 16-23 and 5.31 career ERA in the MLB. He is now pitching for the Kia Tigers of the KBO.
Another example is Dallas Braden, a former Athletics pitcher who pitched a perfect game on Mother’s day 2010. He, like Humber, had little success in a short big league career that saw him end with a record of 26-36 and a 4.16 ERA. One final recent example is former Cardinals pitcher Bud Smith. Who? Exactly. He threw a no-hitter in his first of two MLB seasons in 2001. He finished his very brief career with a record of 7-8 with a 4.95 ERA.
This is not meant to take away from the amazing feat accomplished by the Giants rookie, but just because he threw a no-hitter, don’t expect this to outline his future.