Jason Schmidt pitched the best game of his career in his last start. He just didn’t get the attention he normally would have.
The San Francisco Giants’ ace threw a one-hitter in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. Unfortunately for him, it was overshadowed that night, because Arizona’s Randy Johnson pitched the 17th perfect game in baseball history.
Schmidt will now try to help the Giants win their season-high fourth straight when they open a three-game set against the Diamondbacks at SBC Park.
The 31-year-old right-hander, who led the National League with a 2.34 ERA last season, has won four consecutive decisions. But he saved his best outing for Tuesday.
Schmidt matched his career high with 13 strikeouts, and the only hit he allowed was an infield single to Michael Barrett in the fifth.
“It was fun to be a part of,” Giants catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “It was awesome. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever been a part of.”
Schmidt said he did not mind ceding the spotlight to Johnson.
“I’ll take the shutout and the win any day. I can’t argue with that,” Schmidt said. “No-hitters, there’s a lot of luck involved. If I never get one, so be it. I’m not going to lose sleep over that.”
Since Schmidt’s shutout, the Giants have won three of four. The finale of their three-game series with the Montreal Expos in San Juan was rained out Sunday.
Barry Bonds drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning Saturday, and Pierzynski followed with a grand slam two batters later to lead San Francisco to a 7-2 win.
Pierzynski, who hit his first career grand slam, finished with six RBIs— one short of his career high. However, it was just his second homer of the season. He is batting .264 with 16 RBIs.
Pierzynski’s lack of production, plus a newspaper story earlier this month quoting three unnamed pitchers as calling him a “cancer” in the clubhouse, have made him very unpopular among Giants fans.
Asked if he felt less pressure batting with the lead in the 11th, instead of the game tied, Pierzynski said, “I’ve hit into so many double plays this year, and the worst I could do was hit into one more. The people are going to boo me anyway.”
Arizona has not been nearly as successful since Johnson’s masterpiece last Tuesday, losing four of six.
Steve Finley hit his major league-leading 14th homer on Monday, but it was not enough in a 13-5 loss to Florida in the finale of a four-game series.
Finley has hit 13 homers in the past 25 games.
“They come and go,” Finley said. “I’d like to be consistent all year. I got on a roll there where I wasn’t getting a lot of hits, but every time I did it was a home run.”