Behind every no-hitter or perfect game, there is an amazing play in the field to preserve it.
Tim Lincecum's no-no was no exception, as San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence made an amazing diving snag in the bottom of the eighth to keep the zero intact in the hit column for the San Diego Padres.
Pence tracked down a line drive hit by Alexi Amarista, making a catch that clearly inspired Lincecum on the mound.
While the game was well decided by that point—the Giants led 9-0 and would go on to win by that score—Pence's stab gave Lincecum the chance to go into the ninth and earn his no-hitter.
As no-hitters go, this one was both impressive and inconsistent. Lincecum struck out 13 batters and threw a whopping 148 pitches, but he also walked four batters and hit another.
In many ways, it was indicative of Lincecum's career, as he's shown the ability to completely dominate but also has struggled mightily at times. He's a two-time Cy Young winner but has regressed the past two seasons, and he was even demoted to the bullpen during the postseason last year.
The Giants will hope the no-hitter can shake them awake this season. They are currently in fourth place in the National League West, limping to a 43-50 start that has seen them drop 6.5 games behind the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.
They needed a wake-up call.
For Pence, his diving stab continued a solid run of play for the Giants since the club acquired him last season from the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the Giants, he's hit .248 with 21 home runs, 93 RBI, 81 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 152 games. He also became one of the emotional leaders of the team during its postseason run last year, helping spark the club to its second World Series title in three years.
Now, he can add preserving a no-hitter to his list of accomplishments with the Giants.