Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 9/3)

Game 1: Monday, September 3
St. Louis 4Final
San Diego 0
Game 2: Tuesday, September 4
St. Louis 6Final
San Diego 1
Game 3: Wednesday, September 5
St. Louis 2Final
San Diego 0

Cardinals 4

(74-63, 29-38 away)

Padres 0

(69-69, 32-38 home)

9:05 PM ET, September 3, 2001

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

R H E
STL - -
SD - -

W: B. Smith (4-2)

L: B. Jones (8-17)

Rookie Smith pitches improbable no-hitter

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Bud Smith sat in the St. Louis dugout and talked hitting with Mark McGwire.

Bud Smith

Bud Smith and pitching coach Dave Duncan embrace after Smith pitched St. Louis' first no-hitter since '99 and the majors' third this year.

Nothing unusual about that. Except Smith, a 21-year-old rookie, was three outs away from a no-hitter.

"We've got no room down there because of the September callups," Smith said. "So I was sitting next to Big Mac talking about hitting so it would take my mind off the no-hitter."

Ignoring baseball superstition, Smith became the 16th rookie in modern history and the 18th since 1900 to throw a no-hitter, beating San Diego 4-0 in the second unlikely no-no against the Padres this season.

Although he admitted that he was nervous, Smith looked as poised as a veteran.

"I was shaking out there knowing that I was going for a no-hitter. I was going on adrenaline," Smith said.

Smith was in the right place for an unexpected no-hitter. His mother, stepfather and 14 other immediate family members were at the game, plus 10 high school buddies.

"I started thinking about the no-hitter about the sixth or seventh inning," Smith said. "I knew I had the stuff to do it."

Cardinals no-hitters
1876: George Bradley, vs. Hartford, 2-0
1924: Jessie Haines, vs. Boston, 5-0
1934: Paul Dean, vs. Brooklyn, 3-0
1941: Lon Warneke, vs. Cincinnati, 2-0
1968: Ray Washburn, vs. San Fran., 2-0
1971: Bob Gibson, vs. Pittsburgh, 11-0
1978: Bob Forsch, vs. Philadelphia, 5-0
1983: Bob Forsch, vs. Montreal, 3-0
1999: Jose Jimenez, at Arizona, 1-0
2001: Bud Smith, at San Diego, 4-0

Smith, making his 11th career start, became the first rookie to throw a no-hitter since the Cardinals' Jose Jimenez did it in a 1-0 win against Arizona on June 25, 1999.

He ended it by fielding Phil Nevin's hard comebacker, pumping his fist and running halfway to first base before flipping to Albert Pujols for the final out.

"I threw him a changeup and he hit it right to me, but I didn't know I had the ball. When I felt it in my glove, I wanted to run it over to first base before I threw it to make sure it would get there."

Smith and Pujols hugged, then the pitcher was mobbed by the rest of his teammates.

This was the first time Smith pitched beyond the seventh inning. He walked four -- including all-time walks leader Rickey Henderson twice -- and struck out seven.

The Padres are the first team since the 1996 Colorado Rockies to be no-hit twice in one season. Florida's A.J. Burnett walked a record nine batters in his 3-0 no-hitter in San Diego on May 12.

Smith relies on location with his fastball and curve, and his fastball topped out at about 86 mph. He seemed to tire in the ninth, going to three-ball counts twice, but continued to keep the Padres hitless.

After his conversation with McGwire -- an unusual occurrence when a pitcher is flirting with a no-hitter -- Smith retired Henderson to open the ninth.

Smith then walked D'Angelo Jimenez, before shortstop Edgar Renteria made a nice backhand pickup on Ryan Klesko's grounder for the second out. Smith completed the job on a 2-1 pitch to Nevin.

Smith, who threw two seven-inning no-hitters in the minors last season, did it in the majors one night after the New York Yankees' Mike Mussina fell one strike shy of pitching a perfect game against Boston.

It was St. Louis' ninth no-hitter. The Padres still don't have a no-hitter since they started play in 1969.

Not even eight-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn could hit Smith. Gwynn, reduced to pinch-hitting in his 20th and final season because of bad knees, grounded out to shortstop for the second out in the eighth.

Smith was asked when he got nervous.

"When they sent up Mr. Gwynn. He's the only guy I didn't go over the scouting report for because I didn't think I would face him," he said. "I just threw it down the middle to see what he would do with it.

When Gwynn came to the plate, catcher Eli Marrero thought: "Here goes the no-hitter. He had the crowd behind him. He hit it good, but Edgar was in the right spot."

The Padres twice came close to getting a hit. Jimenez hit a line drive to Renteria to end the third, and Bubba Trammell hit a fly ball to the warning track in left-center for the second out in the seventh.

"This is special. I feel great right now," Smith said.

Smith was hammered last week in a start against the Padres, allowing seven runs -- five earned -- and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. But he was unhittable in the rematch.

"You have to give him credit," Klesko said. "We beat up on him pretty good last time, and he came in and did this."

Smith threw the third no-hitter this season, joining Boston's Hideo Nomo, who did it on April 4 against Baltimore, and Burnett.

Exactly two weeks after Burnett's no-hitter, Arizona's Curt Schilling took a perfect game into the eighth before San Diego's Ben Davis sparked a controversy when he bunted for a single with one out in the eighth.

On July 19, Randy Johnson held the Padres hitless for 7 2/3 innings before Wiki Gonzalez hit an opposite-field single to right.

On Sunday, Johnson held the Padres without a hit until Nevin singled with two outs in the sixth.

Bobby Jones (8-17) became the first 17-game loser in the majors this season, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He is three losses short of becoming the majors' first 20-game loser since Brian Kingman of Oakland in 1980.

Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Placido Polanco went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and scored once for San Diego.

Game notes
Smith was 0-2 in his previous six starts since beating the Chicago Cubs on July 26. ... Jones was also knocked out early when he faced Smith last Wednesday. He gave up nine runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings. ... Florida's Al Leiter and Nomo for Los Angeles pitched the no-hitters against Colorado in 1996.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES