Monday, June 16, 2003 | 10:13 a.m.
It's a feat that had been accomplished only twice at Cashman Field before Friday night.
But 51s pitcher Lindsay Gulin joined current Giants closer Tim Worrell as the only two pitchers to throw nine no-hit innings in Cashman Field's 20 seasons. Calgary's Erik Hanson no-hit Las Vegas in a 1988 seven-inning game.
Gulin, a native of the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Wash., allowed just four walks against the Mariners' top farm club, the Tacoma Rainiers. The final two outs were recorded with a man on, when first baseman Larry Barnes caught a line-drive and tagged the bag for a game-ending double play.
"I felt sharp, and (catcher) Koyie (Hill) was doing a great job of keeping guys off balance with my pitches," said Gulin, who improved to 7-4. "In the ninth inning, we got the first guy, and at that point I didn't want to give anybody too good of a pitch to hit. We walked a guy, and the next guy hit that bullet to Barnes. I felt like my heart skipped a beat, but then it was over."
Gulin was surrounded by his teammates, but not before allowing himself a moment to grasp what had just happened.
"It was probably the most amazing feeling I've ever had playing baseball. You put your heart and soul in a good game, and then for nine innings throw a no-hitter. My teammates were out there going nuts with me, I was somewhat emotionally drained and physically drained. It's like the biggest relief and the biggest thrill you could ever think of."
Manager John Shoemaker said he didn't even realize Gulin was in no-hit territory until the sixth inning, when he looked up at the scoreboard and realized Tacoma had zeros across the board.
"The thing that sticks out in my mind was that there were people here clapping on every stretch," said Shoemaker of the announced crowd of 7,288. "It gave you a sense of a lot of excitement. Just watching those two outs be recorded on the double play, and seeing Lindsay's reaction, he was really excited and happy."
Gulin said that it's his pregame ritual to have tacos with his wife. Maybe there was something special in the tacos?
"They must have been extra special tacos," he said. "When I was down in the bullpen warming up, I felt real sharp. I felt confident."
After the game, word spread fast, as friends and family called and congratulated him. So did Dodgers GM Dan Evans, who according to Gulin, talked with him about his career and the game of baseball in general.
Aside from seeing that throwing a no-hitter attracts everyone's attention, Gulin said he learned some things about his game Friday night.
"I think I can be effective. I had a good change-up. I think pitching with confidence and being aggressive, you can learn from that. You step up there and you know you're going to get the results that you want."