Of the three men reviewing notes on how the Giants should pitch to the Mets on Tuesday night, most baseball fans would recognize two. Buster Posey, the Giants catcher, is a former N.L. MVP, N.L. batting champion and three-time World Series winner. Dave Righetti, the Giants pitching coach, once threw a no-hitter for the Yankees, then became a two-time All-Star as a closer.
And Chris Heston? He was the 27-year-old rookie making his 13th career start and first ever in New York. By Wednesday morning it was his name that was featured in headlines and highlights across the country.
Heston threw the fifth no-hitter for the Giants since Righetti became pitching coach in 2000. It was also the third caught by Posey from three different pitchers in the past four seasons. (Posey played first base during a fourth no-hitter.)
"It was pretty much the same as any other start," Posey says. "Go over the lineup with Dave and try to come up with a good game plan. It's just about how [Chris'] executing. I thought he did a really nice job of giving the Mets' lineup a different look the entire game."
Heston's no-hitter was just his second complete game and sixth career win. Heston did not walk a batter, but allowed three Mets to reach base on a hit by pitch. His striking out the side in the ninth inning was the first in a no-hitter since Sandy Koufax in 1965.
Posey put his name among elite company as a catcher with three no-hitters. The all-time list includes Hall of Famers such as Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella. But since 1961, there have been just four: Posey, Alan Ashby, Jason Varitek and Carlos Ruiz. Varitek holds the MLB record with four, which he did in an eight-year span.
Posey is humble about the role of the catcher in a no-hitter. "I think it's about being on the same page as the pitcher," he says. "Our job as a catcher is to make sure the rhythm and tempo of the game stays smooth. We put down a suggestion that we feel is going to give the greatest chance for success, and I felt like I was able to do that last night."
Having the game's best all-around catcher and a talented pitching staff is a favorable combination for a team to be churning out no-hitters like it's nobody's business. Posey caught Matt Cain's 2012 perfect game -- the first in Giants history -- before catching Tim Lincecum's 2013 no-no. After playing first base for Lincecum's 2014 no-hitter, he was back behind the plate for Heston's outing Tuesday night. (If Posey is going to match Varitek in no-hitter, it helps that Madison Bumgarner, who leads the Giants with 54 wins since 2012, has yet to throw one, which means based on percentages, he is due.
"I think the similarities are all three of them had dominant stuff on the night they did it," Posey says. "I can remember Cain's game, his perfect game, [Gregor] Blanco made a great catch in the right center gap. For Tim's, Pence made a great catch in right field and then last night there wasn't a play that was made where you thought wow, if that wasn't made, it wouldn't have been a no-hitter. I think it was as dominant a performance as ever, even with three hit batsmen."
Posey says the three hit-by-pitches were a result of Heston's focus to work both sides of the plate. In the ninth inning, Heston's drilling of Anthony Recker provided the most direct hit.
"The first two really just barely glanced the guys," Posey says. "The last one was a little more solid. That's the way it goes sometimes."
Posey says he liked the way Heston handled the pressure down the stretch.
"I think what I was most impressed or happy with for Chris was just his poise as it got closer in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning," Posey says. "He really didn't change his demeanor. There were some nerves going through him. When you're able to execute in those situations, it's a special night."
Beyond Tuesday night, Posey has had many special nights as a special player. His consistent mix of player and team success has drawn comparisons to Derek Jeter. After Posey earned his third ring last October, even Joe Torre was making Jeter comparisons.
"My first is there will never be another Derek Jeter, but after that, it's a huge compliment," Posey says. " He's a guy that I think everybody from the last 20 years is a fan of. It's hard not to be a fan of Derek Jeter. A compliment like that is an honor."
Like Jeter, Posey has cleaned up titles at an early age. Only 28, Posey already has three rings, a batting title and an MVP Award. The face of Giants and one of the faces of baseball, Posey has accomplished more than…well…almost every baseball other than Jeter has accomplished.
With that said, he still finds motivation to set new goals.
"That's something that just goes back to winning. I like to win. I get satisfaction out of seeing my teammates succeed. Last year, we had a guy like Huddy [Tim Hudson] who'd been around for 16 years and hadn't won a championship. You draw motivation from that."
Of course, there is another team in the Bay Area currently fighting for a championship and that team needs some motivation. The Golden State Warriors boasted the NBA's best record this season and never faced an elimination game en route to the NBA Finals. However, the going has gotten tougher, as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers took a 2-1 lead in the series on Tuesday night. While one Bay Area team toasted its rookie pitcher, the basketball team saw its title hopes slip a bit.
Posey, who was born 353 days before 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry, has some wisdom for Steve Kerr's team.
"We've had our backs against the wall," he says of the Giants' playoff runs. "In 2012, specifically, we were down 0-2 to the Reds and we came back. We were down 3-1 to the Cardinals in the NLCS. You just really have to go out and play the game and have the belief you're going to win that night and then worry about the next day. I think if you can piece it together like that, you've got a nice shot."
— Buster Posey (@BusterPosey) June 10, 2015
Along with catching a no-hitter and rooting for the Warriors, Posey also has a new endeavor. The catcher, who collected baseball cards in his youth, was named the Topps 2015 Series 2 MLB Set official ambassador on Wednesday. The 28-year-old stud from Leesburg, Ga., is now the face of the pack for one of the most famous names in baseball cards.
The Topps set also includes a plethora of celebrity and jersey cards to go along with first-ever cards for rookies such as the Cubs' Kris Bryant and the Diamondbacks' Yasmany Tomas.
— Topps BUNT (@ToppsBUNT) June 10, 2015
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.