Soon after his promotion to the Cardinals rotation in June 2001, Smith's short career arc reached its acme when he no-hit the San Diego Padres on September 3. With a fastball that barely reached 90 MPH, he depended on laser-like accuracy and above-average curves and changeups to outwit opposing hitters. Major-league pundits were stunned at the rookie's masterwork, but Smith was no stranger to near-perfection, having spun one no-hitter in high school and two more in Double-A. He pitched well all season, stringing together ten quality starts of five innings or more against only two three-inning disasters.
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