Joe Musgrove throws first no-hitter in Padres history; franchise’s wait lasted more than 8,000 games
Joe Musgrove ended one of baseball’s most famous droughts Friday night as he hurled the first no-hitter in Padres franchise history.
The right-hander blanked the Rangers 3-0 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Musgrove faced just one batter over the minimum (he hit Joey Gallo with a pitch in the fourth inning) and leaned on a sharp breaking ball to rack up 10 strikeouts.
“The slider was the pitch that I felt I could put wherever I wanted today,” he said in a postgame interview with Bally Sports San Diego.
It appeared for a second late in the game that the drought might continue. Rangers catcher Jose Trevino lined sharply to right field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Padres right fielder Wil Myers raced in and snagged the drive to end the frame.
Musgrove completed the historic no-no — and the first of the 2021 MLB season — three outs later with his 112th pitch of the night. He got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground out to shortstop Ha-Seong Kim. It was the first complete game of Musgrove’s career.
San Diego began play as a National League expansion club in 1969. The no-hitter came in the franchise’s 8,206th game. The Padres became the lone big league team without a no-hitter when the Mets ended their drought in 2012 courtesy of Johan Santana.
The 28-year-old Musgrove, a native of nearby El Cajon, Calif., was making just his second start for the Padres after being acquired by the club in an offseason trade with the Pirates.
He said in the postgame interview with Bally Sports that it was his first no-hitter ever.
“It’s awesome to be able to have it be in a Padres uniform, and for it to be the first one for the franchise, I thought that’s incredible,” he said.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler had relievers warming behind Musgrove in the final three innings in case there was a need, but Musgrove made the decision to ride with him easier by keeping his pitch count down.
“He was just so freaking efficient,” Tingler told reporters.
The last no-hitter in the majors before Musgrove’s was Alec Mills’ gem for the Cubs vs. the Brewers in Milwaukee on Sept. 13, 2020. Mills’ catcher that day was Victor Caratini, who also was behind the plate for Musgrove’s no-no. Caratini came over to the Padres with Yu Darvish last December in one of several big offseason trades made by San Diego team president A.J. Preller.
Musgove was quick to respond, “Vic was working” when he was asked what was working for him in the game. Musgrove mentioned Caratini’s ability to work with Darvish’s wide array of pitches.
“I think the last three innings I don’t think I threw a single fastball. I think we were just emptying the tank with sliders and curveballs, a couple cutters to get quick one-pitch outs. But Vic just did an incredible job of knowing — it seemed like he knew when they were swinging first pitch and he knew when they were taking,” Musgrove said.
“Victor’s just so reliable back there,” Tingler said. “You start to get to the point you don’t really want to talk to Joe too much, so we’re kind of doing some communication with Victor and (Caratini was saying) ‘He’s good, he’s good, the stuff’s still good, keep going.’ So he was kind of our third party there late in the game.”
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