I still can’t believe it happened. Since the franchise’s inception back in 1969 – span of more than half a century – no San Diego Padres pitcher had thrown a no-hitter. No one, that is, until Joe Musgrove made history on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
You couldn’t have written a better storyline. Musgrove, whom the team traded for this offseason, grew up in the San Diego area and, as a young aspiring ballplayer, idolized longtime Padres hurler Jake Peavy. He even chose to wear number 44 this season to pay homage to the right-hander. Now, just two starts into his Padres career, Musgrove has done something that no other pitcher in franchise history had ever managed to do.
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On 30 separate occasions, San Diego notched one-hitters, but on Friday, Musgrove finally got the team over the hump – and now, all 30 big league clubs have a no-no to their credit. Coming off a winter where AJ Preller brought in high-profile pitchers like Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, Musgrove was widely perceived as a solid addition to the middle of the rotation.
Padres: Joe Musgrove looks like a true ace
But after this, expectations for the 28-year-old have grown exponentially. He’s looked like he belongs in the same conversation as his rotation mates – potentially giving the team a lethal three-headed monster atop the staff this season.
Through his first two outings, Musgrove has not allowed a run. He’s struck out 18 over 15 innings of work, posted a 0.200 WHIP and 0.97 FIP. Oh, and for good measure, he hasn’t walked a batter yet this year, either. The only blemish in Friday’s performance was a Joey Gallo hit by pitch in the fourth. But no one will remember that.
What we’ll remember is watching Victor Caratini leaping into Musgrove’s arms in front of the mound at Globe Life Park. We’ll remember where we watched the game, who we were with and the feelings of overwhelming joy, excitement and relief – that finally we bore witness to baseball history on Joe Musgrove’s special night.