This new MLB season is only a little over a week old and has already struck a huge milestone: The first no-hitter of the season, being thrown by San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove.
Musgrove’s game marks the first no-hitter in Padres franchise history. From the time the Padres became a team 52 years ago, there had been 144 no-hitters thrown by the other 29 organizations (that is, up until Friday night). They had gone 8,205 games without a no no which is the second longest streak in MLB history next to the Philadelphia Phillies from 1906-64 — which spanned 8,944 games.
An even crazier thing about Friday night’s performance is that Musgrove is originally from the San Diego area and was just in his second career start for his hometown Padres. He had spent the first five years of his career with the Astros and Pirates. He just became a Padre this past offseason via trade from the Pirates.
Against a very dangerous Rangers lineup Friday, Musgrove allowed just one baserunner when he hit Joey Gallo in the fourth. It’s crazy to think that he was just one misplaced cutter from a potential perfect game. It reminds me of Max Scherzer’s first no-hitter against the Pirates in 2015 when he got 26 outs before a batter was hit by a pitch.
In a game where it seemed everything was working for Musgrove, he threw 112 pitches with 77 of those going for strikes. He racked up 10 K’s including giving the Rangers two-hole Anderson Tejeda a hat trick. In the ninth, he threw a mere nine pitches and out of those nine only one non-offspeed pitch.
It would also be a tremendous travesty to talk about Friday’s game without celebrating the man doing the dirty work behind the plate, Victor Caratini. He was a monster back there Friday and called an amazing game! Fun fact: Caratini has now caught the last two no no’s in the MLB as he caught Alec Mills with the Cubs last season.
After the game, and the celebration on the field, Musgrove probably thought something along the lines of “There was no way I was coming out of that game.” He fought like the dog that he is and completed a goal every pitcher one day dreams of accomplishing by throwing the league’s first no-hitter of the season