San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove didn’t sleep well on Thursday night. When he woke up Friday morning, his body felt tight. As he navigated throughout his typical pre-start routine later in the day, he was clearly off.
However he could not do anything about it.
He’d to allow any strikes.
“This was the one thing that I didn’t want to split, the superstition of it,” Musgrove said. “I did not need to need to go use the restroom in the midst of a start.”
Musgrove somehow held it and hauled off the Texas Rangers from the procedure. The Padres entered Friday since the only team from the majors never to capture a no-hitter, but Musgrove snapped the streak at 8,206 regular-season games by allowing just one baserunner — on a hit by pitch in the fourth — and striking out 10 batters over nine innings.
“I think that a no-hitter is special no matter where you’re playing,” Musgrove said,”but it seems as if this was intended to be.”
He started the bottom of the ninth with 103 pitches, a regarding pitch count awarded the heightened caution managers are expressing with their pitchers coming from a shortened season. However, Musgrove was hell-bent on continuing to pitch.
“I was only so locked in,” he added. “I had no intentions of coming from that game.”
Six Months after, he made history.
At shortstop. Padres catcher Victor Caratini, that captured the most recent no-hitter when Alec Mills did it for its Chicago Cubs on Sept. 13, 2020, sprinted into the mound to an emphatic hug before the remainder of the group formed a dogpile.
“It seems really incredible,” said Musgrove, who had never pitched a no-hitter at any level. “The city of San Diego has shown me much love, even before I came to the Padres. Only a San Diego child that made it to the big leagues, so it feels much better to get it done at a Padres uniform and selfishly be able to do it for my city and be aware that the kid from Grossmont High threw the initial no-hitter.”
Musgrove threw 77 of the career-high 112 pitches for strikes and depended largely on breaking balls. He knew he hadn’t given up any strikes by the time he finished the sixth inning, but he thought his pitch count was high for him to have any chance of finishing the game. When he noticed it was only at 67, he recognized he had a shot. From there on, Musgrove ditched his fastball completely. He relied heavily on his curveball and slider, the latter of which was particularly powerful, and sprinkled at the occasional cutter to create workouts.
Musgrove’s back still felt tight throughout his pregame warm-up in the bullpen, and he felt as if he had been pulling off pitches in the first innings. Two-thirds of how through the match, his delivery still felt inconsistent, prompting a slight adjustment.
“I was just kind of prepared my way through those at-bats,” Musgrove said. “A great deal of trust in Vic, and then only will.”
Padres manager Jayce Tingler allow Musgrove go the distance since he was so efficient — and understanding what it would mean to have a hometown player end the franchise’s no-hitter drought in its 53rd season.
“I believe in a way that makes itif it could be any sweeter, any more specific for him, to do it rising up in San Diego and this being his group, it’s about the ideal story written,” Tingler said.
Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman — who pitched more than 15 years for the franchise — tweeted that his congratulations to Musgrove.
Musgrove was a comparatively unheralded acquisition from the Pittsburgh Pirates within the offseason, but that was only because the Padres additionally included Yu Darvish and Blake Snell into the rotation. Musgrove — acquired in a three-team, seven-player trade on Jan. 19 — attracted similar promise to the Padres’ hopes of dethroning the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. He dealt with ankle and triceps injuries last year, but he published a 2.16 ERA with 38 strikeouts and five walks in 25 innings over his past five starts.
Two starts to his Padres profession, Musgrove has pitched 15 scoreless innings, striking out 18 batters while scattering just three hits and issuing zero walks.
He’s the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first or next beginning with a group because Clay Buchholz did so in his next start for its Boston Red Sox on Sept. 1, 2007, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Musgrove is the eighth pitcher in the modern era to do it.
Friday declared his first time completing nine innings in the significant leagues, which was illustrated by one of his signature superstitions. Musgrove lines two pieces of gum on his towel before each start. He chews one of these every half-inning to keep his mind occupied, then spits it out onto the towel and catches the other.
“I try not to examine the scoreboard as much as I could, so I kind of indicate my innings by the tiny heap of bubble gum that I spit out,” Musgrove said. “Tonight’s the first night that I got to chew all nine bits .”