Joe Musgrove made a really good first impression with the Padres last Saturday, tossing six innings of three-hit ball with eight strikeouts and no walks in his debut with his hometown club after coming over from the Pirates in a three-team trade in January.
For an encore, the 28-year-old from El Cajon went out and made history.
Friday night in Texas, Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history, 8,204 games into their existence. That’s just a little over a season more than it took the Mets to get their first no-no, when Johan Santana did it in 2012. According to nonohitters.com, a website formerly devoted to tracking the Mets’ quixotic quest for a gem, the longest no-hit drought in history still belongs to the Phillies, who went 8,945 games between no-hitters from 1906 to 1964.
The longest drought in the majors now belongs to Cleveland, which is coming up on 40 years since Len Barker’s perfect game against the Blue Jays at Cleveland Stadium.
But what about a streak? Victor Caratini, who was behind the plate for the Padres on Friday, also caught the last no-hitter in the majors, when Alec Mills of the Cubs blanked the Brewers last September in Milwaukee. Caratini is the first catcher to be behind the plate for back-to-back no-hitters in the majors since Ryan Hanigan of the Reds caught Homer Bailey’s no-nos in 2012 and 2013. Nobody’s ever done the trick of splitting consecutive major league no-hitters playing for different teams.
Now that the Padres finally have their no-hitter, the world’s focus can shift to the Miami Marlins, who have never had a player hit for the cycle. The Marlins also are one of three teams that has never won their current division, along with the Rockies, and the Pirates, whose last division titles came in the National League East in 1992.
Part of the problem for the Pirates might be trading away pitchers like Musgrove, whom they got when they traded Gerrit Cole, whom they got with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft. That’s not to mention Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow, J.A. Happ, Jameson Taillon, and Trevor Williams — maybe it’s not such a mystery why Pittsburgh has never won the Central… and also don’t have a no-hitter this century, with their drought going back to 1997, when Francisco Córdova and Ricardo Rincón combined for a 10-inning no-no against the then-Central rival Astros.
Musgrove was just four years old.