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Well — after 8,205 games the Padres finally have a no-hitter. Offseason acquisition Joe Musgrove threw that aforementioned no-hitter against the Rangers on Friday night.
Not only is this a monumental moment for the Padres, but Joe Musgrove went to Grossmont high school which is about 19 minutes from Petco Park. This is a Cinderella story and Musgrove has been everything and then some for the Padres since acquiring him over the offseason.
Now that I broke down the important details surrounding the no-hitter, let’s discuss the actual no hitter itself. Musgrove struck out 10 Rangers and came a hit-by-pitch to Joey Gallo away from a perfect game. Musgrove threw only eight four-seam fastballs all game, and his main two weapons were his slider and curveball. These were his numbers on those two pitches.
|Pitch Type||# of pitches||Whiffs||CS (Called strikes)||CS+Whiffs|
Musgrove established himself as an ace with Pittsburgh after he increased his slider usage and decreased his fastball usage. From 2019 to 2020, his slider usage went from 22.1% to 24.2% and his fastball usage went from 37.6% to 26.9%. That slider was the key to this no-hitter and his ability to mix speeds is what got most of his strikeouts. His max velocity was 94.7 MPH and his minimum velocity was 80.1 MPH. Think about that for a second, that’s about a 14 mph difference. That shows how good Musgrove’s stuff was in this no-hitter. One of the biggest successors from the no-hitter was the use of his cutter. He threw 28 cutters and had five whiffs and three called strikes. What’s interesting about the cutter is Musgrove has started using this pitch more with the Padres. As he would regularly throw his cutter less than 10% of the time with the Pirates, he’s up to about 24% usage in 2021. Insane right?
There’s other stats about this no-hitter that I didn’t even cover in great detail. An example, Musgrove used six pitches: a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, slider, cutter, and changeup. The highest exit velocity he gave up was 108.7 MPH, which was a lineout by Rangers first baseman Nate Lowe. However the average exit velocity was only 91.3 MPH. He did all this after drinking about a dozen water bottles and needing to take a piss since the fourth or fifth inning — that’s very impressive.
Padres fans, you’ve waited 53 years to hear these words. The Padres finally have a no-hitter, and while it may not be from the two top of the rotation arms in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish; nothing is better than seeing a local kid get the spotlight and pitching the first ever no-hitter in Padres history. Congrats to all Padres fans and Joe Musgrove himself. 2021 is already shaping up to be an exciting season for the Padres and their fans.