“Padres–So Close-Yet So Far Away”
If there ever was a perfect night for it to happen, it was Wednesday night.
Padres-vs-Marlins in Miami. You know the Marlins, a former World Series team, which has conducted as many fire sales in its history as the sad past owners had done in San Diego.
You know the Marlins, the team that dealt away the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Chrisitan Yelich, Dee Gordon and a host of so many other players over the years.
A Miami franchise that is dead last in attendance, in a brand new stadium.
If ever a team was lined up to be no hit, it was the Marlins and it would have been with Chris Paddock on the mound.
Not to be. The firebrand Texas rookie right-hander carried a no hitter into the 8th inning, dominating the lowly Marlins with 95mph fastballs, curves, changeups and pinpoint control. He threw so many first pitch strikes to hitters, I lost count.
To do it, a no-no, you need a little help from your friends.
Eric Hosmer preserved the no hitter in the 7th knocking down a scorching liner, and tagging the runner in a bang-bang play at first base. Manny Margot flagged down a long fly ball at the wall in the 7th. And Hunter Renfroe ran and ran to the right field foul line to catch one, to keep the no hitter intact.
Paddock looked possessed on the mound. No one spoke to him in the dugout between innings. He was robotic in his dominance of the Marlins batting order, until Starlin Castro led off the 8th inning with a bomb to left center for a homer to break up the no-hitter.
The Padres are the only major league team in baseball, yet to throw a no hitter in its 50-year history. Think of that.
Not Randy Jones, nor Kevin Brown, nor any other Padres arm has thrown one. Mike Fiers, a journeyman pitcher, has thrown two in his spotty career with the Oakland A’s. The Padres none.
Oh they have been close. The Padres history shows 21-times they have had pitchers take a no hitter into the 8th inning.
History will remind us that Clay Kirby had a no hitter in 1970-but was pulled by Manager Preston Gomez. Reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a hit in the 9th to the Mets.
Journeyman Aaron Harang and a cadre of relievers had a no hitter into the 9th inning against the Dodgers, but wound up losing the game despite 8.2-innings of great pitching.
Steve Arlin went 8.2-innings of no hit ball before it got away from him in a 1972-game against the Phillies.
Andy Ashby threw 8-no hit innings against Atlanta.
Chris Young had two no hitters into the 8th with the Padres
Jordan Lyles had a perfect game into the 8th a year ago against Colorado.
Randy Jones threw a 1-hitter against the Reds in 1975.
Andy Benes had no hitters twice into the 8th in his San Diego starts.
Paddock was brilliant, though disappointed he couldn’t finish what he started.
I also wondered, considering he has been on a pitchi count, if Andy Green would leave him to pitch in the 9th, or would Green go ‘Preston Gomez’ to protect the rookie right-handers arm.
There will be a no hitter sometime in the future for a San Diego starter. Paddock might well be the guy to throw it.
But not on this night in Miami.
Padres and no-hitters, so close but yet so far away.