The San Diego Padres, as many are aware, are the only team in Major League Baseball without a no-hitter. For 8,070 games, no Padres starter has gone the distance to earn that elusive no-hitter.
Chris Paddack came close to earning that no-hitter today. Pitching against the very team that traded him on June 30, 2016, Paddack was electric against the Miami Marlins. The right-hander was a man on a mission tonight, striking out eight Marlins while shutting the Fish out throughout seven innings. Padres fans everywhere held their breath as “The Sherriff” pitched a masterpiece on the mound.
Until Starlin Castro strode up in the to the plate in the seventh inning and lined a 1-0 fastball over the left-field fence for a solo home run, shattering Paddack’s chance of twirling the first no-hitter in San Diego history. Another tick mark has been added to the infamous streak, which is now 8,071 games strong.
The Padres offense, after being stymied by Jordan Yamamoto yesterday, consistently chipped away at Marlin’s starter Trevor Richards at the plate. After getting runners on base in each of the first three innings, San Diego finally broke through in the fourth inning. With two outs, Manuel Margot kept the inning alive with a ringing double to right field and came around to score on Greg Garcia’s RBI single to center field. Stepping up to the plate after Garcia was Austin Hedges, who had just missed a home run earlier in the game, wasn’t fooled on a first-pitch fastball and walloped it into center field for a two-run homer, his first round-tripper since May 25th.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) July 18, 2019
The three-run cushion was all Paddack needed. Even after losing a potential perfect game in the sixth inning after Fernando Tatis Jr.’s throwing error, Paddack was still calm and cool on the mound. Paddack’s fastball was dotting the strike zone, the changeup was fetching whiffs, and even the curveball looked good today. After being pulled in the eighth, Craig Stammen got the final out to bridge the ball to Kirby Yates.
What should have been a smooth ninth turned out to be a tension-filled struggle to get three outs. Two throwing errors from Tatis and Garcia put runners on base and, after Yates got Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson to strike out looking, Castro hit a fly ball that dropped into the no-man’s land between right field and first base. However, Yates buckled down to strike out Curtis Granderson on a (questionable) pitch up in the strike zone to secure the win.
The four-game win streak is finally snapped, but three San Diego errors almost pushed that losing streak to five games. Nevertheless, the Padres will send Dinelson Lamet out to the mound tomorrow to try and take the series win on enemy soil.