The Rangers were no-hit last night. It was wonderful.
Nobody wants to be no-hit. No fan wants to see their team no-hit. It’s embarrassing. But sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other guy and say, wow. And last night, Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove was nearly perfect, except for one pitch that was about a half-inch off perfect that hit Joey Gallo.
Yes, the Rangers lost. But the real winner last night was common sense. The Padres didn’t lose their mind and rob Joe Musgrove of immortality by pulling him when his pitch count got higher than the manager’s IQ.
They thought about it, though. The trigger finger was itching. In the seventh inning, when Musgrove had reached—gasp—75 pitches, San Diego had reliever Tim Hill warming up in the bullpen.
But something overcame Padres manager Jayce Tingler. Something rare these days in baseball. It was that something called common sense.
In fact, this was two nights in a row a major league pitcher threw a complete game. Ex-Ranger Lance Lynn shut out the Royals the night before. That wasn’t a surprise for two reasons. Lance Lynn. And his manager, Tony LaRussa, the only manager who truly understands the game unfolding on the field can tell you more than any analytics department can.
Today, Joe Musgrove is the talk of baseball. He is a hero to kids all over San Diego. His name is permanently etched in immortality. And he is filled with a kind of pride and sense of accomplishment few pitchers in the history of baseball have ever felt.
Had they taken him out of that game, and had the bullpen still held the Rangers to no hits, there wouldn’t be the glow of a no-hitter emanating around Joe Musgrove and around baseball. A combined no-hitter is like the entire office pitching in to buy you that $10 Starbucks card. Nice, but who cares?
There was joy on the field. There was joy in San Diego, which had been the only team in baseball that hadn’t had a no-hitter. In what can’t be any more perfect, they saw it pitched by a kid from San Diego.
Congratulations to Joe Musgrove. Even more, congratulations to baseball.
Baseball won last night. Common sense prevailed. Joe Musgrove no-hit the Rangers. He is on cloud nine. And cloud nine, as far as no-hitters go, has an occupancy limit of 1.