I predicted that Tyson Ross would throw a no-hitter…in 2014. Again in 2015. Friday night, a Tyson Ross that nearly left baseball and came back to the Padres nearly threw the first Padres no-hitter in history.
Great piece by AJ Cassavell outlining some Padres close calls on no-hitters, including a game in 2006 where Chris Young nearly got it done in the 9th. A game I was at. Not included in this list even was an Ian Kennedy gem I personally jinxed and an Odrisamer Despaigne game in 2014 where he got as close as Ross came – four outs left.
Four outs. Of course just last week 44 year old Bartolo Colon pitched into the 8th inning with a perfect game before losing it and Saturday night Oakland’s Sean Manea no-hit the hottest team in baseball the Boston Red Sox. So we know it isn’t easy, but…
The hardest part about Ross’ loss was that it was also a 1-0 game. He was lifted of course after throwing 127 pitches and the Padres did win – but Ross didn’t even get the win. The ball that was a hit should’ve been caught. Great breakdown on that here as StatCast gave it a 99% chance of being caught. Yet the Padres had slugger Franchy Cordero in center field not starting CF Manuel Margot on the DL and came back..Saturday. A day late for history?
After all, every no hitter needs a signature moment of defense, right? This one had it! Jose Pirela had this great grab early in the game.
In the end it wasn’t to be. Pinch hitter Christian Walker hit the ball over Cordero’s head with a runner on base and it ended the no-hitter and the shutout. Manager Andy Green had already come out to chat with Ross to make sure he was okay, so as he made his way back out to the mount Ross knew his time was over.
Speaking of Andy Green – some might criticize him for leaving Ross in anyway and for his defensive choice to have Cordero in center field. Cordero to his credit had earlier in the game slugged a 489 foot home run. In the end though we don’t know if someone else maybe would’ve made the catch and if Ross had been able to get the final outs needed to end the Padres no-hit drought. I think Green knew Ross was on thin ice but also knew what it would mean for this franchise to end the drought. I think it was the right choice and as recapped earlier, he was a little hamstrung on defensive replacements. Hunter Renfroe would NOT be an upgrade in center.
Even the Rays have a no-hitter. The Colorado Rockies even have one by Ubaldo Jimenez back in 2010. Not the Padres. Tim Lincecum has two no-hitters AGAINST the Padres for crying out loud!
For the Padres though, not all is bad. Ross is looking great, and another youngster Joey Lucchesi is off to a great start, going 2-0 so far with a 1.66 ERA and 25 K’s in his 21+ innings pitched.
History wasn’t made Friday for the Padres, but at some point, they too will join the no-hitter club.