Andrew Cashner was 99% unhittable on Monday night, tossing a one-hit shutout for the San Diego Padres. He faced the minimum number of batters, and finished nine innings with 97 pitchers, 67 of them strikes.
Had one of those 97 pitches gone a different way, though, we'd be here right now talking about how Andrew Cashner finally gave the Padres the first no-hitter and perfect game in franchise history.
That one pitch — which Pittsburgh Pirates lead-off man Jose Tabata drilled into right field for a clean single in the seventh inning — was all that stood between Cashner and Padres history. Cashner, by the way, got Andrew McCutchen to ground into a double play two batters later, tidying up that little mess. Then continued to dominate in the eighth and ninth innings.
As Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown mentions in the video above, it's been 7,153 games for the Padres since they were born in 1969 and they still haven't thrown a no-no. In fact, they're the only team in MLB that hasn't tossed a no-hitter after the Mets got theirs last season. The Seattle Mariners, who came into the league eight years later, have four of them, and the Miami Marlins, who didn't begin until 1993, also have four.
The no no-hitter legacy is an interesting one, but more than that it's a frustrating one if you root for the Padres. Cashner's was the 27th one-hitter in Padres history, with 19 of those being complete-game one-hitters. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune breaks down some of the close calls over the years:
On Sept. 22, 2006, at Petco Park, Pirates pinch-hitter — and future Padre — Joe Randa hit a two-run home run with two out in the ninth against [Chris] Young. Young had two other no-hit bids end in the eighth.
On July 18, 1972, Philadelphia’s Denny Doyle singled off Steve Arlin with two out in the ninth.
A third Padres no-hit bid ended with two out in the ninth. That one, on July 9, 2011, at Dodger Stadium, included five pitchers – starter Aaron Harang (six innings), Josh Spence (one-third of an inning), Chad Qualls (two-thirds), Mike Adams (one) and Luke Gregerson. Gregerson got the first two outs in the ninth before Juan Uribe doubled.
Andy Ashby took a no-hitter into the ninth against Atlanta on Sept. 5, 1997. Kenny Lofton led off the ninth with a single.
Fifteen other Padres no-hit bids ended in the eighth inning.
The way he looked Monday night, Cashner — a converted reliever who seems to be finding his groove as a starter this season — might be the pitcher the Padres need to break the spell here in the coming years.