Despite the best effort of right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, one holdout remains. The San Diego Padres still stand alone as the only active major league franchise without a no-hitter, thanks to Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets breaking up Despaigne's bid with four outs to go Sunday afternoon.
Despaigne's start was the deepest a single Padres went without allowing a hit since Chris Young allowed a two-out home run to Gabe Kapler in the eighth inning Sept. 7, 2008. The Padres have played 7,264 games, plus 34 more in the postseason, since coming into existence in 1969. Coincidentally, the Mets had been the only other active franchise without a no-no until Johan Santana pitched one against the Cardinals in June 2012. The Mets, born in '62, needed 8,020 games to score a no-hitter.
Despaigne, a 27-year-old Cuban defector who signed with the Padres in early May, was making his fifth career major league start. He was on his way to making history until Murphy lined a double into the gap on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the eighth. The Padres also lost a one-run lead when Murphy came around to score on a single by David Wright — who was the final batter Despaigne faced — but San Diego came back to win the game 2-1.
Despaigne allowed a run and two hits, lowering his ERA to 1.31. His pitch speeds varied from 65-93 mph, which certainly kept the Mets guessing. Manager Terry Collins said Despaigne's range of speed was a big reason his team couldn't get a sound read on him. At one point, New York slugger Bobby Abreu "playfully complained" to umpire Chris Guccione that Despaigne wasn't throwing his curveball with enough velocity.
''It was the highlight of the day,'' Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal said. ''He looked back at the umpire and said we were cheating, and the umpire started laughing.''
New York loaded the bases in the seventh on a hit batter and two walks with two outs, but Ruben Tejada grounded back to the mound and Despaigne escaped.
Tim Lincecum of the Giants, along with Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett of the Dodgers, have thrown no-hitters this season. Twenty-two no-no's have been thrown since the start of the 2010 season.
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