Musgrove Makes History with No-No

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Jorge Montanez
·11 min read
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What an incredible night for Joe Musgrove and the Padres as he pitched the organization's first no-hitter in the team's 8,206 game history. Musgrove, whose hometown of El Cajon is just 15 miles from San Diego, grew up a Padres fan. You really couldn't script it any better than that.

Musgrove was on point with everything throughout the entire game. The one mistake -- a hit batter in the fourth inning -- would be the only difference between the no-no and a perfect game. The 28-year-old San Diego native struck out ten batters -- five swinging -- and did not allow a free base on balls. What might be most impressive is how Musgrove did it.

On a night where his average pitch velocity was 86.3 MPH, Musgrove did what many who follow baseball have been asking of him for years, to get away from the fastball. He did just that by featuring a mix of his slider (30 percent), cutter (25 percent), and curveball (25 percent). Altogether, he induced 15 whiffs and finished with an excellent 35 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) as 77-of-112 pitches went for strikes.

Musgrove has been a sleeper within the fantasy baseball industry for what seems like years now. It's been the same story every draft season. Look at the numbers on his secondary pitches. He only needs to go to them more -- the slider and curveball -- with career 17.4 and 16.2 percent swinging-strike rates, respectively. Well, he finally did it, and the result was historical.

The Elephant in the Room

The first week of baseball has come and gone. And while having a full season after the 60 games we got last year is incredible, this week has shown us the COVID-19 is still very much a factor. The Washington Nationals had a team outbreak, postponing the start of their season along with the Mets. On Friday, Teoscar Hernandez was placed on the COVID-19 injured list due to exposure to a positive test. His teammate, Lourdes Gurriel, was removed from the game with vaccine-related symptoms. Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela was also placed on the COVID-19 injured list due to similar symptoms, though he could be activated quickly. This could very well be a recurring situation around the league as more and more players get vaccinated.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Johnny Cueto -- 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 SO against Colorado

It was vintage Cueto on the mound on Friday, shimmying his way to nearly a complete-game shutout against the Rockies in San Francisco. The 35-year-old right-hander held Colorado scoreless until the ninth inning. Chris Owings led the inning off with a triple, and he'd come in to score on a Garrett Hampson sacrifice fly. This was his second game with seven strikeouts to start the season. Cueto might just have a bit left in the tank and could be good for streaming at home in matchups such as these.

Walker Buehler -- 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 SO against Washington

Buehler scattered six hits but was able to keep the Nationals in check over six scoreless innings on Friday. The 26-year-old hurler displayed impeccable control that will consistently limit the damage done against him with no walks as 66-of-90 pitches went for strikes. Buehler has gone almost exclusively to the fastball through his first two starts, so expect the strikeouts to rise as he continues to settle in with the secondaries. His curveball, for example, has six whiffs on 13 swings. The strikeouts will come.

Zach Plesac -- 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 SO against Detroit

Plesac held the Tigers scoreless in his second meeting against them after allowing two runs over six innings the first time around. The 26-year-old right-hander had success in 2020 behind excellent control and bat-missing secondaries. Plesac showed off those skills on Friday, throwing 70-of-97 pitches for strikes and inducing 18 whiffs on the day, seven on the slider. It might be time to buy from the doubters if they haven't bought in yet.

Charlie Morton -- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO against Philadelphia

Morton rebounded from a rough first outing with six strong innings against the Phillies in Atlanta on Friday. The 37-year-old veteran hurler was efficient on the day, needing only 83 pitches to post the quality start. Morton's velocity was up to 94.3 MPH, nearly a full tick above his 2020 average. As long as he remains healthy, Morton should provide value for those that drafted him with an average pick of 112.7 in Yahoo leagues.

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Hitters with an EDGE

Franmil Reyes -- 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI against Detroit

The Franimal was unleashed on the Tigers on Friday as he crushed two home runs to score three of the team's four runs on the day. His second blast left the bat at 111.5 MPH and traveled 446 feet. The 25-year-old power-hitter added a 112.2 MPH single to bring his average up to .304 after the big day at the plate. Reyes has more than enough power to league the league in home runs.

Shohei Ohtani -- 2-for-5, 1 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI against Toronto

Ohtani has been phenomenal at the plate, slashing .300/.344/.700 in the early going. He had another big day, driving in four of the team's seven runs on Friday. His homer off of T.J. Zeuch in the fifth inning traveled 422 feet to left-center. Ohtani already has five barrels on 17 batted ball events, trailing only the invincible Nelson Cruz. At this point, whether he's pitching or not, there's no way you can leave the 26-year-old two-way player out of your lineups.

Justin Turner -- 3-for-3, 1 R, HR, 1 RBI against Washington

Turner collected three of the team's four hits on the day and provided all the run support Walker Buehler and the pitching staff would need with a home run in the sixth inning off of Luis Avilan. Turner is now batting .414 in the early going and is turning out to be one of draft season's best values with an average pick of 185.1 in Yahoo leagues. The 36-year-old is showing he has plenty left in the tank.

Ronald Acuña Jr -- 4-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI against Philadelphia

Acuna had himself a huge day at the plate that started with a double in the third inning followed by a 456-foot blast in the fifth to put Atlanta on the board. He'd add another double and a single to cap off his day. When Acuna is on, he's on. Days like this are just an absolute blast to watch from one of the game's best young sluggers.

Priority Pickup

Ty France -- Available in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues

Ty France needs to be added in every league, like right now. The 26-year-old infielder is slashing a terrific .346/.452/.538 and has started every game while hitting second in the order. France and Mariners had the day off Friday, but they'll return to action Saturday in Minnesota against the Twins. While a .533 BABIP and 32.3% strikeout rate say he won't sustain this early success -- at least not to this degree -- he'll be a good bet to keep it going with four games in Camden Yards as the Mariners travel Baltimore this week.

Closing Time

Jake McGee needed only three pitches to end Friday's game with a strikeout after Johnny Cueto went 8 2/3. The 34-year-old nailed down his third save of the season for San Francisco. It appears he's fully earned Gabe Kapler's trust as the go-to man in the ninth inning.

With Kenley Jansen unavailable, Corey Knebel secured his second save of the for the Dodgers on Friday. Manager Dave Roberts did not want to put Jansen in a position where he would have pitched three out of four games. It'll be part of his load management throughout the season, so don't break the FAAB bank or use that priority waiver claim on Knebel just yet.

Emmanuel Clase locked down his first save of the season for Cleveland on Friday. Tigers hitters just could not catch up to the 100.5 MPH heater. The 23-year-old flamethrower has been downright filthy with five strikeouts and no walks or hits allowed over three innings. Now this one you'll want to rush to the waiver wire for. It seems Clase might have just earned a chance to establish himself as the one to go to in the ninth inning with the dominant showing.

Amir Garrett picked up his second save on the year Friday night against Arizona. It didn't come easy, as he entered the game in extra-innings with a man on second. Two walks would load the bases before he got Pavin Smith to ground out to end the game. Lucas Sims didn't do himself any favors by allowing the game-tying home run in the eighth to Eduardo Escobar, so it seems Garrett's job is safe for now.

Saturday's Matchup of the Day

Zach Eflin (PHI) vs Ian Anderson (ATL)

We're going back to Atlanta for another Matchup of the Day. These two went head-to-head last Sunday and both were impressive with a combined 15 strikeouts in a pitchers duel with the Phillies coming out on top in a 2-1 game. Eflin generated 13 whiffs on 37 swings to Anderson's 12 on 38 swings. This should be another good one to watch as the upside rookie faces the breakout hopeful.

American League Quick Hits: Aaron Judge remained out of the lineup Friday with a sore side ... Yordan Alvarez went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against the Athletics on Friday ... Matt Olson went 2-for-4 with a homer against the Astros ... Pete Fairbanks was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right rotator cuff strain and will be shut down for 2-3 weeks ... Enoli Paredes is headed to the injured list with right side soreness ... Matt Bush was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his pitching elbow ... Mitch Moreland was held out of the A's lineup Friday with a sore hamstring ... Mike Fiers (hip) will throw four innings at the A's alternate training site Saturday ... DJ Stewart (hamstring) is expected to be activated from the injured list prior to Saturday's game ... Julio Teheran was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday with tightness in his triceps ... Derek Holland started in Teheran's place against the Indians and allowed three runs over 2 2/3 innings ... Dexter Fowler left Friday's game on a cart after going awkwardly into second base, though the initial diagnosis for a knee contusion.

National League Quick Hits: Mookie Betts (back) remained out of the lineup Friday ... Cody Bellinger (calf) was placed on the 10-day injured list ... Trent Grisham was activated for Friday's game and hit leadoff for the Padres ... Alec Bohm went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Friday against the Braves ... Jesse Winker was pulled from Friday's game with calf cramps ... The Nationals activated Brad Hand from the 10-day injured list ... the Nationals optioned Carter Kieboom to the alternate training site ... With Joe Musgrove making history on Friday, Victor Caratini has now caught the last two no-hitters in baseball ... Kole Calhoun was activated from the injured list and returned to the lineup Friday ... Tyler Naquin continued his hot start with his fifth homer Friday ... Joe Ross tossed five shutout innings Friday against the Dodgers ... The Padres optioned Brian O'Grady to the alternate site with Trent Grisham coming off the injury list ... Giants left-hander Alex Wood (back) tossed three scoreless innings in a rehab start ... Nationals catcher Alex Avila was activated from the 10-day injured list ... Ehire Adrianza was reinstated from the restricted list and hit a three-run home run Friday against the Phillies ... Luke Raley was recalled from the Dodgers' alternate training site.