When the San Diego Padres took the field for the first time on April 8, 1969, no one could have imagined this moment would come.
Yet here we are, 50 years, one month and eight days later, still waiting on the franchise’s first no-hitter.
It wasn’t to be again on Thursday.
Left-hander Eric Lauer couldn’t get anywhere near the elusive finish line. When he allowed a third-inning single to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Adam Frazier, the Padres’ streak without a no-hitter reached 8,020 games.
Not only are the Padres the only MLB team without a no-hitter, Thursday’s game also earned them an unfortunate place in the history books. No MLB franchise has ever played more games before throwing its first no-hitter.
On the bright side, the Padres did hold on for a 4-3 victory. They’re also a few years away from challenging the longest overall no-hitter drought in MLB history. The Philadelphia Phillies went 8,944 games between no-hitters beginning May 1, 1906 and ending on June 21, 1964.
That streak was snapped when future Hall of Famer and U.S. Representative Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game against the Mets.
Padres closest calls
According to NoNoHitters.com, the Padres have thrown 30 one-hitters during their existence.
Oddly enough, their closest individual no-hit bid was actually not a one-hitter. On July 18, 1972, Steve Arlin came within one out of a no-hitter before Denny Doyle of the Phillies broke up his bid with a single. Arlin finished with a two-hitter after Tom Hutton followed with another single.
On July 9, 2011, five Padres pitchers combined for 8 2⁄3 no-hit innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers before Juan Uribe doubled. The Padres lost that game when Dioner Navarro followed with a run-scoring single.
You almost get the feeling this no-hit stuff isn’t the Padres’ thing.
Best candidate to end the streak?
The Padres have a couple decent bets in their current rotation.
Rookie Chris Paddack in particular is drawing rave reviews for his ability to set up and finish off batters. He's had close to no-hit stuff a couple times already in 2019
Joey Lucchesi and Matt Strahm are two other current starters who have flashed strong upside.
The truth is that no-hitters often come out of nowhere. For example. who would predict that Mike Fiers would have two no-no's under his belt?
Not knowing when they're coming or who they're coming from adds to the anticipation, drama and joy for those who achieve it.
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