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Saturday, December 10, 2022
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Padres no-hit by Diamondbacks rookie Tyler Gilbert

It is difficult at this point to decipher the insult from the injury.

The reeling Padres were no-hit Saturday by a pitcher making his first major league start.

With a pitching staff tattered already, the Padres’ most reliable starter was torched for five runs in the first inning, and their mercurial offense hardly put up a fight against a 27-year-old who made his major league debut earlier this month.

Joe Musgrove, the native San Diegan who threw the first no-hitter in Padres history on April 9, watched from the railing of the visitors’ dugout as Tyler Gilbert was mobbed by his teammates after completing the third no-hitter in Diamondbacks history by getting Tommy Pham on a line drive to center fielder Ketel Marte.

“It’s a special moment,” Musgrove said. “I got to live it. Part of you is just soaking it in. Part of you is sulking to an extent, trying not to forget that feeling.”

Musgrove was the last Padres player to leave the dugout. He departed just as the public address announcer practically screamed that the Padres had “no runs, no hits and no errors” in the first no-hitter by a Diamondbacks pitcher at Chase Field.

“I think we just got outplayed in every aspect.” Musgrove said. “Sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap. Sometimes you get your ass beat. It is what it is.”

Musgrove started the game and yielded five runs before recording his second out. That gave Gilbert a cushion the Padres never came close to squashing in what ended up a 7-0 Diamondbacks victory.

In his fourth big-league appearance, Gilbert allowed only Pham to reach base, as the Padres leadoff hitter walked three times. Pham was erased on a double play grounder in the first inning and was doubled up on Adam Frazier’s line drive in the fourth inning. So Gilbert faced just one more than the minimum 27 batters.

Gilbert’s 102 pitches were nine more than he had thrown even in Triple-A this season. His first three games since his first-ever call-up on Aug. 3 were relief appearances totaling 3 2/3 innings.

He got through the eighth inning on three pitches. Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim watched called third strikes for the first two outs of the ninth before Pham put the first pitch he saw in play.

It was the 11th no-hitter ever thrown against the Padres and first since four Dodgers pitchers combined for one on May 4, 2018, in Monterrey, Mexico.

The historic game, a bright spot in a season in which the Diamondbacks’ have the major league’s worst record (38-80), sent the reeling Padres (66-53) to their fourth straight defeat.

The good news Saturday started and ended with this: The Cincinnati Reds lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Padres maintained a 2½-game lead over the Reds in the race for the final National League Wild Card spot because of a result more than 2,000 miles away, which is about how far the Padres appear at present from anything resembling a playoff team.

Saturday’s loss was the Padres’ second 7-0 defeat in the four-game skid, during which they scored in three of 36 innings for total of five runs.

Eric Hosmer initiated a meeting in the clubhouse afterward in which he implored players to be accountable for how they prepared and showed up ready to play.

“It was needed,” Musgrove said.

“This is about as upset, angry, frustrated as we’ve been as a group,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “We’ve got to come out ready to complete tomorrow from pitch one. We can’t take a pitch off. We have got to absolutely grind. We can’t be worrying about anything statistically, anything in the record. This is about competing pitch to pitch for 27 outs.”

The horrid four days have come after the Padres reached a season-high 17 games above .500 on Tuesday.

What is now a 10-game deficit in the NL West was just seven games, and they were 4½ up on the Reds.

From that point, however, it was as if the gravity of the moment began to press down on their bats.

“I will say that it feels like maybe the last three days, maybe pressing and trying to do a little bit too much,” Tingler said before Saturday’s game. “… I don’t know exactly why. I think just being in a playoff race, which is actually a great thing, it’s a fun thing. But understanding the importance of every pitch and every inning in all these games, understanding those things I think you know the guys that they feel it. We’re ready to take off and when it hadn’t happened yet, I think naturally (the players) tried to do a little bit too much.”

Still, that offensive anemia is the least of their problems, as they will use their bullpen to get through Sunday’s game and do not know the status of Yu Darvish (back) for Tuesday.

Musgrove was practically heroic to make it through five innings after throwing 31 pitches in the first, which is the most generous way to say he was not good on Saturday.

“Just knowing where our pitching in the bullpen is and how much those guys have been used,” Tingler said, “for him to suck it and continue to make pitches, he just battled. He’s got a ton of respect from his teammates for doing that.”


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