You might not be as keenly aware of it as us die-hard Padre fans are, but ours is the only team in the majors without a no-hitter. Oh, we've been no-hit, alright. But as far as having one of our own guys bringing the pain? No dice.
The last game that I went to in Petco Park was last year when Edinson Volquez tossed a one-hitter, giving up an infield hit in the fourth that he kinda misplayed. Probably because of his off-center hat angle.
Well, last night, the ace of the Padres staff, Andrew Cashner, came within nine outs of making Padres history, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. He lost the bid on a lead off single by Pirates hitter Jose Tabata. He would be erased from the basepaths on a double play, and Cashner would go on to retire everybody else, pitching to the minimum 27 hitters. It was Cashner's first complete game, a one hit shutout in a 2-0 victory over the first place Pirates.
I've been on a budget autograph binge lately. Nothing over $5, which keeps me honest enough. I thought this was a pretty decent pickup, and especially dig the '98 orange and blue throwbacks that Straight Cash Homey is wearing here. I'm a big Cashner fan, and seeing Anthony Rizzo's .229 batting average this year makes me feel a lot better than I initially did about the trade with the Cubs. I personally thought they could've gotten a little more for Rizzo, as Cashner was (at the time) a fireballing relief pitcher.
Anyways, even though the Padres are still without a no-no (and a player to hit for the cycle, and a World Series title), I gotta celebrate Cashner's outing. My not-so-newly favorite stat is "The Maddux". I first read about it in an article on Clayton Kershaw on Grantland.com, and later found a great source on a blog called Ground Ball With Eyes. Here's the link to the post on "The Maddux", which is updated frequently (I commented yesterday and the author already responded). For those too lazy to click the links (I know some of you degenerates have jobs and families clamoring for your time and attention), a Maddux occurs when a pitcher throws a complete game shutout using less than 100 pitches.
Cashner hurled his one-hit Maddux in 97 pitches, recording seven strikeouts and zero walks. According to GBWE, this is the eighth Maddux for a Padres pitcher, and only the 13th pitcher to throw a Maddux while facing the minimum 27 hitters.
Maddux himself would be proud.
Though he never threw a Maddux as a Friar, Maddux is the career leader of Madduxes, though the pitch counts are not as reliable past 1988, so official Maddux stats only go back that far. Who knows how many Madduxes Drysdale, Koufax, or Gibson threw? Maybe if we knew, we'd be calling them "Seavers"instead. As it stands, Maddux is alright with me.
Are you getting tired of reading the names Maddux and Cashner yet? I'll reward you for reading this far and further enlighten you that other Padres who have achieved this similar feat include Andy Hawkins, Ed Whitson, Greg Harris, Bruce Hurst, Ismael Valdez, Jake Peavy, and Clay Hensley.
Padres are back at it again with the Pirates. Really enjoying games that start at 6 PM Central instead of 9 PM Central. Crazy to think that this is the last team that the Padres will play out of their division this season - after this it's back to the West Coast and three more series until the end of the 2013 season. Gotta soak it up until it's over, March is a long ways off.