ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers offense had performed above expectations in their first six games of the 2021 season.
But they hadn't faced San Diego's Joe Musgrove yet.
The Padres starter, who's from the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history in a 3–0 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday. He only allowed one baserunner, when he struck Joey Gallo with a 1-0 pitch in the fourth inning.
San Diego was the only MLB franchise to not complete a no-hitter before Friday night. This is the fourth time the Rangers have been no-hit.
"I don't even know what to say right now," Musgrove said. "It hasn't really set in yet. I'm freakin' exhausted, man. That was the maximum level of focus I've ever had. ... That's the deepest I've gone into a game so far. Going from six innings to nine innings, that's quite a jump. But there was no way I was coming out of that game."
Musgrove cruised through the Rangers lineup on 112 pitches, striking out 10 batters and limiting hard-hit balls. Only three Texas at-bats produced an exit velocity over 100 mph, topped by a 108.7-mph scorcher by Nate Lowe that went straight into Wil Myers's glove in right field.
"For Joe to throw the first no-hitter in organization history, what do you say? It’s just a special night," said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. "He was just so freaking efficient."
Musgrove was acquired from Pittsburgh during the offseason as part of a three-team, seven-player trade. He has yet to allow a run for the Padres after tossing six scoreless in his team debut last Saturday.
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Rangers manager Chris Woodward was very mindful of Musgrove's stuff heading into the game, specifically how his utilizes his cutter and slider against left-handed hitters. Texas had three lefties and two switch-hitters in the lineup against the 28-year-old right-hander.
"I watched every pitch he threw his last outing," Woodward said in his postgame press conference. "I was a little concerned just because of the sharpness of the stuff, and frankly, how he was commanding the baseball. I was hoping he wouldn't be as good today, but clearly he was a little bit better.
"A lot of our guys knew what was coming sometimes and still weren't even able to get a swing off on some of his pitches. He threw the ball well, clearly. We ran into a buzzsaw today."
Rangers hitters have prided themselves on having quality at-bats and making opposing pitchers work for outs in their first six games of the season. They didn't have an answer for Musgrove on Friday night.