Texas baffled by 'elite breaking ball' in no-no

April 10th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- The first no-hitter in Globe Life Field history happened Friday night, but it didn’t belong to the Rangers. Instead, the visiting Padres threw the first no-hitter in their franchise's history, defeating Texas 3-0 behind Joe Musgrove’s dominance on the mound.

“Even when you know what's coming, this guy's got a really frickin' elite breaking ball,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I was a little concerned [coming into the game] just because of the sharpness of the stuff. Clearly we ran into a buzz saw today. It’s the first time in their history, so hats off to him, but hopefully we'll come back and get unpacked tomorrow."

Rangers catcher said he noticed the no-hitter around the fourth inning, the second time through the Texas lineup. He said his approach doesn’t change at the plate just because there’s a no-hitter in progress, but when a pitcher throws breaking balls for strikes like Musgrove does, it gets hitters to chase more than usual and gets more swings and misses on breaking balls out of the zone.

Trevino felt like the Rangers were taking good swings and had good at-bats despite the final outcome.

“You go up there and you try to get on for your teammates,” Trevino said. “You try to pass the baton, so we say it around here. There was no added pressure on my end. We were just up there trying to get ahead, trying to get some hits, trying to put something together to get our team going."

The no-hitter occurred in just the 34th regular-season game in Globe Life Field history. Not only is it the first no-hitter pitched at Globe Life Field, which officially opened in July 2020, it’s also the first no-hitter, from either the Rangers or an opponent, in Arlington since July 28, 1994, when Kenny Rogers threw a perfect game in front of a crowd of 46,581 at The Ballpark in Arlington.

This is the fourth time the Rangers have been no-hit in franchise history since relocating to Texas in 1972. The last time was April 18, 2007, when Mark Buehrle of the White Sox no-hit the Rangers in Chicago.

Musgrove was perfect through three innings, retiring every Ranger before hitting with a pitch in the fourth. Texas, which owns a team OPS of .675, couldn’t get anything going all night against Musgrove. The Rangers struck out 10 times against the right-hander. Every batter struck out at least once, except center fielder .

Woodward said Musgrove’s breaking ball was sharp, something he warned the team about before the game. In his pregame Zoom with the media, Woodward said he expected Musgrove to throw more cutters and sliders than fastballs. According to Statcast, Musgrove threw only seven four-seam fastballs, compared to 28 cutters and 34 sliders. Musgrove got 15 swings and misses on Rangers hitters.

“I was impressed, it was really impressive,” Woodward said of Musgrove. “We got to come back and regroup tomorrow on the offensive side. It’s not the first time there's been a no-hitter in baseball history. It was for those guys, but we have got to come back and regroup and get quality at-bats from pitch one tomorrow. That's all we can do.”

Rangers starter cruised through the first inning on just 11 pitches before the Padres started to get to him. An Eric Hosmer walk led to a two-run second inning and a Taveras fielding error cost another run in the third inning. It was Arihara’s first loss of his Major League career.

The silver lining was that the Rangers bullpen, which struggled in the first few games of the season, combined for five scoreless innings after Arihara’s exit, including eight strikeouts and just one walk.

“They were attacking the zone, they're doing what they do best and throwing strikes guy after guy. I thought everybody threw the ball really well,” Trevino said. “That's a beautiful thing about baseball. ... One week, you could be scratching your head about what's going on and the next week you're raving about how good they are.”