Lincecum's no-no the first at Petco
SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher-friendly Petco Park hosted its first no-hitter on Saturday, when the Giants' Tim Lincecum tossed a gem against the Padres.
The question that begged to be answered on Sunday was this: What took so long?
Petco Park, which opened in 2004, has often been a forgiving place for pitchers, especially during night games early in the season, when the marine layer coming off the Pacific Ocean make it difficult to elevate a ball.
"At some point, especially with the type of pitchers and arms the Padres have had, maybe you would have thought they would have had one by now," said catcher Nick Hundley. "I know that it's a newer ballpark, but I'm a little surprised it hasn't happened before now."
Longtime pitching coach Darren Balsley, who has been with the team for a decade, said the fact that Petco Park didn't have a no-hitter before Saturday was surprising -- but also wasn't.
"Yes and no," Balsley said. "It surprises you as much as it might with other [big] ballparks, like Dodger Stadium, Safeco Field. But I don't think that if the ballpark plays big makes a difference in whether it's a no-hitter or not. It could be a chopper off the plate or a jam-shot to right here as much as it could anywhere else."
The Padres remain the only Major League team without a no-hitter, though they've had some close calls at Petco Park.
On Sept. 22, 2006, Chris Young's no-hitter was broken up when Joe Randa of the Pirates hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning.