Joe Musgrove, the kid who grew up a Padres fan, gives San Diego its first no-hitter

San Diego Padres starter Joe Musgrove could barely muster the willpower Friday night, so desperately needing to use the bathroom.

He drank 11 or 12 water bottles, and, man, never did a dugout urinal look so inviting.

Still, just like most ballplayers, the dude is superstitious.

And since he was pitching a no-hitter, he couldn’t dare enter the nearby bathroom stall.

“‘I had to [pee] so bad in the third of fourth inning,’’ Musgrove said, “but I just had to wait.’’

Well, by the time Musgrove finally relieved himself, he had already made history.

Musgrove, born and raised in the San Diego area, became the first pitcher in Padres history to throw a no-hitter in their 3-0 victory over the Texas Rangers.

It was the first no-hitter in the 8,206 games played by the Padres, going back to April 8, 1969 when the expansion franchise played its inaugural game.

This was before Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, or 350,000 fans descended upon Woodstock, or the release of "Abbey Road," the Beatles' last studio album.

Now, 52 years later, the Padres had their first no-hitter, thrown by a kid who grew up a Padres’ fan, and was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to San Diego just three months ago.

“It feels incredible,’’ Musgrove said. “This kid from Grossmont High School was the first one to throw a no-hitter in my own city.’’

This is a family that had season tickets behind the right field wall. Musgrove remembers catching his first souvenir from a Padres player when outfielder Mark Kotsay tossed a ball to him. This is where he watched Jake Peavy, knowing it was cool to show emotion and be yourself, and taking Peavy’s old No. 44 upon his arrival.

Joe Musgrove celebrates with teammates after throwing the first no-hitter in Padres history and first of the 2021 MLB season. (Photo: Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)

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Now, on a gorgeous night in the heart of Texas, Musgrove carved a place that will be remembered forever in Padres history.

Musgrove was only a hit batter away from throwing a perfect game, but plunked slugger Joey Gallo in the knee in the fourth inning.

Musgrove joked afterwards that it helped his pitch count, believing that Gallo likely would have obtained a hit off him, anyways, while still trying to figure out just want happened.

The way he figured it, he was probably going to go six innings, just like his first start of the season. Sure, he was throwing a no-hitter, but he was prepared to be pulled out in the seventh, or even the eighth. He just didn’t realize his pitch count was so low.

“I was at peace,’’ Musgrove said, “that I would go six or seven shutout innings.’’

By the time the ninth inning rolled around, and he was at 100 pitches, he would have tackled Padres manager Jayce Tingler if he tried to take him out.

“I wasn’t coming out of that game,’’ he said. “I was so locked in. I had no intention of coming out of the game.’’

And, to be honest, Tingler had no intention of pulling him.

“He was just so freaking efficient,’’ Tingler said. “It can’t be any sweeter or any more special for him growing up in San Diego and for this being his team.

“It’s the perfect story written.’’

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