Sterling Hitchcock, a New York Yankee and Seattle Mariner before joining the Padres for the 1997 season, was impressive in his first start for San Diego.
On April 5, 1997, 17 years ago today, Hitchcock held the Philadelphia Phillies hitless for four innings before yielding a Rico Brogna 5th-inning line-drive double to right, marking the Padres’ 4,416th game without a no-hitter.
Hitchcock maintained the “1″ in the “H” column, but Padres’ skipper Bruce Bochy brought Trevor Hoffman in for the ninth, and the closer completed the franchise’s 18th one-hitter.
Doubles by Brogna have been a particular pain for Padres pitchers. On July 3, 1994, while wearing a New York Mets uniform, Brogna ruined Andy Benes’ no-no in progress by leading off the eighth inning with a double.
The Kansas City Royals have claimed Patrick Schuster – the man who threw four consecutive no-hitters in high school – off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
Schuster, 23, had accomplished the feat while pitching for Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Fla.
This spring, the lefty allowed two earned runs and 11 hits in eight innings of work (2.25 ERA). Schuster didn’t really have a shot at entering the rotation to see if he could accomplish a no-no at the Major League level, but he was looking to earn a spot in the bullpen.
Padres manager Bud Black is telling MLB.com that Robbie Erlin or Matt Wisler could fill the fifth spot in the starting rotation as Josh Johnson heals from a strained flexor muscle in his forearm.
Black says the 21-year-old Wisler has a lot of poise despite his age, and he brings a fastball in the low 90s that moves and a good breaking ball. Wisler will have to continue working on his change-up, he says.
Black says Erlin has been around the big leagues and has pitched in Fenway and Wrigley, so he’s capable of doing good things on a Major League field.
Johnson will likely be out for a month to six weeks.
The Houston Astros’ Jarred Cosart threw five innings of perfect baseball against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, striking out nine batters by mixing up a fastball in the 90s with a wicked breaking ball.
Houston’s Raul Valdes took the ball for the sixth inning but lost the no-hitter on a single by Nationals second-baseman Anthony Rendon.
Cosart last year went 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA with Houston last year.
A happy 70th birthday to former Padres outfielder Cito Gaston, who in 1970 was put in to pinch hit for Clay Kirby by manager Preston Gomez despite Kirby having a no-hitter through eight innings.
San Diego was down 1-0 to the New York Mets at the time. Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning lead-off single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.
Gomez’s decision still haunts the Padres more than 43 years later as the team is still void of a no-no.