I didn’t think I would ever have praise for Edinson Volquez. Yet here I am, ready to pile it on.
Volquez became the first pitcher to throw a one-hitter against the Astros at Petco Park. To top that off, he only walked three while striking out five. Not only did he seem to have command, but his field was definitely behind him.
That field consisted of Logan Forsythe at second who, I think, saved the game. In the second inning, channeling his inner superhero, he leapt and snagged a ball slated for right field. He then tossed to Cabrera at second who threw to first. The triple play was missed by mere inches. That play saved at least one run.
The game really belongs to Volquez. It was his first complete game in his career. It was also a complete game shutout.
Warning: What I’m about to say may irritate some.
The only hit came in the fourth inning from Matt Downs. It was an infield single. Rather a “single.” Headley could have gotten Downs out, but that isn’t the issue. The issue is that Volquez booted the ball toward third. He then attempted to pick up the ball and dropped it. When he finally snagged the ball it was too late. I think it was an error. I’ve watched the play a few times now, and there is not much you can say to convince me that it wasn’t an error. Sure the play wasn’t an easy play, but it was possible. Add in the boot and dropping the ball, he ruined his own chances.
I’m going to make a bold statement here and say: This was the Padres’ first no-hitter. It won’t go on record. It won’t be notable in the future, but it was a no-hitter with two errors and 3 walks.
Since the history books will eventually beg to differ with that statement, I will say this is the closest we’ve ever come to a no-hitter. A half-hitter, if you will.
I won’t necessarily rescind the things I have said about Volquez as a pitcher, but after this performance it could happen soon. I will say this, he is a different pitcher than the guy who started opening day for us. I think this pitcher a lot better.
No matter what I say, we will still be the only team without a no-hitter when we wake up tomorrow morning. Eventually it will happen. It should have been tonight. That’s baseball ladies and gentlemen. You just never know.