So I tune in in the fifth inning, and Adam Eaton is pitching a no-hitter against the Royals. The Padres have never had a no-hitter. After the sixth, it's still a no-hitter. You know, the Padres have never had a no-hitter, though I once watched Andy Ashby take a no-no into the sixth or seventh. In the seventh inning, one of the Royals smashes a line drive right at Eaton's face, but he makes an incredible falling-down defensive play to keep Kansas City hitless. This is when I really started paying attention, 'cause you could feel the no-hit mojo in the air. Did I mention that the Padres have never had a no-hitter?
Eighth inning. First batter. 0-1. Then 0-2. Two incredible pitches. Then a close miss, a couple of foul balls, a pitch way outside. And then Dee Brown, who hadn't yet had an extra-base hit with the Royals, hit a fly ball to left field. The defensive replacement misjudged it and Brown reached second. The Padres have still never had a no-hitter. The next batter hit a solid double and Eaton was pulled. The relief pitcher proceeded to walk a batter and then give up a two-run homer. In one half-inning, the Padres went from a 4-0 no-hit shutout to a 4-4 tie game. They ended up winning anyway in the ninth, with Hoffman picking up the save.
I noticed that the Padres were on again tonight, this time against the Astros, so I decided to tune in again. They were in the fifth or sixth inning, locked in a 1-1 pitching battle between Brian Lawrence and Roger Clemens. I found out that a win in this game would put them in sole possession of first in the NL West. I debated watching, afraid to jinx the team like I no doubt did during the no-hit bid. I decided to watch anyway. The Padres did not give up a run after a leadoff homer by Biggio on the first pitch of the game. All you heathen American League fans out there will be happy to note that Clemens did not get a win (although I think Miceli got the decision in the 2-1 loss). Lawrence got the win, Hoffman picked up the save, and the Padres are now somehow -- improbably -- in first place.