San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez reacts after throwing a one hitter to beat the Houston Astros 1-0 at PETCO Park. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
The San Diego righthander threw the first complete game and shutout of his career, and if not for his own defense, might have had a no-hitter.
There's good reason for this; the Astros have the worst record in the major leagues and the Padres are just a few games better. But Thursday night in San Diego, the Padres' Edinson Volquez made news by throwing his first major-league complete game and shutout, holding the Astros to just one hit, an infield single by Matt Downs.
Volquez could have had a no-hitter, too; that one hit was largely his own fault:
Volquez shut down the Astros except for the infield single by Matt Downs, who hit a comebacker to the left side of the mound. Third baseman Chase Headley and Volquez converged on the ball, but Volquez opted to attempt to snare the ball but dropped it. Volquez did not attempt to throw out Downs at first base.
"I've got to work on my backhand," Volquez said. "I was supposed to catch that ball. I've got fielding practice tomorrow, I've got to work on that. He hit it in the right spot."
If Volquez had made that play, he'd have thrown the first no-hitter in Padres history. Instead, it's the 25th one-hitter for the San Diego franchise. After the Mets' Johan Santana threw one earlier this season for the first one in that franchise's history, the Padres stand as the only team to not have one, 6,936 games since they began play in 1969. It'll happen, someday. Just ask the Mets.
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