Sports

Joe Musgrove casts 6 scoreless innings vs. stones

SAN DIEGO – Well, it has to happen sometime. Joe Musgrove has been great all season, he had to show hard in the end. It arrived Friday night.

No, not a baseball game. Musgrove was as big as ever in the Padres 9-0 win over the Rockies at Petco Park. But he and his former teammate Chad Kuhl played a side game of tic-tac-toe on the hill between the innings. And even though it ended in a draw, several of Musgrove’s movements were …

To be honest, Musgrove’s tic-tac-toe approach is the only thing worth criticizing for his performance on the hill this year. He may have been the best player in the first two months of the game. With six unbeaten innings on Friday, Musgrove lowered his ERA to 1.50 – the best announcement in baseball and the lowest for the Fathers over 11 seasons since Jake Peavy sat at 1.47 in his Cy Young Award winning campaign in 2007.

That’s where Musgrove – a San Diego kid who wears No. 44 respect Peavy – passing. In the near future, it feels like a bargain to get to the All-Star Games for the first time. Heck, he could have a chance to start the National League at Dodger Stadium.

“I feel like I’m playing more games than before,” Musgrove said. “Mentally than anything. Things haven’t changed much. To use, I think it’s a little different. … But mentally, I just feel like I’m in another league right now.”

His friends cannot deny him at all.

“It looks like every night he goes there,” said Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth. “He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever played with.”

Indeed, Friday night was a fine testimony to that. Musgrove needs 26 units to perform the first complex task. It took him a while to figure out how to improve on his chosen game. But as he often does, Musgrove settled down and found a way out.

“I built big stadiums when I needed to,” Musgrove said. “I had a frustrating chance that came at the start of the game. It allowed me to get it as the game progressed. I felt like I was getting overwhelmed. By the end of the game, I was so tired … I was like pouring a tank.”

Musgrove still managed to finish six innings, causing Yonathan Daza to jump slowly before leaving for a lightning strike at Petco Park. That could bolster his 11th consecutive start, a record-breaking season, surpassing Dennis Rasmussen’s mark in 1991. Musgrove won eight when he conceded four hits and two innings.

In the meantime, Padres’ guilt continued to lead to lives. As of Tuesday, Padres had not hit more than six games in a game at Petco Park since Open Day. Now he has done this three straight times, putting 29 times in those three games.

“You just have to go from bat to bat,” said Mazara. “If they don’t want to make you, there is another guy who can destroy you behind your back. We see it that way. Just find a way to start and keep making, because with the staff we have, no one would want to meet us.”

That’s no more true than when Musgrove is on the hill. He is 7-0, and the team has won 10 of the 11 starts.

Want a complete Musgrove look? Look into the eyes of his manager. The Padres are expected to have a double head Saturday at Petco Park. This means all kinds of bull systems, and it means a great pressure on the manager to close the innings without burning through its wires.

Prior to the game, Bob Melvin was asked how best to run the game on the evening of the twin bill, knowing his bullpen could be heavily taxed on Saturday. It’s the kind of experience that confuses a lot of managers.

Melvin smiled and said, “Joe.”

Really comforting. Nowadays, you can win or lose the race and start well after Musgrove takes the hill. Of course, his tic-tac-toe game alone requires work.

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