There is one starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who has made eight quality starts. There is one starting pitcher in the game whose team has won all eight times he's taken the mound.
That starting pitcher is Joe Musgrove, and if anyone around the game did not have him at, or at least near, the top of their list of Cy Young Award candidates then they need to start paying attention.
Musgrove made another fabulous start on Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, twirling 7.0 shutout innings to lead the Padres to a 2-1 win over the Giants. No-no Joe didn't have his usual swing-and-miss stuff (he only struck out four) but got the biggest outs when he needed them.
In the 6th inning the Giants had two runners on with one out and Musgrove got Darin Ruf to ground into a 6-4-3 double play triggered on a nice toss by Ha-Seong Kim at shortstop. In the 7th the Giants had two on again and Musgrove, on his 100th and final pitch of the day, induced a ground ball to Manny Machado at 3rd base to end the threat.
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Machado played his usual stellar defense and also gave the Padres their first run of the day with a solo homer in the 3rd inning off Carlos Rodon. Manny continues to lead the National League in OPS and MVP consideration. The Padres other run came the old-fashioned way:
They earned it.
Luke Voit led off the 6th inning with a line drive double and advanced to 3rd base on a pretty opposite field single by Austin Nola. Trent Grisham brought the run in without hitting a ball out of the infield. Grisham squared to bunt and expertly put one by Rodon. Voit broke for home on the safety squeeze and scored without a throw.
San Francisco got its only run of the day on a solo homer from Wilmer Flores, who turned around a Robert Suarez cutter in the 8th inning. Closer Taylor Rogers handled the 9th without incident, punching out Luis Gonzalez to secure his 16th save of the year.
The Friars can finish a rare sweep in the Bay on Sunday afternoon when rookie MacKenzie Gore takes the mound against veteran lefty Alex Wood.
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