SAN DIEGO -- And then there was one. The San Diego Padres are now the only Major League team without a no-hitter after Johan Santana gave the Mets their first no-no in franchise history on Friday.
Santana, who, oddly enough, defeated the Padres six days ago at Citi Field, needed 134 pitches to blank the Cardinals, 8-0, on the same mound.
As for the Padres, who joined the National League in 1969, they are still seeking their first no-hitter -- which seems somehow peculiar, considering the strong pitching they've had in the past and the spacious downtown ballpark, Petco Park, they moved into in 2004.
That's not to say they haven't been close.
Nineteen times, Padres pitchers have carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning or beyond. Last season, Aaron Harang, Josh Spence, Chad Qualls, Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson combined for eight hitless innings in an eventual loss to the Dodgers on July 9.
"It's such a difficult thing to do," said Padres third baseman Chase Headley. "It's a quirky thing. I know I've been a part of some close ones since I've been here . It would be nice to have one."
On Sept. 7, 2008, Chris Young allowed a home run to Milwaukee's Gabe Kapler with two outs in the eighth inning at Miller Park. On three occasions, Young took a no-hitter into the eighth inning or beyond.
The closest call? Try Steve Arlin's start for the Padres on July 18, 1972, against the Phillies in San Diego. Arlin allowed a two-out single to Denny Doyle in the ninth inning.
As a franchise, the Padres have had 25 one-hitters, 17 of them achieved by one pitcher in a non-combined effort. The last time it occurred was May 13, 2010, by Mat Latos against the Giants. The only hit Latos allowed came in the sixth inning, on an infield single, no less.
The Padres have been no-hit seven times, the most recent on July 10, 2009 as the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez tossed one at AT&T Park.
On May 26, Santana allowed four hits in a complete-game victory over the Padres. Santana had seven strikeouts and no walks in that start.
"He was real good and he was pumping all of his pitches for strikes," Headley said. "Everything you threw, they were all quality strikes."
There wasn't a whole lot of drama as far as a no-hitter went, as Yonder Alonso singled with two outs in the first inning