San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove became the latest ex-Pittsburgh Pirate to find success and dignity on another team as he threw a no-hitter in Friday’s 3-0 win over the Texas Rangers. Musgrove’s 10-strikeout gem was the first no-no in franchise history for the Padres, accomplished by a guy who watched the team when he was a kid in El Cajon in San Diego County. But the real star of the game was his bladder.
Musgrove only made two mistakes during his performance: He hit Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo with a pitch in the fourth inning, and he drank too much water. In his postgame presser, Musgrove explained how he would typically keep his empty water bottles near his spot in the dugout so he could track how many he drank. For that game, he went through “11 or 12.” Even if we’re talking about those little 8-ounce bottles and a 6-foot-5, 230-pound pro athlete, that’s still a lot of water. “I had to piss so bad in like the fourth or fifth inning,” Musgrove admitted, but he refused to use the bathroom out of superstition that it’d ruin his groove.
Musgrove’s bladder was ultimately up to the task. On his 112th and final pitch, the pitcher induced a groundout from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and made history. This video of the final out should be pleasant, because of how thrilled the Padres are for their teammate, but it takes on a whole new framing with the knowledge that Musgrove had been deferring his urge to pee for over an hour. Stop jostling him with your handshakes and celebrations! He’s going to burst!
Musgrove has another more dedicated superstition, although this one doesn’t involve piss. Before every start, he lines up nine pieces of gum on a towel, chewing one for each frame. After every inning, he spits out the old piece on the towel and takes a new one. “I try not to look at the scoreboard as much as I can, so I kind of mark my innings by the little pile of bubble gum that I spit out,” he said. That’s still a little gross, but a lot more endearing. Pitchers really abide by their routines.
Still, Musgrove shouldn’t make a habit of this no-bathroom rule. Learn from the errors of pitcher Matt Harvey: When he was with the Mets in 2016, he got a damn clot from holding it in too much. Don’t test your bladder too often, Joe. It’ll always win in the end.