ARLINGTON, Texas – Victor Caratini is a no-no catcher.
When hometown pitcher Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter for the San Diego Padres in their franchise history, Caratini became the first MLB catcher to be behind the plate for consecutive no-hitters in the league for different teams.
“He was the first one to embrace me,” Musgrove said of Caratini. “And it just felt good. I know he wanted that as bad as I did.”
While Musgrove had never thrown a no-hitter at any level, Caratini was on the receiving end last Sept. 13 when Alec Mills threw one for the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee. The offseason acquisitions by the Padres got one together Friday night in a 3-0 win against the Rangers in Texas.
“Just super happy. I think it’s pretty rare to find yourself in those situations,” Caratini said Saturday through a translator. “Joe had everything working, had all of his pitches working. It’s really awesome. Really happy to be a part of it, really happy for him, and really happy for the team to have been able to experience that with him.”
It was only the second start with the Padres for the 28-year-old Musgrove, the only player they got back as part of a three-team, seven-player trade in January after he pitched for Pittsburgh the past three seasons.
Caratini also got to San Diego as part of a seven-player deal. The 27-year-old catcher came with right-hander Yu Darvish from the Cubs last December for right-hander Zach Davies and four minor leaguers.
Musgrove described Caratini as “a scientist" who was calculating between innings what they were about to face in the Rangers lineup, and figuring out when to be aggressive and when to try to save a few pitches. Padres manager Jayce Tingler gave Caratini credit for coaxing the big right-hander through a historic performance while certainly benefiting from the recent experience of catching another no-hitter.