Call it the Curse of Clay Kirby.
In 7,265 games -- and counting -- since their birth in 1969, the Padres have never had a no-hitter. They are the only team in the major leagues without a no-hitter.
On Sunday, Odrisamer Despaigne threw a no-hitter for 7 2/3 innings before Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy lined a double to left center. Despaigne's bid tied for the fifth longest in Padres history and the longest since four Padres pitchers -- Aaron Harang, Josh Spence, Chad Qualls and Mike Adams -- teamed on eight-no-hit innings on July 9, 2011.
Perhaps the problem lies with the Padres' first flirtation with a no-hitter in their second season.
On July 21, 1970, right-hander Clay Kirby threw eight innings of no-hit ball against the Mets. But an error and walks had conspired to leave the Padres behind 1-0. So when Kirby's spot in the order came up in the bottom of the eighth, Padres manager Preston Gomez pinch-hit for Kirby over protests from inside the Padres dugout.
"You have to play to win," said Gomez, whose 1970 team finished 63-99.
The pinch-hitter struck out. Jack Baldschun came on in relief of Kirby in the ninth and gave up a single to the first Met he faced (Bud Harrelson).
Kirby would take two other no hitters into the eighth.
But the closest the Padres came to a no-hitter was on July 18, 1972, when Steve Arlin went 8 2/3 innings without allowing a hit. With light-hitting Philadelphia infielder Denny Doyle at the plate, Padres manager Don Zimmer ordered third baseman Dave Campbell to move in to protect against the bunt. Doyle slapped a single past the drawn-in third baseman.
The Padres have taken four no-hitters into the ninth. They have had 28 one-hitters, including one earlier this season. But never a no-hitter.