Padres’ Pitcher Joe Musgrove’s Terrible Tic-Tac-Toe Strategy Is Baffling During In-Game Battle

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  • San Diego Padres’ starter Joe Musgrove and Colorado Rockies’ starer Chad Kuhl had a tic-tac-toe duel on Friday night
  • The former teammates also dueled on the mound, with Musgrove pitching six shutout innings to take the win
  • Musgrove’s tic-tac-toe strategy, however, leaves a lot to be desired
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San Diego Padres’ starter Joe Musgrove is having the best season of his career so far.

Musgrove threw six shutout innings in a victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. The showing lowered his ERA to a scant 1.50, best in the major leagues. He’s still yet to lose in 11 starts thus far.

But Musgrove drew attention for another reason on Friday night at Petco Park.

He and Colorado Rockies’ starter Chad Kuhl both played together on the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018 and 2020. The two have apparently remained friendly and struck up a min-game of sorts during Friday’s showdown.

Musgrove took the mound first and drew a tic-tac-toe board with his cleat.

As the home pitcher, Musgrove was first to take the mound and first to make a move. He drew an X in the lower left corner. Kuhl then responded by putting an O in the center spot, a veteran move.

Musgrove still had the upper hand, however, as the holder of the first turn. But his second move wasn’t just questionable, it was the stuff of psychopaths. Musgrove went center-right with his second X, eliminating his advantage and giving Kuhl a chance to steal. Kuhl responded by going lower right with his second move and the game eventually ended up in a tie.

Listen, Musgrove’s going to get all the praise for his outstanding pitching. But this sort of tic-tac-toe strategy makes you really question whether the guy have what it takes in a big moment.


Everybody knows the best play when you have the first move in tic-tac-toe is to work the corners and gives yourself options. Apparently Joe Musgrove isn’t included in that everybody. Just baffling behavior from the San Diego ace.