Tag:Wade LeBlanc
Posted on: May 2, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2010 8:51 pm
 

Padres putting on pitching clinic

SAN DIEGO -- Along with the Mets, the Padres are one of only two National League teams to never have thrown a no-hitter. But where San Diego's pitching is concerned, the Padres on Sunday did touch history by throwing a third shutout against Milwaukee in four games.

Never before had the Padres thrown three shutouts in a series of any length. And leaving the Brewers' batters even more bewildered, the two runs the stingy San Diego pitchers allowed were the fewest in Padres' history in a four-game series.

This against a Brewers team that arrived here last Thursday leading the National League in runs scored.

So much for the gap left in the rotation by trading ace Jake Peavy to the White Sox last July.

So much for the continued absence of All-Star Chris Young, who has been on the disabled list since the season's first week.

"You talk all the time about pitching and solid defense and timely hitting going a long way," Padres manager Bud Black said after Sunday's 8-0 whitewashing of Milwaukee. "You can't discount what our starters have done early this season.

"To a man, they've all pitched well."

Sunday's winner was the graybeard of the group Jon Garland, a 10-year veteran. Kevin Correia, Clayton Richard, Wade LeBlanc and Mat Latos also have pitched so well that the discussion in San Diego recently has centered on just whom the Padres would send back to Triple-A when Young is ready to rejoin them.

Mix in the bullpen, where set-up men Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams in particular have been nails for closer Heath Bell, and the surprising first-place Padres have won 13 of their past 16 games.

"You see our bullpen," Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. "There are not a lot of guys people have heard of before. But if our starting pitching gets us a lead after seven innings, it's game over. Gregerson, Mike Adams ... guys nobody's heard of before, but they have outstanding arms.

"Our pitching is really deep."

"They're good," said slow-starting Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder (.234, two homers, nine RBI in 25 games). "They did a great job this series.

"Unfortunately, we probably weren't at our best."

Overall, the Padres now own a major-league leading six shutouts. Though five of them have come at Petco Park (the other came in Cincinnati), that's two more than the Mets and San Francisco and double the number of any AL team.

Coming into Sunday's games, the Padres' 2.88 ERA ranked third in the majors (behind the Cardinals and Giants), as did their .233 opponents' batting average.

"The fact that we held them to zero runs in three of four games and to two runs total in four games, we feel like we came away with a sweep," Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. said. "That's a very, very talented offense over there. Our pitchers really stepped up."

Heading into Monday's series opener against Colorado and Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, Padres pitchers now have worked 40 scoreless innings in their past 42 innings pitched going back to Wednesday's game in Florida.

Over their past 16 games, the Padres own a 2.08 ERA.

 
 
 
 
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