In their relatively brief history, the San Diego Padres have had 16 players pitch in two games or fewer for them. It’s a fascinating list… if you find these sorts of lists fascinating:
Al McBean, 1969
Taken from the Pirates as the 50th player selected overall in the 1968 expansion draft, McBean started his only game in a Padres uniform on April 12, working seven innings and taking the loss at home against the San Francisco Giants. On April 17 he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tommy Dean and Leon Everitt. The Virgin Islands native made 39 more big-league appearances after leaving San Diego, all in relief, and retired following the 1970 season with a 67-50 record, 63 saves, and 3.13 ERA (110 ERA+) in 409 games.
Jerry Nyman, 1970
Nyman, a left-hander out of Brigham Young University, came to the Padres on March 30, 1970, in exchange for right-hander Tommie Sisk. After spending most of the season at Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he went 9-13 with a 4.09 ERA, Nyman came up to the big club late in the year and made two September starts: one on September 7 at home against the Houston Astros, and one on September 14 at Dodger Stadium. In the latter, Nyman gave up four hits and retired just one batter (Wes Parker) before being replaced on the mound by Earl Wilson. It would be Nyman’s final big-league appearance. He spent ’71 in the minors before calling it a career. Over parts of three seasons Nyman went 6-7 with a 4.57 ERA (80 ERA+).
Dane Iorg, 1986
Oddly enough, the next member of the Padres to pitch in two games or fewer also came from BYU. Iorg was a reserve outfielder who was originally drafted by the Phillies back in 1971 but who spent most of his career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. He played significant roles for two World Series winners. In ’82, he hit .529/.529/.882 for the Cards in their victory over Milwaukee. In ’85, he collected exactly one hit for the Kansas City Royals against the Cardinals, but it was a walkoff game-winner in the infamous Game 6 of that year’s classic. Iorg’s two pitching appearances came in the final season of his 10-year big-league career. On June 23 at Candlestick Park, he surrendered four runs in the eighth — three scoring on a homer by starting pitcher Mike LaCoss, the other on a solo shot by reserve infielder Mike Woodard — to put the finishing touches on an 18-1 loss. Then, on August 30 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Iorg shut down the Expos for the final two innings of a 10-1 loss, allowing only an infield single to Jim Wohlford and even striking out reserve infielder Al Newman. Both of Iorg’s appearances came in relief of LaMarr Hoyt.
Luis Salazar, 1987
Salazar, the franchise leader in games played at third base, worked two games in relief in his second (of three) stints with the Padres. The first came on June 10 at the Astrodome, when he tossed a scoreless eighth inning in a 10-1 loss. Padres pitchers walked eight and struck out none in that game. In his second appearance, on July 29 at Cincinnati, Salazar gave up one run in a 15-5 loss — ground ball single to Nick Esasky, bloop double to Dave Collins, wild pitch — before retiring Barry Larkin and Buddy Bell to end the frame.
Darrin Jackson, 1991
Jackson was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs out of Culver City High School (go Centaurs!) in the second round of the 1981 draft. He came to San Diego on August 30, 1989, in a trade involving — among others — the aforementioned Salazar. In 1991, as San Diego’s primary center fielder, Jackson hit .262/.315/.476 in 394 plate appearances. He also worked two innings in a May 26 contest at Houston. Jackson gave up two runs in the seventh — on doubles to Steve Finley and Casey Candaele — before retiring Ken Caminiti to end the inning. He enjoyed better success in the eighth, retiring three of the four he faced, including Luis Gonzalez and Jeff Bagwell. Jackson spent another season with the Padres before being traded to Toronto as part of Tom Werner’s Fire Sale on March 30, 1993, for Derek Bell… who later became part of the package that brought Finley and Caminiti to San Diego.
Pete Walker, 1996
Walker, a right-hander out of the University of Connecticut, became the first actual pitcher to work in two games or fewer for the Padres in a quarter of a century when he faced five batters in a September 7 contest at St. Louis. Picked by the New York Mets in the seventh round of the 1990 draft, Walker came to San Diego in a trade that sent Roberto “Patron Saint of Baseball Nerds” Petagine to the Big Apple. In his lone appearance for the Padres, Walker was unhittable, if a tad wild: After striking out John Mabry to start the eighth inning, he got Tom Pagnozzi to pop out to third before walking the bases loaded and being yanked for Mike Oquist, who retired Ray Lankford to end the threat. Walker spent the next three seasons bouncing around the minors before resurfacing for three games with the Colorado Rockies in 2000 and two more with the Mets in 2001. The following year, at age 33, he inexplicably won 10 games as a member of Toronto’s starting rotation. Walker last pitched in the big leagues for the Blue Jays in 2006; he owns a career record of 20-14 with four saves and a 4.48 ERA (102 ERA+) in 144 appearances.
Ed Giovanola, 1999
Taken by Atlanta in the same round of the 1990 draft as Walker, Giovanola played his college ball at Santa Clara University (Mike Macfarlane, Randy Winn). An infielder by trade, Giovanola was claimed off waivers from the Braves in October 1997. He spent parts of two seasons with the Padres. On August 25, 1999, at Philadelphia, Giovanola made the first and only pitching appearance of his career. With two out in the seventh inning, Dan Miceli served up a three-run homer to Rico Brogna, extending the home team’s lead to 15-1. Bruce Bochy summoned Giovanola, who retired four of the seven batters he faced and did not allow a run. Of course, two of those batters were future Padre outmakers Alex Arias and Gary Bennett, but still.
Okay, that’s enough for now. We’ll take a look at the 21st century on Wednesday…