Building Self-Esteem through Steadfast Denial

The Padres have been shut out seven times in their first 25 games of 2011. This exceeds their total for the entire seasons of 1990 (six), 1995 (six), and 2004 (three). It also, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, marks a new MLB record for times being shut out in April.

Your San Diego Padres. Overachievers.

Corey Brock notes that the club record for being shut out in any month is eight (July 1976). The Padres play two more games in April. After an off-day to make the grueling trip all the way up to Los Angeles, they face Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda at Dodger Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

We can do this. It is within our reach.

Brad Hawpe — and already I’ve said too much — committed an error in the second inning of Wednesday afternoon’s loss to the Braves that led to five unearned runs. This allays concerns of fans who feared Hawpe might be too one-dimensional, capable of doing damage only with his bat.

Things could be worse, although that’s not a theory you like to test. Still, the lineup could look like this (worst single-season OPS+ by position in Padres history, minimum 300 PA, 50% of games at that position):

Pos Player           Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Fred Kendall     1975 314 .199 .265 .248  47
1B  Keith Moreland   1988 511 .256 .305 .331  84
2B  Jose Arcia       1969 321 .215 .255 .272  50
3B  Dave Roberts     1974 358 .167 .246 .252  43
SS  Tommy Dean       1969 308 .176 .251 .245  42
LF  Stan Jefferson   1987 469 .230 .296 .339  71
CF  Cito Gaston      1969 419 .230 .275 .309  67
RF  Xavier Nady      2003 404 .267 .321 .391  92
UT  Enzo Hernandez   1972 369 .195 .243 .249  46

Here are the worst of the ’60s and ’70s:

Pos Player           Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Fred Kendall     1975 314 .199 .265 .248  47
1B  Mike Ivie        1975 411 .249 .291 .366  87
2B  Jose Arcia       1969 321 .215 .255 .272  50
3B  Dave Roberts     1974 358 .167 .246 .252  43
SS  Tommy Dean       1969 308 .176 .251 .245  42
LF  Leron Lee        1973 369 .237 .306 .297  75
CF  Cito Gaston      1969 419 .230 .275 .309  67
RF  Cito Gaston      1972 500 .250 .281 .405  96
UT  Enzo Hernandez   1972 369 .195 .243 .249  46

Gaston covered a lot of ground back then…

The ’80s:

Pos Player           Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Terry Kennedy    1984 570 .240 .284 .353  79
1B  Keith Moreland   1988 511 .256 .305 .331  84
2B  Tim Flannery     1987 326 .228 .332 .254  61
3B  Luis Salazar     1982 559 .242 .274 .336  73
SS  Garry Templeton  1987 561 .222 .281 .296  56
LF  Stan Jefferson   1987 469 .230 .296 .339  71
CF  Stan Jefferson   1987 469 .230 .296 .339  71
RF  Sixto Lezcano    1983 373 .233 .331 .356  94
UT  Ozzie Smith      1981 507 .222 .294 .256  62

Jefferson spent 1987 starting games in center and then moving over to left once Carmelo Martinez’s bat was no longer deemed necessary…

The ’90s:

Pos Player           Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Brad Ausmus      1994 366 .251 .314 .358  77
1B  Wally Joyner     1999 386 .248 .363 .350  89
2B  Kurt Stillwell   1992 416 .227 .274 .298  62
3B  Archi Cianfrocco 1993 306 .244 .289 .412  84
SS  Andujar Cedeno   1995 424 .210 .271 .308  55
LF  Jerald Clark     1991 411 .228 .295 .352  80
CF  Ruben Rivera     1999 475 .195 .295 .406  82
RF  Tony Gwynn Sr.   1990 629 .309 .357 .415 112
UT  Ricky Gutierrez  1994 314 .240 .321 .305  67

We have been ridiculously blessed with right fielders in San Diego…

The ’00s and forward:

Pos Player           Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Gary Bennett     2003 338 .238 .296 .306  64
1B  Phil Nevin       2005 306 .256 .301 .399  88
2B  Tadahito Iguchi  2008 330 .231 .292 .304  66
3B  Sean Burroughs   2005 317 .250 .318 .299  70
SS  Khalil Greene    2008 423 .213 .260 .339  65
LF  Scott Hairston   2010 336 .210 .295 .346  80
CF  Tony Gwynn Jr.   2010 339 .204 .304 .287  68
RF  Xavier Nady      2003 404 .267 .321 .391  92
UT  Marcus Giles     2007 476 .229 .304 .317  69

You think the Padres might have held off San Francisco last year if they’d had a real outfield?

And lifetime achievement (career numbers with Padres, minimum 2000 PA):

Pos Player           Years       PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
C   Fred Kendall     1969-1980 2218 .233 .287 .312  74
1B  Steve Garvey     1983-1987 2439 .275 .309 .409 100
2B  Tim Flannery     1979-1989 2838 .255 .335 .317  85
3B  Luis Salazar     1980-1989 2383 .267 .298 .375  90
SS  Enzo Hernandez   1971-1977 2609 .225 .283 .267  61
LF  Carmelo Martinez 1984-1989 2694 .248 .341 .408 109
CF  Cito Gaston      1969-1974 2787 .257 .298 .403  99
RF  Brian Giles      2003-2009 3688 .279 .380 .435 121
UT  Ozzie Smith      1978-1981 2536 .231 .295 .278  66

Huh, this gets your number retired?

Anyway, I feel better now. Empowered. Remember: The fact that the Padres have been shut out seven times in 25 games means that they’ve scored at least one run in 18 games, or 72% of the time (big-league teams have scored at least one run in 94.4% 93.3% of their games this year, but don’t mention that, as it casts the Padres’ accomplishment in an unfavorable light).

Accentuate the positive. It builds self-esteem, which is handy for when you grow up and get that stupid grin smacked off your face by reality. Everyone’s a winner!

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18 Responses »

  1. In the shutouts, the Padres gave up 20 runs (1-0 twice, 2-0 twice, 3-0 once, 4-0 once, 7-0 once).

    We are on pace to be shutout 45 times…must be a record. Let’s not have that, maybe only 30 times.

  2. Worst part about all those shutouts besides the obvious loss is that most of the games were close and with 1-2 big hits the Padres could have won. Actually if you look at all their losses they were in most of the games so could easily have a winning record right now if they had any hitting at all

  3. Nice reminder that the Padres had some pretty good catchers in the 80s. Thanks Terry and Benny (and one year of Gene Tenace).

  4. Look I supported the signings the front office made in the offseason to bolster the offense but at some point you have to make a change. We have to get bat production from a corner infield or outfield spot (the middle looks fine to me). If we are not ready to dip into the minors to give someone a shot than maybe it’s time to move Bell for a bat.

  5. As a business going forward, the Padres need to do something, or no one will go to the games, especially, with a recession still in full bloom. $150 for me and the fam to watch them get shut out and throw the ball around and to see pitchers pouting. Nice team you got there Jed. On the bright side, it is a nice bullpen.

  6. Would like to point out that Randy Jones won 20 games for the 1975 Padres who had Mike Ivie and Fred Kendall make the list as 2 of the 8 worst OPS+ from the 60′s – 70′s. He led the league in ERA+, ERA and was 2nd in the CY voting! That team finished with a better record, 71-91, than the Braves and Astros, but scored only 3.41 runs per game, worst in the NL by .21 and .72 below the league average.

    In addition to Kendall and Ivie, Number 11 Enzo Hernandez sucked up 399 PA’s at an OPS+ of 55 and two bench players, who combined for another 424 PA’s, each had an OPS+ of 61. Wow, they were bad! They were shutout 14 times on the season.

    Randy threw 285 IP, the next highest total was 183. Next highest win total was 8. The only other starter who was close to a wining record was Brent Strom at 8-8 in 16 starts with 120 1/3 IP. The other three were 9, 8 and 7 games under .500. To win 20 games for a team that had so little offense is nothing short of amazing!

    Disclaimer: I know wins are not the way to judge a pitcher, but in this case, and with the context provided, I think it’s worth remarking on!

  7. One more not on RJ in 1975, he was 2nd to Don Sutton in WHIP 1.046 to 1.038, yet the Padres were -6.3 WAR defensively and the dodgers were 7 WAR defensively. Also, RJ only struck out 3.3 per 9 IP so the ball was almost always in play. Sutton struck out 6.2 per 9. Yet somehow Randy allowed only an infintesimally higher number of baserunners than Sutton, who had a vastly superior defense behind him and struck out nearly twice as many batters.

  8. Pat – always *love* the RJ facts … thx!!!

    re: number retired … how is .309/.409 = 100 OPS+??? Really??? Here’s the details from …

    1983 425 0.344 0.459 0.802 124
    1984 653 0.307 0.373 0.680 91
    1985 699 0.318 0.430 0.748 109
    1986 584 0.284 0.408 0.692 91
    1987 78 0.231 0.276 0.507 36

    … bleh … just take it down …

  9. OK … and just because you made me go to his page … here’s a few more fun facts about he-whose-name-shall-not-be-mentioned …

    Double Plays Grounded Into
    1983 NL 16 (8th)
    1984 NL 25 (1st)
    1985 NL 25 (2nd)
    1986 NL 18 (6th)

    Outs Made
    1984 NL 480 (4th)
    1985 NL 502 (2nd)

    … and, yes, I’m still bitter about Holliday not touching the plate! :-)

  10. OT … saw this comment at another web site …

    Venable’s K/AB and BB/AB rates are both substantially improved, and his SB rate has jumped significantly. His fly ball rate has declined somewhat from last year, but the big thing is that he is 0 for 18 on those fly balls – last year he had a .937 OPS on fly balls. Just being plagued by the general Sad Diego offensive malaise, or is there something to worry about here?

    … thoughts (from those watching at home)?

  11. GREAT game for Tuscon tonight. Perdomo coughed up two in the 9th, and Colorado Springs piled on 3 in the 10th. However, Tuscon wasn’t done. Durango lead off the bottom of the 10th with an out, but Evarth singled, followed by a Forsythe BB. Rizzo plated Evarth on a single to right. Jesus Guzman then doubled to left, scoring Forsythe and setting up 2nd and 3rd, down by only one. Instead of loading the bases to pitch to Hunter, they pitched to Cunningham and he grounded a walk off single to LF to win the game.

  12. love your writing man….these three had me cracking up on a snowy Montana morning (times like this I really miss SD):

    “Your San Diego Padres. Overachievers.”

    “We can do this. It is within our reach.”

    “Brad Hawpe — and already I’ve said too much”

    And speaking of Hawpe…is he the suckiest suck that ever did suck or what? I can’t remember ever watching a more groan inducing player when its his turn to bat.

    Shoulda known better than to pickup an ex-Barney…..

  13. I understand why the organization doesn’t want to rush Rizzo, Decker,and Darnell, but they have to make some changes. It has become an embarrassment.

    How about promoting Durango and releasing Eric Patterson? Put Durango in the lead off spot, and use Venable as a 4th outfielder. Durango could provide a spark and move guys into a more natural spot in the batting order.

    Why is Eric Patterson in the majors? And why is he occupying a spot on the 40-man roster? His at-bats are atrocious.

  14. re: Patterson, because he’s the ML player in the trade of Adrian Gonzalez.
    ok, i’m half joking. he’s the Hairston Jr. of this season except he’s not as good. He’s fast, though.

    there were times when we had Kouz, that my friend and i would groan when he comes to bat with men on base and thought here comes the double play.
    Hawpe is much worse (or is it better) at inducing such groan with outs of multiple variety especially K’s. brings back memory of Nevin circa the end of his Padres career.
    Nevin, however, was very good with the Padres for a long while. Hawpe has no such history to fall back on the mercy of the fans.

    the Padres are leading the league in striking outs. Man, that really sucks!

  15. Kramerica, it’s doubtful that Durango would reach base as often as Venable. He may be fastewr than Venable, but he’s not as good a base stealer or baserunner. Durango is essentially a fifth outfielder on a bad club. Just my opinion.

    Anyhoo, I dunno why anyone wants to tinker with the offense. It’s awesome! All statistics that would indicate otherwise are merely park illusions! Smile, and enjoy your last-place (the standings are a park effect as well… we’d have the best record in baseball in any other ballpark) San Diego Padres!!!

    In all seriousness, I thought that we’d see so much more production at SS, 2B, and in the outfield, it would more than make up for the downgrade at 1B. I really thought the offense would be better than last year. I think maybe I was mistaken.

  16. re: Patterson

    Bench players are notoriously volatile. He has a pretty good track record in the minors and Hoyer may want to give him more chances. He hasn’t helped us, but he hasn’t hurt that much due to only 26 plate appearances.

    Durango keeps getting on-base, but we shouldn’t sit Maybin or Ludwick and he can’t play RF with that arm, so his contributions would be lessened by sheer playing time. I’d say he could be a 5th outfielder on a good team, but he’s not likely to fix what ails us now. If we’re out of things in June I’d be all for giving the guy a legitimate shot in LF for half a year. Triple A pitchers are fully capable of knocking the bat out of his hand, Triple A defenders are perfectly able to play him snug, but it hasn’t stopped him from getting on. The SBs have never matched his speed, but the OBP is a lot more important.

  17. @Lance

    If Durango is a 5th outfielder on a bad club that means he should be starting for the Padres. Patterson, Gonzalez, and Denorfia will likely be out of baseball within a year or so when the Padres cut them, which is why the get a lot of play.

    Managers can’t win the game by playing musical chairs but damned if Black isn’t giving it his all to make that happen. I wonder if he just pulls names out of a hat to determine the starting lineup each day.