Peace through victory - the American way.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Padres Won't Make Playoffs With Silent Bats.

For the second Friday in a row the Padres were almost no-hit. Last night it was Greg Maddux and the Dodgers. (Here.) Last Friday it was Matt Cain and the Giants. (Here.)

Last night's victim was David (Boomer) Wells, who pitched decently but not well enough to win for a team that could manage only two base hits. Worse, he had to leave the game because of a painful ankle he injured running the bases in a prior game.

The Padres' weakness all year has been hitting not pitching, but instead of trading for an impact hitter to get the team to the playoffs, management traded for Wells. Wells has pitched three times since joining the Padres and well enough to win twice. But the team has scored only seven runs and gone 1-2.

The trade for Wells has gone as could have been predicted: no real harm but also little benefit. Good pitching keeps you in the game so your hitters can win the game, and if your hitters don't hit, you can't win. But this has been discussed before. (Here.)

So let's talk about Padres pitching instead. The conventional wisdom about the Padres is that having Wells in the rotation for the final month and the playoffs benefits the team because he's a seasoned pro who has performed in the post-season. In addition to Wells, the sports commentariat and fans talk about starters Peavy and Young and then the bullpen.

One name is nearly always missing from discussions of Padres pitchers and he was here all year: Woody Williams. Williams deserves more recognition than he gets. He's a solid veteran starter who knows how to pitch, and, unlike Wells, he can field, hit, and run the bases too. He's been a boon to the Padres this year. I'd start him over Boomer any day. (Woody is on the mound against the Dodgers tonight. It will be interesting to see how he fares.)


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