The San Diego Padres' Offense Has Been Really, Really Bad
If you didn't know who Vincent Velasquez was before Thursday, you most certainly do now.
So...this just happened. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/BD1SGsKav2
— Phillies (@Phillies) April 14, 2016
The Philadelphia Phillies' right-handed starter dismantled his opponent with a 16-strikeout complete game in which he didn't walk a single batter. Straight filth, yo.
Velasquez is a young pup entering his age-24 season and making his ninth career start. Yeah, he had racked up a lot of strikeouts, but this came out of nowhere, right?
Not really. And that potential predictability has a lot more to do with his opponent than Velasquez himself.
You see, the San Diego Padres have seen some stuff this year. Some real, guttural, nasty stuff. Their reaction to yesterday's trouncing at the hands of Velasquez was a wee bit different than the Phillies'.
Final: #Padres 0, Phillies 3
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 14, 2016
If you read that while imagining a Sara McLachlan song was playing in the background, you were not alone.
Velasquez was just the latest starting pitcher to steamroll the Padres' offense, so you really can't blame the team's media relations personnel for getting a little glum. Heck, I felt that twang of sadness myself when trying to answer the question: Just how bad is the Padres' offense?
The Padres have now played 10 games on this young season. They've scored 37 runs, which is actually a respectable number when you consider the Minnesota Twins have scored 14 runs in 9 games.
The one issue with that? 29 of those runs came over a two-game span at Coors Field, far and away the best hitter's park in the league. They also had a three-run outburst in that same series, meaning in the seven games they've played away from Coors Field, they've scored five total runs. This is how nightmares are made.
While this is bad news for the Padres, it has made their opponents appear as if they have resurrected Cy Young himself.
That's not even an exaggeration.
Check out the table below. It compares the numbers of opposing starters against the Padres this year outside of Coors Field with the 2015 numbers of Jake Arrieta and Dallas Keuchel, last year's two Cy Young Award winners. This one really isn't even a close call.
|Pitcher||ERA||Strikeout Rate||Walk Rate||Opponent Average|
|Padres' Non-Coors Opponents||0.74||34.1%||2.9%||0.139|
And while those are only two guys, the Padres' opponents have also outpaced that Clayton Kershaw fella, who struck out a puny 33.8% of his opponents last year. Step yo game up, son.
Cy Young never even had an ERA lower than 1.26, and he played in the dead-ball era before integration. The Padres have allowed their opponents to morph into a superhuman entity that knows not mortality nor the limits of what is seemingly possible.
Clearly, this is just a seven-game sample, so we shouldn't go ahead and take the Padres behind the shed yet; it's just the furthest thing from a peppy start that you could imagine.
As far as signs for hope, the Padres do rank 19th in hard-hit rate and have the fourth lowest soft-hit rate in the league. Additionally, their overall strikeout rate of 26.6% is just the fifth highest in the league, so it's not as if they're some orphaned team destined to average less than a run per game the rest of the year. It's just borderline incomprehensible how bad their start has been.
Fret not, Padres fans. Yeah, things suck now, and yeah, your team is making its opponents look like the reincarnated ghosts of the game's legendary pitchers. But at least there are still 152 games left in the season.
What could possibly go wrong?