In terms of his overall performance at the plate, Chase Headley has been downright “on fire” during the month of August. Headley, as well as the rest of San Diego’s hitters have been on a bit of a tear as of late as the Padres are in the midst of a 7-game winning streak. While it has been refreshing to see the bats come alive this month, the Padres have also been helped along the way by some great performances by members of their pitching staff, especially the starters. One starter which has performed well in particular has been Clayton Richard, and the veteran Left-Hander has done quite a job during the month of August.
Richard’s August 2012
Since he entered August with a 7-11 record and 4.14 ERA, Richard has strung together some very effective starts over the course of this month. Over his five starts, Richard has posted an impressive 4-1 record, and dropped his ERA down to 3.72 (2.11 for August). In addition to his overall record, Richard has been quite the stingy pitcher. So far, Richard has allowed only 9 Earned Runs, Walked 6 Batters, Struck Out 13, and allowed batters to hit .241 against him during the month of August. More impressively however is the fact that Richard has gone deep into almost every single game which he has started. So far, Richard has averaged almost 8.0 Innings per start (38.1 Innings Pitched), thrown over 100 pitches in every single one of his outings, and been most of all a stable presence on the mound every fifth day he asked to pitch.
Richard seems to finally have found his groove after an rocky, injury plagued, and overall disappointing 2011. Now healthy and pitching consistently well, Richard at least appears poised to break numerous career-high marks which he set during his fine and so-far career best 2010 campaign. Clayton’s career records for Wins (14 in 2010, 11 now), ERA (3.75 in 2010, 3.72 now), Starts (33 in 2010, 27 now), and Innings Pitched (201.2 in 2010, 184.0 now) could all be broken by the end of the 2012 season if his hot-streak continues until October’s first week is finished.
As the Padres attempt to play “spoiler” down the stretch, it will be up to Richard as well as Edinson Volquez to lead the rotation and finish the season on a high note. Richard will be a large part of San Diego’s starting rotation over the coming years and will be an important veteran presence as the young starters begin to emerge from the minor leagues. For now however, let us root on Clayton and the rest of the staff as they try to finish the year strong and on a roll.