Sporting a 2-10 record at the moment, I think that it would be safe to say that things have not gone particularly well for the San Diego Padres over the team’s first 12 games.
It has been bad enough that their lineup has struggled to produce without the help of Chase Headley and Yasmani Grandal, and the once reliable bullpen has been inconsistent as of late. But San Diego’s starting pitchers have really had their fair share of issues over the first two weeks of the 2013 regular season. In fact, through the first 12 games of the 2013 campaign, Eric Stults is the only Friar starter in the “win column.”
Unfortunately for the Padres, the rest of their staff (including Stults) have not fared very well through their first two/three outings, especially the team’s #1 starter Edinson Volquez.
Earlier this Spring, I discussed how Volquez would need to step up his game and his control to help the Padres make-shift starting rotation this season. Since Volquez toed the rubber to begin the 2013 campaign at Citi Field, he has been anything but effective, and the Padres will definitely need him to step up his game over the coming weeks.
- Against the Mets in his first start of the year, Edinson definitely had his fair share of issues. The veteran right-hander lasted only 3.0 innings, but threw 79 pitches to get 9 outs! Over those 79 pitches, Volquez allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and gave up 3 walks on the afternoon.
- Volquez followed up his Opening Day performance with an improved but still down outing against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Overall, Edinson managed to hang in there for 6.0 innings, but it took him 102 pitches to get that far through the game. While his control was better (1 walk to 1 strikeout), he still allowed 4 runs on 9 hits, and was eventually charged with the loss.
- This past Saturday, Volquez probably had his worst start of the year, and once again it was the Rockies who knocked him around the ballpark. Edinson only pitched 3.1 innings and was yanked after he threw 96 pitches and could not seem to keep Colorado’s hitters off of the basepaths. Overall, Volquez allowed 7 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits, and gave up 3 walks to boot.
For the record, the Padres’ offense has been downright anemic this year, and definitely not afforded Volquez or any of San Diego’s other starters consistent run support so far in 2013. But that is definitely no excuse for Volquez to lead the National League in earned runs through three starts (17) already this year. I mean, 17 runs allowed over a three game span would make any offense pressed to produce at a high level. Heck, San Diego’s hitters would have to have plated almost 6 runs per game for the team just to stay in/win some of those contests.
An 0-3 record, an 11.68 ERA over 12.1 inning pitched, a 7 to 9 walk to strikeout ratio, and a .356 batting average allowed is simply not going to help a team without its two best hitters. Plus, cleanup hitter Carlos Quentin will miss the next week due to his suspension for teaching Zack Greinke not to run his mouth to people bigger than him.
San Diego needs someone to emerge from their staff to log consistent innings and keep games competitive early, because their collective performance so far has been quite underwhelming. Hopefully Volquez, along with the rest of the Padres’ starting staff, can get back on track and at least give their bullpen some leads to work with and their hitters some peace of mind to know that they do not have to go out and score 5-6 runs per game.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference