The San Diego Padres defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night by a final score of 2 – 0 on the strength of a masterful pitching performance by Andrew Cashner. Cashner goes the distance for a complete game shutout, allowing only 1 hit and that’s it – Cashner gives up no walks. The only Pirates base runner was also later erased by a double play, meaning that Cashner faced the minimum of 27 hitters. There are numerous superlatives that could be used to describe the outing and Andrew continues to grow for the Padres.
Cashner threw a mix of 50.5% fastballs (9.3% 4-seam, 41.2% 2-seam), 25.8% sliders, 20.6% change-ups and 3.1% curveballs. What in the name of Eric Stults is going on here? It turns out to be an effective mix, with Cashner pitching efficiently as well as effectively, going the distance with less than 100 pitches. For comparison, here are stats on Cashner’s last start against the Pirates. Cashner threw almost twice as many sliders this game and is thus showing more confidence in his off speed pitches to complement his heavy heat. Cashner was still able to hit 95mph in the 8th and 9th innings. As the Padres try to limit Cashner’s innings by spacing out his starts, we could be seeing positive side effects of extra rest. The fans however, will see less of Cashner until next year with which we hope to see much of him.
Cashner’s start comes on heels of a great performance by Burch Smith and its great to see the Padres actualize some of the potential they keep talking about. While in Atlanta, Chase Headley went on a HR tear and rookie 1B Tommy Medica has also showed poise and made an impact belting 2 HRs. Padres are hot at the moment after taking the Pirates opener continue their 3 game series. Let’s see how they match up. Go Padres.