|SDP||Tony Gwynn Jr||0.990||-0.662||0.000||1.652||0.000||0.00||0|
Player of the Game: Clayton Richard (1.785 NRuns: 1.640 pitching, 0.145 fielding)
Padres hitting: -3.724 NRuns
Padres defense: 1.895 NRuns
Padres Luckbox: 1.627 NRuns
Clayton Richard's 1st inning: 2.124 NRuns
Innings 2 through 7: -0.339 NRuns
Mariners outfield defense: 3.602 NRuns
Mariners defense: 4.474 NRuns
Mariners hitting: -2.215 NRuns
Mariners baserunning: -1.330 NRuns
Top Mariners contribution: Milton Bradley (0.681 NRuns: -1.283 hitting, 1.964 fielding)
Goat: Everth Cabrera (-2.474 NRuns: -0.553 hitting, -1.921 fielding)
Wow, what a dull game. It was kind of a pitcher's duel (not sure how much home plate umpire Jim Reynolds' strike zone had on that but there were far fewer walks and neither Clayton Richard nor Ian Snell are known for their control), for about 3-4 innings, and then Ian Snell kind of reverted to his hit and miss form long enough for the Pads to plate two runs and from there it was over, because the Mariners spent the rest of the game making Clayton Richard look unhittable despite his having flipped on the cruise control several innings before.
The first inning by Clayton Richard, however, was one of the best per Net Runs by a pitcher to date this season. The line scores will say he allowed three hits, but all three hits came on grounders, which in Safeco are counted for 0.093 NRuns to the pitcher. Clayton also picked off Ichiro, struck out Mike Sweeney with two on and one out and got a pop out (which in Net Runs is totally credited to the pitcher) to end the frame. In effect, Clayton faced five Mariners and got positive outcomes from his end against all of them, plus picked off one of the runners the defense allowed to reach base.
In effect, the Padres infield created about a run and a half, and Clayton Richard saved over two runs in getting them out of it without a run allowed. That is a tremendous inning: Even the best single game pitching performances rarely save more than a couple runs. To save that many in a frame is a fine effort.
Now, the Mariners bats, on the other hand, showed that they spent themselves in yesterday's 15 run outburst... or maybe the Pads defense and pitching came to play today. Will Venable got in the black with his defense in RF one day after costing the Pads a couple runs there. Tony Gwynn Jr was a huge upgrade in CF over Chris Denorfia today. Oscar Salazar was solid in LF. David Eckstein had himself a decent game. Save for Everth Cabrera's stinker at SS, the Pads overall had a good game on defense and that stifled the M's efforts to string together hits and runs.
This even discounts Yorvit Torrealba's effort behind the plate: There's no concrete way to tell, but perhaps he's a superior pitch caller and infield general to young Nick Hundley, who has historically struggled with the role in San Diego. One day after the M's unloaded on talented lefthanded soft tosser Wade LeBlanc, lefthander Clayton Richard shut them down.
Ian Snell actually looked like a new and improved pitcher for about two innings and change, which makes sense since during his stint out of the pen his average outing was about two innings and change in length. After a leadoff strikeout in the 3rd he gave up a line drive and a walk but got a pop out and flyout to escape with no damage, a so-so but okay inning. The 4th inning featured the huge Matt Stairs home run, and Snell ultimately gave up a liner and three flyballs... not good at all. Snell then gave up three line drives with a flyball in the 5th, miraculously escaped damage, and Wak pulled him at the right time, ending his night there after the 5th.
Ultimately, Ian Snell's outing was below average just like the others, though thankfully he only allowed a run. That could have easily been 3 or 4 runs. A positive note to take from this is that, as he was doing from the pen, he attacked the strike zone early in his start and challenged hitters. He started missing on the first pitch after a couple innings and the hitters squared him up from there, but if Snell can continue to harness that aggression, he could be a valuable starter even if he does get hit a bit. He just needs to trust his stuff, not fall behind in the count and nibble.