San Diego Padres: Starting Pitching Struggles Again In Loss To New York Mets

John Baker USA Today Sports

After Monday’s effort by starting pitcher Edinson Volquez against the New York Mets, in which Volquez lasted only three innings and allowed six earned runs, the San Diego Padres were hoping to get a better effort from Clayton Richard Wednesday night. However, they did not. Richard lasted only 4 and 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and eight runs (seven earned) including three two-run home runs in a 8-4 loss at Citi Field.  

Richard pitched a scoreless first inning, before allowing two runs in each the second and fourth inning and four runs in his final inning of work, the fifth. Richard never seemed to be in command of his pitches on the chilly night, throwing first pitch balls to 12 of the 23 batters he faced, while consistently missing his spots in the strike zone.

The night finally came to an end for Richard after allowing a towering two-run home run to Met first baseman Ike Davis and then walking right-fielder Marlon Byrd with one out in the fifth.

This is an inauspicious sign for Richard to begin the 2013 campaign by allowing seven hits and three home runs in his first start of the season. Last year, Richard led the National League in hits allowed (288) and home runs allowed (31) as well.

The start from Richard Wednesday night may draw some concern for Padre fans, due to the fact that the left-hander had a poor spring training as well. He Posted a 5.31 ERA in four starts, in which he allowed more hits (21) than innings pitched (18 2/3).

Richard’s next scheduled start will most likely be at home next Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

San Diego will wrap up their three-game series against the Mets Thursday at 1:10 p.m.. Left-hander Eric Stults will start for San Diego and attempt to give the Padres their first solid starting outing of the season.

If the Padres have any hope of even staying near .500 baseball this year, the starting pitching needs to turn in quality outings on a consistent basis.  Especially from the top two pitchers of the rotation.

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