When the San Diego Padres traded ace righty Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox, everyone agreed they got some nice pieces in return. Little did they know they’d get a guy who would actually have a better season than Peavy just one year later.
Clayton Richard has been excellent for the Padres during his first full season as a starter. He only added to that Tuesday night as he tossed his first career shutout in a 6-0 win over the Dodgers.
Richard, a 6’5, 240-pound lefty, was outstanding Tuesday night. He mixed a low to mid-90s fastball, with a slider and a change-up. He scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out six, while being economical with his pitches (105 on the night). He also forced 14 ground-ball outs.
For the year Richard is 13-8 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Numbers that won’t blow you away, but considering he’s 27 and is in his first full year as a starter, Richard can only get better.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, Richard had dropped three straight decisions, including a rough outing last week in Denver where he allowed eight runs in just three innings.
Before his three-game losing streak, Richard had a 12-5 record and had won five straight decisions. So maybe after last week’s debacle in Denver, Richard and Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley figured something out, because tonight he was special.
Richard’s big night kept the Padres just a half game behind the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, and moved San Diego to within one game of the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card chase.