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San Diego Padres: Cold Bats Key To Slow Start

HOUSTON - APRIL 14:  Pitcher Dustin Moseley of the San Diego Padres,center, wipes his head as he talks with catcher Nick Hundley, right, and Chase Headley , left  at Minute Maid Park on April 14, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Darren FeeneyCorrespondent IApril 24, 2011

There’s no way around it or no easier way to put it: A lack of offense has resulted in a lack of wins for the San Diego Padres.

It was a welcoming site when Will Venable singled up the middle to put a run on the board in the Padres’ 3-1 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies and Roy Halladay Sunday. Halladay fanned 14, coming within one out of their third shutout of the Padres during a four-game sweep at PETCO Park.

The Padres have scored just three runs in their last 32 innings and besides scoring five runs in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, the Padres have scored just four runs in their past six games.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the Padres (8-14) are last in the MLB in runs scored (62) and batting average (.214).

To put those numbers into perspective, the Cincinnati Reds have scored 114 runs and the St. Louis Cardinals lead MLB with a .295 team BA.

What is most frustrating about the inept offensive numbers is the production the club is getting out of the pitching staff—without a fully equipped Mat Latos.

In the midst of losing six of their last seven games, the Friars’ staff hasn’t allowed more than four runs in a single game. On the season, their starting pitching ranks second with 15 quality starts and also have an MLB’s second-best team ERA (2.94).

A prime example of the Padres inefficiency at the plate is the curious case of Dustin Moseley and his 0-3 start.

Moseley has turned in four quality starts, an ERA (1.40) good enough for third best in MLB, but has a 0-3 record to show because the Padres have given him just one run in support.

Aaron Harang (1.87 ERA) has been just as good in his return to his hometown, with a win in each of his starts. The only difference is the Padres have provided Harang with 19 runs.

The only every day starter batting above .300 is Nick Hundley (.309). As a result, Bud Black has been changing the batting order on his lineup card daily.

The most recent move was the flip-flop of Will Venable (.172) with Cameron Maybin (.260) at the top of the order.  

Besides Maybin and Hundley, no other Padre starter is batting above .250: Jason Bartlett (.242), Orlando Hudson (.229), Chase Headley (.227), Ryan Ludwick (.194). 

Jorge Cantu and Brad Hawpe, who platoon at first base, are batting .145 and 1.04, respectively. 

"We've got to keep working, and we've got to grind through this," Padres manager Bud Black told MLB.com. 

"We've got to keep doing our work in the cage and watching video. We have to keep working our [rear ends] off to get to where we need to be."

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