Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Get it over with ... fast!

What has been the most impressive thing about the Padres through the first week of this season?
The team’s 5-2 record? The bullpen not allowing a run in 20 2/3 innings?
Maybe it’s none of the above. Perhaps the most noteworthy item about the 2007 Padres through Week One is how rapidly their pitchers work.
Through seven games, the Padres are playing in an average time of 2:34. Their longest game took 2:42 opening day at San Francisco, which would be considered a fast game by today’s standards.
The past two games have seemed to move at the speed of light. It took only 2:27 to beat the Colorado Rockies, 2-1, in 10 innings Sunday; then last night’s 1-0 win over the San Francisco Giants took a mere 2:25.
This is all bringing to mind the 1998 pitching staff led by Kevin Brown, Sterling Hitchcock and Andy Ashby. They worked as if they were double-parked and wanted to get away from the ballpark before they were issued a parking ticket. And their ultimate ticket was a trip to the World Series that year against the New York Yankees.
Nobody has ever been a quicker worker for the Padres than Randy Jones. I can remember seeing Jones once in 1976 beat Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-0, in one-hour and 33 minutes.
This year’s Padres are also pitching as if they have an early date for the night. All spectators can be thankful for that in the era of the three-hour game.

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