Peavy done in by Padres' bats
Lack of clutch hits allows ace to be bested by Webb, D-backs
SAN DIEGO -- The nature of their schedule means the Padres can never get too far away from their National League West divisional brethren, though the 2,700 hundred miles the team will travel Monday to Philadelphia certainly can't hurt.
"We'll get a different look going back east," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It will be good to see some different uniforms."
Especially if it means getting different results from the ones the Padres have gotten so far this season, especially against NL West foes like the Diamondbacks, who hung a 2-1 loss on San Diego before 40,074 at PETCO Park on Sunday.
Brandon Webb became just the latest opposing pitcher to tie the Padres' hitters in knots, though they have certainly managed to do that just fine against lesser pitchers who have dealt the Padres plenty of misery in this stretch of 10 losses in the last 12 games.
"We're not going to face any better pitching than we've faced in the last five days," said Padres starter Jake Peavy, referring to Webb, Randy Johnson and Micah Owings of Arizona, and Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum of the Giants.
The Padres are 7-13 against the Rockies, Giants, Dodgers and Diamondbacks this season after going 40-33 against NL West foes in 2007.
Again, the problems the Padres (10-16) had Sunday resembled the ones that have gotten them in trouble often this season: the lack of a clutch hit with runners in scoring position.
The Padres had their chances against the Diamondbacks (18-7), loading the bases during the fifth and sixth innings and looking as if they were going to get to Webb, who improved his Major League-best record to 6-0 by allowing one unearned run in six frames.
In the sixth inning, the Padres -- who were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners -- got consecutive one-out base hits by Khalil Greene and Tadahito Iguchi, the latter sending Greene racing to third base.
Webb more or less pitched around No. 8 hitter Josh Bard, walking him to get to Peavy, who had doubled just one inning before. But Webb got Peavy to chase a slider for the second out. Brian Giles then lined a ball in the hole between first and second. First baseman Conor Jackson smothered the ball with a diving stop before throwing to Webb for the final out of the inning.
"When things are going your way, that ball goes through," Giles said.
The Padres came up empty in the fifth inning, as well, despite Peavy's double and two walks as Kevin Kouzmanoff swung through a slider away to end the inning.
"It's been sort of the story the last 10 days, getting that key hit. It's just a situation where we've got guys who aren't swinging the bats. We have got some veteran hitters who have been through this before," Black said.
The Padres, who play the first of nine games on the road Tuesday in Philadelphia, are led by Adrian Gonzalez's .280 average. Paul McAnulty (.231), Iguchi (.224), Kouzmanoff (.257), Jim Edmonds (.164) and Bard (.225) are all struggling.
Overall, the Padres are hitting .225 as a team and have scored two or fewer runs in 14 games.
"We certainly need to do a better job offensively," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "We've got to find ways to score runs, otherwise we'll have to go internally or externally and shake things up."
That's not a prospect Towers or Black wants to consider, not yet anyway. The Padres are still getting strong starting pitcher, which has, more often than not, kept them in games, as was the case Sunday with Peavy on the mound.
Peavy (3-1) allowed just four hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts, which usually is good enough for a victory. But with a scuffling offense, almost every pitch has to be perfect and not all of his were to the Diamondbacks.
Actually, Peavy made but one mistake, leaving a fastball over the plate during the second inning to No. 8 hitter Chris Snyder, who was battling an illness that caused him dizziness in the game. But Snyder got enough of the ball to send it over the fence in left-center for a 2-0 lead.
"I shook off a slider," Peavy said. "Bad pitch execution and bad pitch selection, too. Unfortunately, that one pitch cost us the ballgame."
Peavy, never short on opinions, insists the Padres are better than what they have shown thus far.
"We believe we have a good team. Obviously, we've got to get better in many different ways," he said. "It's very easy to get discouraged. We have enough firepower to score.
"Hopefully, our boys will get it rolling and get some confidence."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.