The good news for the Padres is that Brian Giles seems to have found his power stroke, spanking a pair of home runs and accounting for team's entire RBI production. The bad news is that the Padres still can't muster hits as a team, putting extra pressure on a pitching staff that has been heavily taxed over the last week. The result was an 8-3 loss in Great American Park to the Cincinnati Reds. Justin Hampson offset Justin Germano's strong work, allowing 4 runs to boost Cincinnati's total to 5 at the end of 7. Recently recalled for a fresh arm, Mike Thompson was tagged for 3 runs (1 earned) in an inning and a third to follow up on Hampson's effort.
Outside of the older Giles brother, the Friars collected just two hits. As a team, the Padres have the worst batting average (.243) and on base percentage (.313) in the National League (NL). They also strike out and get hits at the second worst clip in the NL (897 Ks and 965 hits, respectively). Otherwise put, the Friars strikeout 16% more and compile 8% fewer hits than the average NL team. The average Padre gets just 1.08 hits per strikeout (see graphic below). The vaunted Padres pitching staff only holds its opponents to a .247 batting average. Simple math, even at a very abstract level, explains why tonight's outcome has become a far too familiar occurrence in 2007.
The following graphic depicts the percentage of hits (Padre blue line with sand shading) and strikeouts (Charger blue line, no shading) per total plate appearance (PA) for the Padres over the last few seasons. Notice the near convergence of hits and strikeouts in 2007. Disturbing, isn't it?
In 2007 the Padres average a strikeout every 20.1 PA and a hit every 21.6 PA.