Last night, Andrew Cashner pitched a complete game, 9-inning shutout while facing the minimum 27 batters. Cashner is the first pitcher in Padres history to complete the feat, which immediately put Padres fans and media on notice. Was this the greatest start in Padres history? That’s a question surely to get a lot of subjective response, but there is a statistical measure that can also help guide us. We’re going to take a look at the numbers, throw in some subjective analysis, and take a get a glimpse into the greatest starts in Padres history.

Cashner dressing the deer  last night (artists rendering)

Cashner dressing the deer last night (artist’s rendering)

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On the second pitch of the 2013 season, Everth Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt. As I once lamented at the old blog, “if your #2 hitter lays down a sacrifice bunt in the first inning… then you probably need to find another #2 hitter.”

The culprit in that case was Luis Rodríguez, but the point remains. Why give away an out so early in the game in the hope of scoring a single run? The fact that the Padres didn’t score after Cabrera’s bunt and ended up losing, 11-2, makes it look ridiculous, but regardless of outcome, this is a poor tactic.

I’m not the only person who doesn’t like to see the second-place hitter bunt. No less an authority than Bill James called out the Padres skipper for such behavior:

I’ve got a lot of respect for Dick Williams, but I don’t understand bunting with your #2 hitter.

Granted, that was in the Alan Wiggins comment of the 1984 Baseball Abstract, but still. Oh wait, you thought I was going to complain about Bud Black? Funny thing about that. He hasn’t been as egregious in his deployment of this tactic as you might have guessed. Read More…