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Defense an issue this year for Padres' pitchers

Defense an issue this year for Padres' pitchers

Defense an issue this year for Padres' pitchers
SAN DIEGO -- While it hasn't reached epidemic proportions, the defense of Padres pitchers is of concern for manager Bud Black.

Clayton Richard's overthrow of second base on an attempted double play in the fifth inning on Tuesday was the fourth error committed by the San Diego pitching staff this season.

"Our pitchers take a lot of pride in pitching defense," said Black. "We have made eight errors as a team, and four have been have been by pitchers in 10 games. Clayton didn't hit the bag in St. Louis, even though he did," said Black. "[Tim] Stauffer made a throwing error, Clayton made a throwing error and [Aaron] Harang made a throwing error.

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"We can't make errors, and we have to do things right," said Black. "You know how we play. I'm not telling you anything different about how we need to win."

Asked about how much the pitchers practice during the season, Black said: "We practice a lot. We will have pitcher's fielding practice during the course of the season. During batting practice, you'll notice a lot of pitchers will take ground balls out in right field early. And a lot of times on the road -- at least once each series -- we have early practice and we will have some specialty works."

Black addressed the most recent errors by the pitching staff and the circumstances surrounding them.

"Last night, the ball got back to Clayton quick and he turned and quickly threw the ball to the second-base bag," Black said. "And the guys were not there yet. You have to take one more shuffle step and deliver the ball to the bag."

As for Harang, his throw during the seventh inning on Sunday came toward the third-base bag after a comebacker, when he eyed the Dodgers' Matt Kemp off the base.

"While that was a poor throw, Aaron told me later that the slope of the mound got him when he tried to throw the ball," said Black. "He was sensing his foot hitting the ground as he was getting ready to throw, and it never did. He was just out of sorts when he tried to throw the ball."

Black was a strong fielding pitchers during his playing career.

"I liked to field my position," said Black. "I liked fielding bunts, I never felt uncomfortable throwing to bases, I like throwing to bases. Every team has a guy or two who doesn't like to field their position."

Asked about who was the best fielding pitcher on the Padres, Black picked Dustin Moseley.

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