Padres aren't handing out many free passes

Padres aren't handing out many free passes

Padres aren't handing out many free passes
SAN DIEGO -- While the Padres have struggled offensively and defensively during the first month of the season, their pitching has been a strong point.

And the pitchers had an impressive streak to back that up.

Before Clayton Richard walked the Giants' Buster Posey in the sixth inning in Sunday's 4-1 loss in San Francisco, the Padres had issued no walks for 26 consecutive innings against 104 consecutive batters, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Padres' last walk before Posey had been to the Nationals' Wilson Ramos with two outs in the fifth inning on Thursday at Petco Park.

"I wasn't aware of it," Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said. "I know when we're walking too many people. But I expect our guys not to issue a lot of walks.

"It is impressive, but it's also expected."

Earlier in the season, Balsley said he was concerned the pitchers were issuing a few too many walks, but that number has diminished.

"We have a fairly young staff," he said. "Through their work ethic and side work, they're learning to execute quality pitches."

The streak of 104 consecutive batters faced without issuing a walk was the fourth-longest streak in Padres history. The 26 straight innings without a walk is tied for the fifth-longest streak in club history.

The longest streak in Padres history is 32 consecutive innings and 122 consecutive batters faced without a walk, which occurred from July 28-31, 1971.

"I hope the four walks in three games becomes more of the norm than an aberration," manager Bud Black said. "What we don't want is the bad walk, the two-out-nobody-on walk, the walk to the eighth-place hitter when the pitcher is up."