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San Diego Padres All-Time Strikeout Leaders
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The San Diego Padres have been a major league team since 1969, and while over those 40 years they haven’t won a championship, they did reach the World Series twice, in 1984 and 1998. And while the Padres may have a losing stigma attached to them, you don’t play ball for that long without fielding awesome players. The most notable Padre is Tony Gwynn, one of the game’s all-time great hitters. But they have also fielded some great pitchers, and here is a list of the Padres’ all-time leaders in strikeouts to date:
Jake Peavy (1348)—Jake Peavy has developed into one of the game’s best pitchers today, having spent his entire career so far with the Padres, since 2002. Peavy already ranks first in team history with 1348 strikeouts, and his 92 wins with the team already ranks him tied for second in that category. Peavy had his best season in 2007, when he won the NL Cy Young Award by going 19-6 (career high in wins) with a 2.54 ERA and career high 240 strikeouts (all three categories led the league).
Andy Benes (1036)—Andy Benes played for the Padres most of his career, from 1989 to 1995, and he ranks second in franchise history with 1036 strikeouts. Benes had a career high 189 strikeouts in the strike-shortened 1994 season (which led the league) but he had a 6-14 record to go along with all the K’s. His best season with San Diego was 1991, when Benes went 15-11 with a 3.03 earned run average and 167 K’s.
Trevor Hoffman (1029)—What’s most amazing about Trevor Hoffman’s ranking third in Padres’ history with 1029 strikeouts is not the strikeouts, but the fact that he never started a game. Hoffman is one of the best closers in the game, and played in San Diego from 1993 to 2008 before signing with Milwaukee in 2009. He currently leads the majors with 576 career saves, and Hoffman struck out a career high 111 batters twice, in 1996 and 1997. But his best overall season was 1998, when he went 4-2 with career best numbers in ERA (1.48) and saves (53), and striking out 86 batters in just 73 innings.
Eric Show (951)—Eric Show pitched for the Padres most of his career, from 1981 to 1990, and he ranks fourth in the team’s history with 951 strikeouts. Show had his best season in 1988, when he went 16-11 with a 3.26 ERA and career high 144 strikeouts.
Andy Ashby (829)—Journeyman Andy Ashby pitched for the Padres longer than any other team, from 1993 to 1999, and again in 2004. Ashby ranks fifth in Padres’ history with 829 strikeouts and his best season was 1998, the year the Padres last went to the World Series. That year, Ashby went 17-9 with a 3.34 earned run average and career high 151 K’s.
Clay Kirby (802)—Clay Kirby was part of the Big Red Machine in the mid-‘70’s, but before that he pitched in San Diego from 1969 to 1973. Kirby ranks sixth in franchise history with 802 strikeouts, and he had his best season in 1971. That year, Kirby had career best numbers in wins (15-13), ERA (2.83) and strikeouts (231). He also had a penchant for walking batters, with 103 that season.
Ed Whitson (767)—Ed Whitson pitched in San Diego more than any other team (in 1983 and 1984 and again from 1986 to 1991), also playing for the Pirates, Yankees, Giants and Indians. Whitson ranks seventh in team history with 767 strikeouts, and he had a career high 135 K’s in 1987. But his best overall season was arguably 1990, when Whitson went 14-9 with a career best 2.60 ERA and 127 strikeouts.
Randy Jones (677)—Randy Jones pitched for the Padres most of his career, from 1973 to 1980, before finishing with the Mets in 1981 and 1982. Jones ranks eighth in Padres’ history with 677 strikeouts, and he had a career high 124 K’s in 1974 despite an 8-22 record. Jones won the NL Cy Young in 1976, which was also his best season, with a 22-14 record (on a team that finished 73-89) and 2.74 earned run average, with 93 strikeouts.
Joey Hamilton (639)—Joey Hamilton pitched in San Diego from 1994 to 1998, and he ranks ninth in franchise history with 639 strikeouts. Hamilton had his best season in 1996, when he went 15-9 (career high in wins) with a 4.17 ERA and career best 184 strikeouts.
Adam Eaton (623)—Adam Eaton began his career with the Padres, pitching in San Diego from 2000 to 2005. Eaton ranks tenth in Padres’ team history with 623 strikeouts, and he had a career high 153 of them in 2004. But Eaton’s best season overall so far was 2005, when he went 11-5 with a 4.27 earned run average and 100 K’s.