Ah the pain of the San Diego Padres.
They have had Hall of Famers and Cy Young winners and some of the great closers of all time wear their uniform. But San Diego is as tortured a sports city as Cleveland or Buffalo. The only difference is the weather kicks butt.
They’ve only made five post season appearances since 1969, winning the pennant twice. And both times they faced a juggernaut in the World Series (the 1984 Tigers and the 1998 Yankees.)
Also remember how they blew a spot in the 2007 post season and lost the 2010 NL West title on the last day?
So October glory is NOT part of the Padres tradition.
But they did clinch a few playoff series. And the two names of the pitchers who clinched a playoff or pennant for San Diego are pretty big among all time relievers.
Here are the pitchers, the game they pitched, and how was the last out recorded.
1984 National League Championship Series – Game 5
Padres 6, Cubs 3
October 7, 1984
At Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego
2 innings of relief of Eric Show, Andy Hawkins, Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts for the save.
LAST OUT: Jody Davis grounded out to Graig Nettles at third base who threw to Alan Wiggins at second base to retire Keith Moreland.
1998 National League Division Series – Game 4
Padres 6, Astros 1
October 4, 1998
At Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
1 inning of relief of Sterling Hitchcock, Joey Hamilton and Dan Miceli.
LAST OUT: Bill Spiers grounds out to second baseman Quilvio Veras who threw to first baseman Wally Joyner for the out.
1998 National League Championship Series – Game 6
Padres 5, Braves 0
October 14, 1998
At Turner Field, Atlanta
1 inning of relief of Sterling Hitchcock, Brian Boehringer, Mark Langston and Joey Hamilton.
LAST OUT: Michael Tucker flies out to left fielder Greg Vaughn.
And that’s it.
One of these days the Padres will have a pitcher clinch the World Series.
I can’t imagine a reliever bigger than Gossage, Hoffman or former Padres reliever Rollie Fingers.
Until then, they’ll always have the ball through Durham’s legs.