Monday, September 27, 2010

Stauffer, Cubs pitching

Tim Stauffer is giving the Padres reason to believe he'll join Mat Latos and Clayton Richard and perhaps Wade LeBlanc and Corey Luebke in an inexpensive, well-balanced Opening Day rotation, 2011. Stauffer has stretched out nicely since moving from long relief to starting. Over his last five starts, Stauffer has a 2.25 ERA with a .208 batting average allowed. He has a 1.91 ERA in six starts this year -- 33 innings, seven earned runs.

Stauffer's good work was for naught on Monday, as the Cubs prevailed 1-0 behind three good pitchers -- Carlos Zambrano followed by Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol. The Padres have stunk it up against a variety of pitchers for several weeks now, so I'm not giving the Cubs all of the credit. But Chicago's pitching staff is having a pretty good year. The Cubs have thrown 12 shutouts, their most since a staff led by Mark Prior and Kerry Wood amassed 14 shutouts in 2003. I wonder if this Cubs staff throws too many breaking balls for its long-term good, but that's just a random thought.

Tonight, the Padres need a return to form by the Tattoed One.

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