In 2010, the Arizona Diamondbacks set a major league record with 1,529 strikeouts, an average of 9.4 whiffs per game. They lost 97 times that season.
So far in 2012, the San Diego Padres are punching out 8.4 times per game. Is it any surprise they've started 3-10?
The Padres punched out 9 more times in an 8-4 loss to the Rockies on Wednesday night. Starting pitcher Clayton Richard was a victim of Denver's thin air. In the 2nd inning alone, he gave up five extra-base hits (four doubles and a homer) as the Rockies took a 5-1 lead.
That turned out to be more than enough for Colorado starter Juan Nicasio. It's amazing Nicasio was even in the stadium. Last August he was hit in the head by a line drive, suffering a fractured skull and a severe neck injury. Doctors weren't sure he'd ever walk again.
Nicasio not only returned to the mound, but kept his 97-mph fastball and won a starting job in Spring Training. He threw 6 1/3 innings to get his first win since before his injury.
Nicasio's only issue was getting Chase Headley out. The Padres 3rd baseman hit a pair of homers, driving in three of San Diego's four runs. Headley has hit four dingers already, matching his total for all of last season.
The Padres finish their road trip through Los Angeles and Denver 1-5, and things don't get any easier. On Thursday they open a 4-game series at PETCO Park against the Phillies, then host the Nationals for three games. Washington, of all teams, owns the National League's best record at 10-3.