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Peavy tops list of Padres right-handed starters

Cy Young winner in 2007 also two-time NL leader in ERA, K's
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The list of right-handed starters in Padres history is much longer than the left-handed list.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The list of right-handed starters in Padres history is much longer than the left-handed list.

But like the left-handed list, the right-handers have a clear No. 1 in Jake Peavy, a two-time All-Star as a Padre who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2007.

My all-time top 10 list of Padres right-handed starters does not include three pitchers who had brilliant but very short tenures in San Diego -- Gaylord Perry, Kevin Brown and Greg Maddux.

Perry won the NL Cy Young Award in 1978 by going 21-6 with a 2.73 ERA. Maddux was 20-20 with a 4.07 ERA with the Padres. And Brown helped the Padres win the 1998 NL title with an 18-7 record and a 2.38 ERA during the regular season and a 2-1 record and a 1.44 ERA in four playoff starts. But Perry and Maddux pitched only two seasons for the Padres, and Brown one season.

Eliminating pitchers with less than three seasons in the San Diego rotation, here is my list of the Padres' top 10 all-time starters (based on just what they did with the Padres):

1. Peavy (2002-09)

In addition to winning the 2007 NL Cy Young Award, Peavy twice led the league in ERA and strikeouts. In 7 ½ seasons with the Padres, Peavy was 92-68 with a 3.29 ERA in 212 career starts. He is tied with Randy Jones for second on the Padres' all-time wins list and ranks first in strikeouts (1,348) and second to Trevor Hoffman in strikeouts per nine innings (9.04) and opponents' batting average (.232). Peavy also ranks second in winning percentage (.575), third in games started and fourth in innings pitched (1,342 2/3) and ERA. Earning the Cy Young Award in 2007, he went 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts, leading the NL in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He also led the league with a 2.27 ERA in 2004 and 216 strikeouts in '05.

2. Andy Benes (1989-95)

The first overall pick of the Padres in the 1988 Draft, Benes made his Major League debut 14 months later and was 69-75 with a 3.57 ERA in 187 games (186 starts). Benes was an All-Star in 1993 and finished sixth in the Cy Young Award voting in 1991. He ranks second on the Padres all-time strikeout list (1,036); third in opponents' batting average (.242) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.55); fifth in starts, innings pitched (1,235) and shutouts (eight), and sixth in ERA. He had a 20.7 WAR.

3. Andy Ashby (1993-99, 2004)

Ashby was also a two-time All-Star, with a 70-62 career record and a 3.59 ERA in 187 games (185 starts) over eight seasons in San Diego. Ashby was 17-9 with a 3.34 ERA in 33 starts during the Padres' pennant-winning season of 1998. He ranks fifth on the Padres' all-time lists in wins and strikeouts (829) and eighth in career ERA. He also ranks sixth in strikeouts per nine innings (6.16), starts and innings pitched (1,212); seventh in winning percentage (.530), and tied for eighth in shutouts (six). Ashby's 22.8 WAR is topped only by Peavy's 24.7.

4. Joey Hamilton (1994-98)

The Padres' first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 1991 Draft, Hamilton was 55-44 with a 3.83 ERA in 146 games (142 starts) over five seasons. Hamilton had a 15.8 WAR and is tied for eighth on the club's all-time wins list and third (.556) in winning percentage. He ranks seventh in strikeouts per nine innings (6.15), ninth in strikeouts (639) and 10th in starts and innings pitched (934 2/3).

5. Eric Show (1981-90)

An 18th-round pick by the Padres in the 1978 Draft, Show spent a decade with the Padres and is the club's all-time leader with 100 wins. A controversial figure at times during his career, Show was 100-87 with a 3.66 ERA in 309 games (230 starts). In addition to being first in wins, Show ranks second on the Padres' all-time list in starts, innings pitched (1,603 1/3) and complete games (35). He is tied for second with 11 shutouts and ranks fourth in winning percentage (.535) and strikeouts (951), fifth in games and seventh in ERA and opponents' batting average (.245). He had a 16.0 WAR.

6. Clay Kirby (1969-73)

A member of the original Padres at the age of 20, Kirby threw some sensational games for bad teams. Kirby had the Padres' first close call at a no-hitter on July 21, 1970, when he was removed for a pinch-hitter after throwing eight hitless innings against the Mets. Twice in September 1971, he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He followed those two starts with one of the greatest efforts in Padres history on Sept. 24, 1971, when he allowed only one run on eight hits while striking out 15 innings while pitching a franchise-record 15 innings against Houston at San Diego Stadium. Kirby was 52-81 despite a 3.73 ERA in 177 games (170 starts). He ranks third on the Padres' all-time list with 34 complete games and is tied for sixth with seven shutouts. He ranks fourth on the on the Padres' all-time list in opponents' batting average (.243), fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (6.40), sixth with 802 strikeouts, seventh in innings pitched (1,128) and 10th in ERA.

7. Ed Whitson (1983-84, 1986-91)

Whitson was 14-8 with a 3.24 ERA in 31 starts during the Padres' 1984 NL title season. In his eight seasons, Whitson was 77-72 with a 3.69 ERA and a 16.5 WAR in 227 games (208 starts). He ranks fourth on the Padres' all-time wins list and eighth (.517) in winning percentage. He also ranks third in innings pitched (1,354 1.3); fourth in starts; seventh in complete games (22) and strikeouts (767); eighth in opponents' batting average (.256), and ninth in ERA.

8. Chris Young (2006-10)

Young and Peavy formed a formidable duo for the Padres until Young was hit in the face by an Albert Pujols line drive on May 27, 2010, at Petco Park. In five seasons, Young was 33-25 with a 3.60 ERA in 97 starts. During his time with the Padres, Young took two no-hitters into the eighth and one into the ninth (when Joe Randa homered with one out). Young also combined on a one-hitter.

9. Tyson Ross (2013-present)

And Ross could climb on my list. In three seasons, Ross is 26-34 with a 3.07 ERA in 99 games (80 starts) with a 6.7 WAR. If he had enough innings to qualify, Ross's ERA would be the lowest by a Padres starting pitcher.

10. Brian Lawrence (2001-05)

On June 12, 2002, Lawrence became the 36th pitcher in Major League history to throw an "immaculate inning," striking out the side on nine pitches in the third inning against the Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore. He was 49-61 with a 4.10 ERA in 162 games (146 starts) with an 8.6 WAR. He ranks ninth on the Padres' all-time list of games started and 10th in strikeouts per game (5.58).

San Diego Padres