Petco powerhouse: Chacin stars in San Diego
Padres righty fires 6 scoreless innings to lead MLB in home ERA
SAN DIEGO -- As he's proven with his 2017 performance, right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is comfortable at Petco Park. The Padres hope he continues to be beyond this season.
During six shutout innings in Saturday's 5-0 victory against the Rockies, Chacin flirted with a no-hitter and whittled his home ERA to 1.79, just ahead of Indians right-hander Corey Kluber for the best in baseball. The mark is also the third lowest by a Padres pitcher since the club moved to Petco Park in 2004.
Chacin, who pitched for the Rockies from 2009-14, said he used to find more solace on the road, away from the high elevation of Coors Field. In San Diego, he's easily content.
"You have to feel comfortable at home," Chacin said. "I feel like every time I pitch at home I feel really great and I make my pitches. That's been the difference."
The Padres have expressed interest in re-signing Chacin, who signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal in the offseason. The club signed left-hander Clayton Richard to an extension Wednesday, with general manager A.J. Preller saying he's had conversations with all of the Padres' potential free agents.
Manager Andy Green would certainly enjoy having Chacin back.
"Without a doubt," Green said. "That's been expressed on both sides. Hopefully, something happens, but it's out of my hands. I'm very hopeful and hopes he factors into the equation how well he throws in this ballpark, and I think he loves this clubhouse, loves these guys and loves playing here. He's been great for us on both fronts."
Chacin, who has a 6.93 ERA away from Petco Park, officially passed Kluber when Charlie Blackmon's fly ball to left-center field stopped at the warning track, pushing Chacin's no-hit bid to 5 2/3 innings. A sinking liner to center off DJ LeMahieu's bat ended Chacin's bid for San Diego immortality with two outs in the sixth. Walks to Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado followed. His home ERA in danger, Chacin was left in to face Gerardo Parra, a fellow Venezuelan who entered Saturday's game 9-for-29 against him, with the bases loaded.
On the first pitch, Parra hit a short fly to left as Chacin escaped.
"I was just trying to make my pitches and attack the hitters," Chacin said. "I was just having fun. I'm trying to finish the season strong."
Saturday's effort finished an inning shy of Chacin's longest no-hit bid, which was 6 2/3 innings against the Giants in 2013. His final start of 2017 will come in San Francisco. Away from his comfort zone, he'll give San Diego another shot at its first no-hitter.
"I've got one more start," he said, "so we'll see."