Clayton Richard Leads Padres to Victory With Complete Game Shutout

Aug 8, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard (left) smiles after being congratulated by catcher John Baker at the conclusion of the game at Petco Park. Richard threw a complete game shutout as the Padres beat the Chicago Cubs 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

"This is your game." Those are the words Bud Black spoke to Clayton Richard after he issued a 1-out walk in the ninth inning. Rather than turn to the bullpen, Buddy let Clayton pitch himself out of the ninth inning to close out his second career shutout. He held the Cubs to five hits and two walks all game while striking out five, capping a three-game sweep of the Cubs and a 5-1 homestand for our Padres.

After a couple of near-complete-games earlier this season, it was great to see Clayton finally get to finish one. He went 8 2/3 innings on July 2nd against the Diamondbacks and 8 1/3 innings on July 18th against the Astros. Today he was on fire. There were a couple of times where he let runners get to third base, but he kept his cool and pitched himself out of scary situations.

Jeff Samardzija was almost as lights-out for Chicago, giving us a nice little pitcher's duel to enjoy. But our Padres were able to capitalize on his mistakes, unlike the Cubs. Samardzija gave up one fewer hit than Richard and threw one more strikeout in his seven innings of work, but his offense couldn't come through for him so his effort went unrewarded. Our boys struck first in the second inning when Chase Headley hit a leadoff double and later came home on a double by Will Venable. Samardzija retired the next 14 Padres in order, but the damage was already done. Watching Richard shut down his offense was evidently too much for Samardzija to stomach, and his frustration showed when he broke his bat over his knee after striking out to end the Cubs' half of the 7th inning.

San Diego's second run came in the 8th inning off Cubs reliever James Russell. He started off the inning by retiring John Baker and Clayton Richard. Then Chris Denorfia hit a two-out double to keep the inning alive. Next, Everth Cabrera reached first base on a fielding error by Anthony Rizzo, while Chris Denorfia advanced to third. A single by Yonder Alonso allowed Denorfia to come home, but Cabrera was thrown out at third to end the inning.

This was our Padres' eighth shutout of the season and tenth win in the last 12 games at home. With the victory, our boys earned their first sweep at home and improved their record to 49-64.

Final - 8.8.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago Cubs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
San Diego Padres 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 2 6 0
WP: Clayton Richard (9 - 11)
LP: Jeff Samardzija (7 - 10)

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