Chris Paddack showed up and showed out on Monday night, racking up a career-high 11 strikeouts and out-dueling reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. Paddack’s San Diego Padres took home a 4-0 win over the New York Mets. After his performance, it’s clear Paddack is now the best young pitcher in baseball.
The 23-year-old right-hander went 7.2 innings, allowing just four hits, no runs, and walked only one . He utterly dominated the Mets, and did so with swagger. Paddack was on fire, his fastball usually sits in the mid-90s, but he was reaching back into the upper-90s Monday night, even touching 98.
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Paddack had some extra motivation Monday night, as he was passed over for NL Rookie of the Month in favor of Mets first baseman Pete Alonso. Paddack didn’t seem pleased that with that result and threw down the gauntlet to Alonso and the Mets. Then he answered it.
Paddack, who shows up to every start in a suit and a cowboy hat, has fully earned his nickname: The Sheriff. And once again, he laid down the law.
This isn’t just about one night, though, Paddack has been unbelievable all season for the Padres. So far on the year he’s 3-1, is second in baseball with a 1.55 ERA, and leads the big leagues in WHIP (0.69), batting average against (.130), on-base percentage (.193), slugging percentage (.196) and OPS (.389). He also has 46 strikeouts against seven walks in 43 innings. Over his seven starts, Paddack has allowed more than one run just twice.
Oh, and you want history? Paddack is making it. The big Texan is the first pitcher since 1906 to allow four or fewer hits in his first seven major league starts.
There is no better pitcher under the age of 25 in baseball right now. None. Paddack is flat-out dominant and the Padres have yet to even pull the reins off him. Monday night he threw 91 pitches, which was a career-high.
The Padres have Paddack on a strict innings-limit this year, after he only pitched in 90.2 innings in the minors in 2018, which was his first year back after Tommy John surgery. He’ll be monitored closely as the season goes along. It’s a shame he won’t be able to pitch a full season, given how dominant he’s been so far.
Paddack has become can’t-miss pitching. He’s worth watching every time he gets on the mound.