Marks of Jones, Gwynn skew SD record book

Pitcher's 1976 records can never be broken given changes in game

Marks of Jones, Gwynn skew SD record book

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

I couldn't help but think about Randy Jones on Friday while I was listening to manager Andy Green and pitcher Clayton Richard reflect on 200 innings being "a benchmark."

They weren't lying. The way baseball is played now -- with relievers entering a winning proposition as soon as the fifth and most every victory concluding with a closer -- a 200-inning season is indeed something to celebrate.

But that's not the way it was played in the 1970s, when Jones put up numbers that won't ever be matched by a modern-era Padres pitcher.

Jones is to the pitching side of the Padres record book what Tony Gwynn is to the hitting side. I doubt we'll ever see another Padre hit .394 for a season or have 3,000 hits in a career. I know I won't live to see it. Gwynn's numbers are almost incomprehensible.

Jones' numbers in 1976 certainly are, too. He pitched 315 1/3 innings that season and started 40 games, completing 25 of them. Think about those numbers.

Jones also holds the mark for the second-most innings pitched by a Padre with 285 in 1976. The most ever pitched by a starter not named Randy Jones was 269 2/3 innings by Dave Roberts in 1971. The most thrown by a Padres starter in the last four decades is 257 by Kevin Brown in '98 -- a figure that is more than six complete games shy of Jones' record.

Compared to the modern era, Jones' figures from 1976 make no sense. Working in a four-man rotation, Jones made 40 starts. Pitchers of the modern-era five-man rotation rarely make more than 32-33. Brown had 35 starts in 1998. Eric Show and Andy Hawkins each made 35 starts in '95.

Given the change in the way pitchers are deployed, Jones' records will remain unchallenged for as long as there is a Padres record book.

Noteworthy

• Left-hander Brad Hand was the workhorse of the Padres' bullpen before he became the club's closer. Last year, he made 82 appearances, one shy of the franchise record set by Craig Lefferts in 1986. But Hand has made only 19 appearances in the Padres' 43 games since he became the closer on July 23 with the trading of Brandon Maurer. During that span, Hand has allowed seven runs on 12 hits and five walks in 21 innings for a 3.00 ERA. Before that, he had a 2.16 ERA.

Wil Myers hit his 25th homer Thursday night. The two-run shot to left in the seventh was his first home run since Aug. 12. The homer made Myers only the fifth player in Padres history with multiple seasons of 25 or more homers and 10 or more stolen bases. Myers was 2-for-4 on Thursday night, his fourth multiple-hit game in his last five games (10-for-22) after having only one multiple-hit game between Aug. 17 and Sept. 2 (5-for-42).

• Center fielder Manuel Margot was 2-for-3 on Thursday night with his 14th stolen base. He is one stolen base away from becoming the sixth National League center fielder since 1970 with at least 30 extra-base hits, 15 homers and 15 stolen bases. Thursday was his club-leading 34th multiple-hit game of the season.

• Richard earned the win Thursday, his first since his shutout of the Phillies on Aug. 16. He is 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA over his last five starts.