2004 Padres wanted nothing but playoffs

While some positives came out of the 2004 San Diego Padres season, the only thing that mattered in the end was missing the playoffs.

Jake Peavy was winning the National League ERA title Friday (Oct. 1) at almost the exact same time that the Padres were officially being eliminated from the playoff hunt. When Peavy retired rookie Chris Snyder for the second out in the second inning, he reached the minimum 162 innings needed to qualify. But less than a minute later, the Astros finished their win over the Rockies to eliminate the Padres. "That was disheartening to see the "F" go up on the scoreboard by the Houston score," said Peavy.

Peavy, 23, became the National League's youngest ERA champion since Dwight Gooden was 20 for the Mets in 1985. Peavy finished with a 2.27 ERA. The only problem he faced was getting the needed innings. He missed seven starts from mid-May to early July because of forearm tendinitis. Peavy is only the second Padre to win the ERA title. Randy Jones won it in 1975 with a 2.24 mark. Only Dave Roberts (2.10 in 1971) and Jones had lower ERAs than Peavy's mark. "I don't know what to say," Peavy, who finished with a 15-6 record, of the ERA title. "I feel honored."

David Wells said he enjoys pitching to Barry Bonds. Bonds was 0-for-3 against Wells on Wednesday (Oct. 29) although he scored in the first after drawing an unintentional walk. "It's fun," Wells said of pitching to Bonds. "He's a challenge. He brings out the best in me. That first at-bat, I was perturbed. I let him get away." In the eighth, Wells reacted angrily when plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called a ball when Wells thought he had thrown strike three past Bonds. "I got Bonds," said Wells. "It seems every game I'm battling an umpire. I don't like strike zones the size of tuna cans. When I throw a strike, I deserve a strike ... whether it is Barry or anyone else."

Dave Hansen, acquired July 29 to give the Padres another left-handed bat off the bench, accounted for more double plays than hits as a pinch-hitter with the Padres. He was 2-for-17 while grounding into three double plays.

Phil Nevin struggled mightily in two key series against the Giants down the stretch. Nevin, who was playing despite running a high fever with the flu, was 1-for-12 against the Giants last week with two strikeouts, a key error and two double-play grounders. And he was 0-for-12 against the Giants on Sept. 17-19 in San Francisco.

Trevor Hoffman worked the final two innings Wednesday night (Sept. 29) to get the win in the Padres' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Giants. It marked only the second time -- and second straight time -- that Hoffman worked more than one inning and was the first time since Sept. 12, 2002 that he worked two innings.

Until the Padres were eliminated, Ramon Hernandez played in 21 straight games. During the run, he went 24-for-78 (.308) with eight doubles, four homers and 18 RBI.

"We're going to spend the winter thinking about this game here or that game here," Ryan Klesko said. "It's just natural when you come this close. It's painful. But it will serve as a reminder next year. It won't happen like this again."

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