SAN DIEGO — It probably says more about the history of Padre pitching staffs than it does about Eric Show's career, but a record is still a record.
On Saturday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, Show defeated the Atlanta Braves, 1-0, to move into a tie with Clay Kirby as the second-winningest pitcher in Padre history.
Hard to believe, but true. Win No. 52 (wonder where that would place a pitcher on the all-time Yankee list?) tied Show with Kirby, who led the Padres in wins with 15 in 1971 and 12 in 1972. Randy Jones is the winningest Padre pitcher with 92.
Against the Braves Saturday, Show pitched a three-hitter and retired the final 17 hitters to record his second shutout of the season.
It's understandable if you forgot when his first shutout was. Try and flashback to the second game of the season in Candlestick Park, when Show struck out 11 in a 3-0 four-hitter against the Giants.
"I didn't feel as overpowering tonight as I did in San Francisco and early in the season," Show said.
But he felt pretty darned good. Using primarily a fastball and slider, Show (11-10 and 7-1 lifetime against the Braves) struck out four and did not walk a batter in his two-hour, three-minute masterpiece.
"Atlanta is pretty down, and I think that had something to do with the game," Show said. "But you have to win those as well as the others."
A sterling defensive performance by his teammates also had a lot to do with Show's shutout.
With runners on first and second and two out in the first, second baseman Tim Flannery made a running backhand catch of Claudell Washington's looping fly ball to short right-center.
In the fourth, Bob Horner led off with a towering fly to right-center. A perfect Kevin McReynolds-to-Flannery-to-Graig Nettles relay easily nailed Horner, who tried to stretch a double into a triple.
"We're struggling so much to score runs that he (Horner) was being over aggressive in trying to go to third," Braves Manager Bobby Wine said. "It was an aggressive mistake, and as it turned out, it was the last chance we had to score."
No Brave reached base after Horner was thrown out at third.
In the fifth, shortstop Garry Templeton made a fine backhand grab of Bruce Benedict's liner in the hole. And in the seventh, Horner led off with a hard grounder that forced Nettles to make a diving stop to his left. He quickly got on his feet and threw out Horner.
Show had recently complained about not getting adequate defensive support. No such complaint Saturday. If he had any complaint, and he did not, it could be the Padres' continued lack of offensive support when he pitches.
The Padres left 10 runners on base in the first five innings against stubborn Brave right-hander Joe Johnson (4-2), who allowed nine hits in seven innings.
After leaving two men on in the second and the bases loaded in the third, San Diego broke through in the fourth. Nettles and McReynolds singled to right, and Flannery lined a single to right-center to score Nettles.
The rest was left to Show.
In the eighth, he retired three left-handed pinch-hitters. Albert Hall grounded to first, Gerald Perry struck out and Chris Chambliss flied to right.
Goose Gossage was up in the bullpen during the eighth, but there was never a reason for Manager Dick Williams to bring him in.
Show quickly got Milt Thompson to ground to second and Rafael Ramirez to fly to right in the ninth.
"Then came the moment of truth," Show said.
Dale Murphy, leading the National League in home runs with 37 and third in the league in RBIs with 100, came to the plate. Show's propensity to give up home runs and Murphy's ability to hit them made for a tense and exciting confrontation.
"I was determined to throw him a strike," Show said, "and I wasn't about to put him on. Horner is a more mysterious hitter and he could have beat me with a two-run homer.
"Actually, I felt I was gone if I walked Murphy."
Murphy swung and missed at Show's first pitch and then flied to short right to end the game.