Well, for once, a Padres series played out the way I thought it would.
Looking at four favorable matchups against the Cubs, the Padres swept the four-game set, opening up a huge lead on the Rockies and Dodgers in the NL West and essentially eliminating them from contention. Even the second-place Giants now sit six back.
The one loss the Padres did suffer was that of outfielder Tony Gwynn, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone. His season is likely over, costing the Padres their sixth-most valuable position player. Gwynn’s exceptional center field defense will be missed, although Chris Denorfia should be able to be just as solid all around. The Padres were expected by many to bring up Aaron Cunningham, but elected to bring up an extra reliever in Ryan Webb instead. Cunningham will certainly be around to help out when rosters expand in a few days, though. The Padres also signed former Padre outfielder Jody Gerut to a minor league deal; he could be veteran insurance if Denorfia falters or if there are other injuries. The Padres also have other options in Luis Durango, Mike Baxter, and Wily Mo Pena.
On the happier side of injury news, David Eckstein doubled and walked twice in his first rehab game today in Low-A, and should be back soon.
It’s on to Milwaukee for a three-game set for the Padres now, as they look to keep up their winning ways.