Last Wednesday night, the Padres were probably feeling pretty good about themselves. They just finished sweeping a three game set against the rival Dodgers, had their main slugger Chase Headley back in the lineup, and headed into an off-day before a big weekend series at the Giants. It seemed as though they were settling into the season and could at least stay competitive in the NL West race.
That good feeling changed pretty quickly.
Getting swept in grand fashion in San Francisco this past weekend, they scored a grand total of two runs in three games, including two straight shutouts on Saturday and Sunday.
All of a sudden, the season outlook looks much bleaker.
The Padres already sit eight games behind the NL West leading Rockies. They’ve also already lost to the Rockies six times. Needless to say, they are in last place in the division. Now, they welcome the hottest team in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers, to town for a three game set at Petco. After that, they host the Giants for a weekend series. It’s difficult to overlook the fact that the Padres have won only one game this season against a team that is not the Dodgers. It looks like my concern of a terrible April is coming true, and it might just ruin the season already. Oh, and by the way, as I am writing this, the Padres are down 5-0 to the Brewers…in the first inning.
It’s not as though the Padres have been uncompetitive in their ballgames, tonight notwithstanding. They just can’t seem to play a complete nine innings or get that one big hit to put a crooked number up on the board. I haven’t done any research on this, but I would venture to guess the Padres are in the top 5 in the league in runners left-on-base, and if they aren’t, its most likely because they just don’t get enough guys on base in the first place. Because of their style of play, their margin of error is simply so small; they must play perfect baseball to win.
But the Giants do it, and do it quite well. Why can’t the Padres? It’s quite frustrating to see such a similar type of team have so much more success, including two World Series championships in three years.
Of course it’s a long season, but if they Padres do not turn it around soon, we’ll be talking about another slow start of a season putting the Padres in too deep of a hole to seriously contend.