Apr 2, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera (2) slides into second base as Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) loses the ball during the eighth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
As the San Diego Padres end the month of May, they sit in fourth place in the National League West and four games back of the first place San Francisco Giants. Despite the inconsistency of the team’s offense, the starting rotation and the bullpen have managed to keep the Padres only three and half games back from the second wild card spot currently held by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
June is a make or break month for the Padres if they have any shot at the postseason. Here is a quick look at June’s schedule that has some important games against the NL West.
Total Games: 27
Interleague Games: 5
Divisional Games: 9
NL East: 9
NL Central: 2
Following the final interleague game with Chicago White Sox, the Padres travel home to open a six game homestand with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals. This is the first time the Padres will face the Pirates in 2014. It will be a good test for the pitching staff against a young and dynamic team led by last year’s MVP Andrew McCutchen.
The Padres will then begin a nine game stretch with teams from the NL East. They did not fare too well last year against the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, but neither team is exceeding expectations in 2014. Having already faced the Washington Nationals earlier this season, the Friars look to continue what they started back in D.C.
They play four consecutive games (2 away, 2 home) with the Seattle Mariners in the their annual interleague match up. For some reason, Major League Baseball continues to pit these two teams together each year, and the Mariners constantly give the Padres fits.
The Padres end the month of June facing three teams from the NL West. These stretch of games are important heading into July’s All-Star break. They will be critical if the team is looking to compete in the post season.
Only three and half back in the Wild Card, the Padres have a chance against a Dodgers team that is underachieving so far this season. Yet, it was around this time last year when the Dodgers began the push that claimed them the NL West title. Depending where the Padres are in the standing, the series with San Francisco Giants could be the most important of the season. With the Giants dominating the division, the Padres will hope they can take a couple of games to still have a chance in Wild Card.
The club has a challenging month of June ahead of them. With the offense still lacking consistency, they will need another strong month from the pitching staff against some quality teams, so it’s critical they puts together a record above .500.