Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Three wins. Three wins will give the Padres a better record than what they did in 2012 and 2013. A chance to prove that they are improving. That they can improve. That finally having Tyson Ross step up as an ace all season long made a difference, and that with him, Andrew Cashner, and Jesse Hahn together might really make a big difference. The Padres have three games against the Rockies this week to close out their year at Petco Park, they finish off the year with 4 at San Francisco against the team they just swept. The Giants are liable to be fighting for their playoff lives at that time, as with the sweep it dropped them into a tie for the wild card with the Pirates, with the Brewers hanging on 4.5 games back. Yet if the Giants struggle at all early this week, this weekend could really matter for them and they would break their “every other year we are good” streak they have had the last several seasons. 2015 promises to be an exciting year, with a new general manager and the second season of the new ownership group, which has shown no trepidation making big changes. Most likely Bud Black will not be the new manager next year, which gives another reason to watch the Padres off-season moves with interest: right here at Friars On Base. In this final Week Ahead of the 2014 season, I will analyze the upcoming matchups, with some predictions of my own on how the playoff field will shake up, and close it up with my final Padre Player to Watch.