There is a balance to this game of baseball, isn’t there? Wednesday Colin Rea pitched 7 strong innings for the Padres allowing only one run, and the Padres couldn’t get more runs across for him. They also made three errors. Robbie Erlin pitched well the day before but the Padres were shut out for the fourth time this season. Remember, this team scored more than 30 runs the previous 3 games at Colorado’s Coors Field.
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Therein lies the problem with the Padres so far this season – and the difference between teams that win and teams that don’t. It doesn’t help to win one night 15-0 and lose the next night 0-1. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. Yet one game it seems like the Padres are hitting as a team and the next game they are completely helpless. Alexi Amarista executes a perfect squeeze bunt Monday and shows off a new brand of Padres baseball (speed), and the following two games the Padres can’t get anyone on base to even attempt injecting speed into their game.
The bullpen has done a good job overall of pitching well in the games they have needed to, but even in Tuesday’s loss they let a 1-0 game turn into a 3-0 game, which is a pretty big difference from a team psyche perspective.
We’ve seen parts of the Padres game now this season to believe this team can surprise people. Melvin Upton Jr.has looked good at the plate, not lost like the past three seasons. Matt Kemp has looked strong and spraying the ball to all parts of the field. Jon Jay is doing his part at the top of the lineup, though a few more walks wouln’t hurt him. Rea and Erlin have turned in probably the best games of the season for the starting rotation so far, while the team waits for Tyson Ross to come off of the DL and James Shields to keep the ball in the park.
The pieces are there for the Padres, but they really needed a strong showing against these Phillies. A split is the bare minimum and now they head into the fourth game just hoping to salvage that. Arizona has struggled so far this year – particularly measured against high expectations- but if there is a park that Zack Greinke is bound to get back on track, it is likely Petco Park. The Padres have shown they can be a good team – can they just put it all together for more than a couple of games at a time?