The Padres finished the week 2-5 against the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks. They did manage to win a 14 inning affair on Saturday night against the D-backs, but also managed to get shut out twice more this week pushing their shut-out tally to 5 on the young season. They sit at 4-9 and last place in the National League West.
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Yet in looking at the week there were some positives, including signs of life from some key offensive players and good pitching performances from pretty much all members of the starting rotation though searching for consistency remains elusive.
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Melvin Upton Jr. Sure, he showed some good stats in limited time last year, but count me among the doubters that he would even be able to hang on to a starting role with the Padres, let alone end up in the clean-up spot. He stole 2 bases this week and blasted a home run to end the Saturday night game in the 14th inning. Straight away center field at that. On the week he had 8 hits, 2 SB, a double, triple, and the home run. Not bad.
If there was another player who stepped up this year, it was Wil Myers which is very good news for the future of this season and beyond for the Padres. He tied Upton with 8 hits, had a home run and that wasn’t including a ball that he nearly hit out to end Saturday night’s game. He hit 2 doubles and generally is looking more comfortable at the plate with nearly every at-bat. He did strike out 12 times which led the team last week. Second on the strike out count this week was Jabari Blash, who managed to strike out 7 times in his 9 at bats.
Last player was Alexi Amarista, who was just recalled this week after starting the year in AAA and for several games just couldn’t be retired. It is unlikely the burst will continue but he was vital to an early week win in Philadelphia with a squeeze bunt, a feat he attempted again Friday night against Arizona unsuccessfully.
Andrew Cashner quietly turned in two nice starts this week, pitching to a neutral 0-0 record but allowing just 4 runs in two starts and 11 innings. He walked just 3 and struck out 10. He was in line to win the game Saturday night before the bullpen couldn’t lock things down and the game went on into the night.
Robbie Erlin had a fantastic first start of the week before allowing 6 runs on Sunday afternoon including two home runs allowed to Yasmany Tomas and another by Chris Drury. After hurling 6 innings earlier in the week in first start of the year and allowing just 1 run and striking out 7. However, as the injury to Tyson Ross lingers it is very important that Erlin continue delivering quality starts in his stead. If Cashner is able to step up that could really help things so that assuming when Ross does come back it might force a tough decision for Manager Andy Green.
Up next for the Padres they have Monday off before continuing their homestand with three against the NL Central Pittsburgh Pirates and three more against the St. Louis Cardinals. A week that they were hoping to take advantage of “lighter” competition against the Phillies and D-backs turned into a 5 loss week, so it doesn’t get easier this week. After this week they head on the road against division foes San Francisco and Los Angeles, so being able to turn the tide and put a few games together is very important for this team to not get buried deep in the NL West cellar.