The Padres finished off the week strong after a sluggish start in San Francisco and find themselves just 3.5 games out of first place despite an overall season record so far of 9-16. They only got shut out on Tuesday in a tough luck loss against the Giants Johnny Cueto before losing a shoot-out 9-13 the very next day. They were also shut out again Sunday by Clayton Kershaw despite another great start by Drew Pomeranz. The bullpen had a tough week but the starting rotation is impressing despite a slew of injuries.
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The Padres continue to see production out of the middle of the order in Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, and Melvin Upton Jr.with Jon Jay setting the table at the top of the order. In the last week Alexei Ramirez also came to life, collecting 10 hits throughout the week as the stabilizing force in the infield along with Wil Myers.
James Shields pitched well while Andrew Cashner stumbled. Drew Pomeranz had one bad and one really good outing on the week. Cesar Vargas has pitched well in his two starts at the Major League level. For a guy with only a couple of appearances above Double A, he certainly isn’t letting his lack of experience affect him. He was supposed to just be a stop gap, but with Robbie Erlin hitting a snag in his return and Tyson Ross still injured, the Padres might be forced to rely on him a little bit longer. Colin Rea is proving to be an effective number 3 or 4 starter if not dominant he is keeping the Padres in games.
The big games this week were attacking a slumping Dodgers team which has now fallen below .500 along with the rest of the National League West. After losing three straight to the Giants, the Dodgers might have thought they had an easy target going home and meeting the Padres. Matt Kemp had other things to say, and Wil Myers helped him out with a pair of doubles Saturday night. The Dodgers did manage to win the final game of the series, but even that was a 1-0 complete game where the only Dodger RBI was delivered by Kershaw himself.
The biggest area of concern right now for the Padres is the bullpen as their performance continues to be ugly. Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo continues his struggles, now up to a 10.97 ERA in 9 appearances spanning nearly 11 innings. Kevin Quackenbush is up to 8 earned runs allowed in 10 2/3 innings, and the list goes on. Right now Fernando Rodney is 4-4 in save appearances and hasn’t allowed an earned run yet. The problem is he’s only been able to get into 8 games.
The Padres come home for the week with three against the Rockies and 4 against the surging Mets. They too struggled early but have caught fire and with Petco Park being a pitchers park the Padres are likely to have a very difficult time scoring runs against them. Yet victories against inter-division rivals and against the defending NL Champions Mets could go a long way in the Padres figuring out if they have a chance this season or not.