Another season of San Diego Padres baseball is officially over. The team concluded its 2016 campaign on Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 walk-off loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, San Diego’s 94th loss on the season.
While the game was irrelevant as far as baseball’s playoff picture is concerned, it did have a little bit of meaning for Padres and Diamondbacks fans. The implications of this game made it somewhat compelling, as the winner avoided last place in the NL West. At the end of the afternoon, it was the Diamondbacks who achieved this, sweeping the series from the Padres and ending their 69-93 season on a high note.
Both starting pitchers put forth solid outings for their respective squads, as both San Diego’s Paul Clemens and Arizona’s Matt Koch surrendered just one run over six innings of work. The game came down to the bullpen, a weakness of San Diego this season.
As for the Padres’ offense, they were silent for the majority of the afternoon. Both Wil Myers and Luis Sardinas had two hits, and Sardinas and Hunter Renfroe provided the two runs. Other than that though, San Diego’s bats went silently in the season finale.
As the game wound down, many anticipated extra innings. The bottom of the ninth inning saw the game still tied at two, until Philip Gosselin hit a two-out walk-off single off of Brad Hand to win the game. Scoring the sweep clinching run was Arizona pinch-runner Socrates Brito.
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The win was credited to Arizona reliever Daniel Hudson, and the loss was dealt to Hand. As a result of the defeat and the sweep in Arizona, the Padres finished in the NL West cellar after finish fourth the last two years. They also lose four in a row to end the season, finding themselves with a final record of 68-94.
As the reflection on the season begins, the Padres have much to consider. In a way, they took a step back in 2016, finishing in last place in the NL West. But at the same time, they may have discovered several players with a considerable amount of potential moving forward into 2017. Regardless, the team expects to be busy this winter making additions to improve the roster.
2016 did not end ideally, but was memorable in so many ways. From the All-star game to so many exciting moments throughout the year, this season may be complete but it will never be forgotten. For Padres’ fans though, they are looking forward to turning the page and anticipating a different club in 2017. As for now, the reflection commences.