San Diego Padres: Embracing the Inconsistency

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Apr 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (46) throws against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning during the first MLB game at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (46) throws against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning during the first MLB game at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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The harsh reality for fans of the San Diego Padres is that the rest of the season is bound to be filled with the same sorts of ups and downs which have been the story of the first several weeks.

One day the world is ending, and the next it’s a great day to be alive. The emotional roller coaster which comes naturally as a dedicated baseball fan will always bring a wide variety of feelings which are subject to change dramatically on a daily basis.

Although 2017 has just begun, the Padres have already given their fans an opportunity to feel so many different emotions which come with being a fan.

They begun by embarrassing their fans with another dreadfully lopsided Opening Day defeat, but then shut the Dodgers out the very next day. The next two games set fans back down to earth, as the team was 1-3 after their first series and lacking hope.

The high point of the young 2017 season then came over the next six days, a stretch of six games. The Padres took two of three from both the Giants at Petco Park and the Rockies in Colorado. Not only did they win both sets against divisional opponents, they did so despite juggling injuries and other obstacles which stood in the way of the rotation.

All of a sudden, the Padres looked like they had some depth, some versatility, and some pop in their lineup. They were also an even 5-5, trailing the division leaders by just 2.5 games.

And then, everything went south as the team traveled south. Losing to the Braves four straight times is never acceptable, especially when the Braves came in as one of the only clubs considered as bad or close to as bad as San Diego. Coming home, the Padres were 5-9, and lost again by an ugly final of 11-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It seemed like it was about time to push the panic button, and maybe it was. But then, when everyone least expected it, Jhoulys Chacin and Brandon Maurer combined to pitch a 1-0 thrilling shutout, an exciting game in which Erick Aybar‘s eighth inning solo shot made the difference. While this doesn’t change anyone’s mind about the Padres’ chances in 2017, it is a major confidence booster, a momentum swinger, and yet another emotional swing as the Padres have experienced so many times already this season.

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At the end of the day, each of these minute ups and downs over the course of a 162 game season could be analyzed to an exhausting extent, or they could be taken in stride. The reality of San Diego’s situation is that 2017 is a rebuilding season, one which many positives can be taken away from regardless of the club’s final record.

Already, fans can take a look at the ongoing development of Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe, as well as the potential Manuel Margot brings to the centerfield position. Other staples such as Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte also encourage fans, as well as a veteran pitching staff anchored by Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill.

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Therefore, fans really should be cognizant of the positives in them midst of all the negatives to help smooth the emotional swings of the season. The way baseball goes, there will be winning streaks and losing streaks, stretches of strong play and times the team will struggle. Padres fans can relax and enjoy in 2017, since expectations are as low as they can get anyways.

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