San Diego Padres: Drastic, unexpected turnaround

jgoehring
Jun 2, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Brandon Maurer (left) and catcher Austin Hedges (18) celebrate after an 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 2, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Brandon Maurer (left) and catcher Austin Hedges (18) celebrate after an 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nobody saw the current five game winning streak coming from the San Diego Padres. With some quality victories under their belt, the club has shown an encouraging amount of resiliency.

Just when the season appears to be basically finished for the San Diego Padres, the team has picked themselves up and bounced back in the most unlikely of times.

Entering the series finale against the Washington Nationals, the Padres were 18-33 and dead last in the National League West. Since this lowest point of the season, nothing has been able to slow down San Diego.

The Padres began by taking the series finale against the Nationals on the road, salvaging one game in the weekend series. Then, hosting the World Champion Chicago Cubs, something clicked for the club in all areas, and they completed their first sweep of the season in one of the most difficult three game sets.

Already with four consecutive wins under their belt, the club welcomed in the Colorado Rockies on Friday night and came away with a 8-5 victory. The five game winning streak marks the first since 2015.

What changed for the Padres? The pitching, for one thing, has become much more consistent. The explosive Cubs lineup was held to just five runs in the three game series this past week, a credit to both strong starting outings and an increasingly reliable bullpen. Brandon Maurer, especially, has proven his worth during this winning stretch in the ninth inning.

Of course, the production of the lineup and timely hitting ought not to be neglected. It is one thing when the Padres are hitting but hitting inconsistently, and it’s another when the lineup works together and feeds off of each other to put together rallies and manufacture plentiful innings.

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This, coupled with the club’s recent ability to hit in the clutch, has propelled the offense over the last five weeks. The Padres are now rolling, especially Wil Myers and Austin Hedges, who each homered in Friday’s victory.

The success of Andy Green’s club over the past week comes as a major surprise to all of baseball. Not that Padres fans weren’t expecting the team to fight hard and stay as close as possible to the fellow cellar-dwelling San Francisco Giants, but the last thing that was expected was a five game winning streak in the midst of this difficult stretch.

Next: Keys to getting back on track in June

In the span of five games, the Padres knocked off the NL East leaders, the defending World Series champions, and the club which has spent most of the season on top of what is arguably baseball’s strongest division. Keep rolling, Padres!

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