The San Diego Padres keep plugging away, taking the rubber game of a three-game set at home versus the first-place Atlanta Braves.
Persistence pays off. The San Diego Padres are walking proof of that. After beating the Atlanta Braves 3-1 yesterday and winning their third consecutive series, the Friars are only four-and-a-half games out of first place in the NL West.
The sustainability of this position is shaky, at best. But let’s enjoy this hot streak for what it is; a glimpse into the future of this organization. After an atrocious start to the season, the Padres are gelling. Galvanizing. Whatever cliche you’d like to use, they’re doing it.
The team has won seven of their last eleven games and are slowly-but-surely chipping away at the deficit they saddled themselves with early on. The Friars are now six games under .500, a far cry from the dozen-or-so game hole they were in not too long ago.
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San Diego Padres keep coming together
The Friars’ “bullpen day” worked out beautifully yesterday. Matt Strahm went two-and-a-third, allowing one earned run on two hits (a Freddie Freeman home run in the first and a Peter Bourjos single to lead off the third), striking out two and walking none.
Jose Castillo spelled Strahm and pitched 1.2 innings of one-hit ball, also striking out two.
Friars’ offense provides all that was needed
The San Diego Padres put two runs on the board early and never looked back. Hunter Renfroe led off the bottom of the second with a single to left. Cory Spangenberg tripled him home to tie the game at one, and then Manuel Margot singled to bring him home.
Margot was on first and Rafael Lopez was on second, but Strahm couldn’t move them over and struck out on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Travis Jankowski singled to load the bases, but Eric Hosmer struck out to end the threat. This could have been yet another big inning for the Padres.
The Friars added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth after Jose Pirela singled to lead things off. Cory Spangenberg stroked a one-out single to right, moving Pirela to third, and then Freddy Galvis safety-squeezed Pirela home and Spangy over to second, but Lopez left them stranded.
This is the type of productivity some could only dream of before the season started. Again, this might not last forever, so let’s take it all in and imagine what the next few years may hold for this franchise.