San Diego Padres win first series since All-Star break: 3 takeaways

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SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 10: Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated by Manny Machado #13 safter hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park August 10, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 10: Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated by Manny Machado #13 safter hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park August 10, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres
SAN DIEGO, CA – AUGUST 10: Jairo Diaz #37 of the Colorado Rockies looks to the outfield after giving up a two-run home to Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park August 10, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

The Padres have been bad, but not Rockies bad

Over the last couple weeks, the Padres and Rockies have swapped places in the National League West cellar. While the Friars were there only a few times, it was still disheartening to see — last place was too familiar and made fans forget about the bigger picture. It felt like there wasn’t much progress from last season after all.

Well, that narrative can be put to rest after this series.

The Rockies had much higher hopes than the Padres going into this season. They’ve made the playoffs two years in a row, most recently coming off a 91-72 season in which they made it to the NL Divisional Series. Expectations were mile high (excuse the pun) for building off those seasons and going deeper into October.

With 44 games left in 2019, the Rockies are 53-65 and 9.0 games back from the wild card. Unless a miracle happens, they’re unlikely to make it into the dance for the third year in a row.

Meanwhile, San Diego was never expecting playoffs in 2019 — the fact that there were even discussions about it halfway through the season was already proof of progress. Coming off a 66-win season, the Friars are on pace to surpass that total this year and still have a chance to hit .500 by October.

The first-half performance definitely shifted expectations towards something that was never on tap in February. While it’s a disappointment not to make the playoffs after such a great start, it would’ve been a year ahead of schedule anyway. The Padres are still right on track.

Sitting at 24-27 against the NL West this season, they’ll have several more chances to prove that they’re no longer the worst team in the division.

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