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, CALIFORNIA – MAY 07: Craig Stammen #34 of the San Diego Padres looks on after allowing sacrifice fly hit by Michael Conforto #30 that scored Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a game at PETCO Park on May 07, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Bullpen is still a problem

The Padres bullpen is in the middle of the pack this season — they’re ranked 18th in the league in relievers’ ERA at 4.62.

After a solid few weeks in which that dipped as low as 3.34, the bullpen reared its ugly head once more against the Rockies. They allowed nine earned runs in relief for a 5.79 ERA over the four-game match up.

Craig Stammen gets the blame this time around, but it’s an issue that permeates the entire pen. He’s had a solid season (and career, for that matter), though it’s been a rough couple days for the 10-year veteran. He gave up four earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched in relief, both of which squandered a Padres lead.

The bullpen was responsible for several losses over the the first half of the season too; expect things to stay ugly at least until the end of this year in that department.

light. Related Story. The bullpen is bad, but that's a good problem to have

After the long-awaited return of José Castillo to the pen was cut short with a ligament tear, along with Adrián Morejon’s departure to the 10-day IL, the back-end is lacking some serious support outside of Kirby Yates and early phenoms Andrés Muñoz and Michel Báez.

There are some good things to consider though. First, if the bullpen is the biggest problem the Padres have this season, then I’ll take it. Pitching will hopefully be a strength for the Friars as younger prospects develop, return, and make an impact in the coming years.

Furthermore, despite the 4.62 ERA on the season, the pen has a 4.04 FIP that ranks 5th in the league. Surprisingly, they also lead the MLB with a 3.95 xFIP.

This suggests that the bullpen is doing a decent job of stopping runs — instead, it’s the defense that isn’t helping out as it should. The stats actually indicate that the bullpen deserves more credit than it gets.

That’s a positive sign moving forward. If the Padres somehow find themselves closer to playoff contention come September though, the relief rotation will need to pick itself up if they hope to make a last-minute push.

And yes, you read that correctly. I did just reference the Padres in the 2019 playoffs.

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