Padres: Losing Mike Clevinger would be detrimental to postseason hopes

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Mike Clevinger #52 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at PETCO Park on September 23, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Mike Clevinger #52 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at PETCO Park on September 23, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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After his last start was pushed back, Padres starter Mike Clevinger pitched just one inning before leaving with bicep tightness.

Wednesday’s finale was supposed to be a celebration of the final game at Petco Park for the San Diego Padres after the team clinched their first postseason berth since 2006. Instead, postseason hopes are left in doubt when Mike Clevinger left the game after throwing just 12 pitches.

He fanned two and didn’t allow any hits in his only inning, but that’s far from being good news. Clevinger’s last start was pushed back a few days with the same injury, and it appears he’s aggravated the bicep again. Now the Padres wait the for the results of his MRI.

The Padres offense remained cold, losing 5-2 to the Angels, as Fernando Tatis Jr. got a much-needed day off. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Friars were hitting .194 over their last six games, but it feels like the wheels are falling off at the worst possible time.

Clevinger was the trade deadline splash in a flurry of moves by the Padres. General Manager AJ Preller obviously felt this group of guys had a chance to go far in the postseason and adding the former Indians’ ace was supposed to put them over the edge. Now, you just have to hope that he’s healthy enough to pitch in the postseason.

If not, Garrett Richards is likely to slot back into the rotation after being moved to the bullpen when Clevinger was added. Richards has a nice job in his first full season back, but he’s not the same caliber pitcher that Clevinger is at this stage of his career.

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The Padres have an off day on Thursday before finishing up the final four games in San Francisco, but the jovial feel of a postseason berth has quickly turned sour.

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