With a solid series against the SF Giants, the Padres could both get back on track and keep San Francisco out of the postseason.
On Thursday, the Padres learned that they could have Mike Clevinger back as soon as the second round, meaning they’ll have to get through the Wild Card stage of the postseason without their top trade deadline acquisition. The 29-year-old’s MRI results revealed a sprained elbow with the third round being the more realistic option for a return, which is not good news for a Padres squad trying to make a deep postseason run.
To add insult to injury, literally, the Padres offense has scuffled since clinching a postseason spot. Fernando Tatis Jr. got a much-needed day off on Wednesday, and the off day on Thursday extended it to two days for a reset. Now San Diego will head to San Francisco to finish up the 2020 shortened season for a four-game set, including a doubleheader today.
The Giants have been better than I expected this year, standing at an even .500 entering Friday’s play. They currently have the 8th and final spot in the NL playoffs, and the Padres could push them out of postseason play in taking three-of-four.
Doing so would also renew the sense of optimism heading into the playoffs where the Padres will soon learn their first-round opponent. The Dodgers, of course, are going to be the favorites to win the NL, but the Padres are looking to change that.
We’ve seen what this offense is capable of, scoring runs in bunches at a time this year. And that was prior to acquiring Clevinger as well. Slotting Garrett Richards back into the rotation gives them a serviceable option, but not elite like Clevinger. However, should the offense get back on track, it might just be enough to get them where they want to be and have Clevinger available to use.