Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers certainly lived up to the hype. A ton of lead changes, a pitcher’s duel to start and temperatures rising between the San Diego Padres and their biggest rival.
Unfortunately, San Diego came out on the wrong end of things, dropping the contest by an 11-6 final in 12 after Los Angeles hung a five spot to seal things late. For the Friars, the big storyline was the return of Fernando Tatis Jr., who belted a big home run in his first game back from a shoulder injury – and a sterling start from lefty Ryan Weathers.
The loss dropped the Padres to 9-6 on the year, 3 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. This team hasn’t found its groove yet – that much is clear. Without Tatis Jr., the offense has been erratic and we hope his return will help the group get things moving in the right direction.
But it can’t be all about Tatis Jr. There’s one guy who’s struggled immensely this season – and needs to get it going if he wants to get regular action in left field: veteran outfielder Tommy Pham.
Just 2 for his last 20 (.100), Pham is dead weight at the dish. On the year, he’s batting just .140 (6-for-43) – and given the importance of this weekend’s series against the Dodgers, Jayce Tingler needs to do what he did on Friday and keep Pham out of the starting lineup.