Padres are reeling as another battle with the Dodgers begins

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

This is pretty much the worst time possible for the San Diego Padres to kick off a four-game set against the hottest team in baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The offense is in tatters right now. On paper, this lineup is among the best in baseball. But we’re yet to see that play out on the diamond. San Diego ranks dead-last in the National League in team slugging percentage (.357) and have really kept things afloat offensively thanks to a strong on-base presence (fourth-best in the NL).

Manny Machado, who was visibly frustrated after the Padres dropped their third-straight game to the surging Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, acknowledged the obvious: this is far from an ideal scenario and the team has no choice but to put their early struggles behind them.

"“We’ve got guys who are banged up,” Machado said. “We’ve got guys who are grinding though things. You don’t win a championship in April. Are we putting ourselves in a lower spot? Yeah, we are. But you learn from these things. The only thing you can do is learn and keep grinding.”"

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The team’s spotty offense aside, injuries have been a constant for San Diego this season. They spent a week-plus without Fernando Tatis Jr. and have lost Adrian Morejon for the year due to Tommy John. Now, Dinelson Lamet might be following in Morejon’s footsteps after leaving his first start of the year on Wednesday with forearm tightness.

Starting pitching – namely Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove – are anchoring this team right now. Blake Snell hasn’t lived up to the hype, at least not yet, and Chris Paddack is clearly still figuring things out. Ryan Weathers will round out the rotation now – and if I were to call him anything, it’s inexperienced and raw.

Padres: The last week has been brutal for the offense, as a whole.

At the end of the day, the offense has to get it going. They haven’t hit for extra-bases, which is the whole premise this lineup is built around. Here’s what some of the team’s key guys have done over the last seven days which, as I noted, have culminated in a 1-5 home stand.

  • Jake Cronenworth: .125/.160/.250
  • Fernando Tatis Jr: .143/.250/.333
  • Eric Hosmer: .250/.250/.292
  • Wil Myers: .176/.263/.176
  • Tommy Pham: .176/.300/.235

So, despite Manny Machado’s recent hot spell, the offense has sputtered. And now, they’ll square off against the likes of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and Dustin May this weekend at Chavez Ravine.

Lamet injury is another gut punch for the Friars. dark. Next

This is a huge series. Yes, it’s April. Yes, there’s plenty of baseball left to be played. But the Padres enter Thursday’s opener at Dodger Stadium five games back in the NL West. Another sweep would be a dagger to the heart before we even close the book on April.