Padres: Is this team still one year away from putting it all together?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

On multiple fronts, the San Diego Padres haven’t lived up to the hype this season. With the calendar about to turn to May, the team sits three games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, ahead of only the lowly Rockies in the pecking order.

The offense has been inconsistent, injuries have piled up in the rotation and, as a whole, San Diego just hasn’t looked comfortable for much of the early going. For a team with World Series aspirations, that’s troubling – but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slam on the panic button, either.

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Entering play Wednesday, the Friars still have 147 games left. That’s a lot of baseball. But as a writer, all I can do is evaluate what I’ve seen so far – and what I’ve seen so far is a team that lacks the consistency it takes to win a title.

After the team mustered just one tally in Arizona on Tuesday night, manager Jayce Tingler spoke plainly about the offensive struggles he saw.

"“We’ve got to get it going,” said Tingler. “We’re just not able to string enough quality at-bats together. They were somewhat scattered.”"

Tuesday’s loss marked the 13th time the Padres scored three or fewer runs in a game this year – in other words,  just over half of the club’s matchups. When one guy heats up, it seems like another falls off – and that has led to the Friars’ offense just never really finding a sustained rhythm.

Padres have to be more consistent if they want a championship

After taking three of four from the Dodgers last weekend and getting a much-needed day off Monday, one might have expected a stronger showing from San Diego in the matchup against the Diamondbacks. Instead, the team looked lackadaisical at times and never seemed to capture that energy we saw down the stretch in 2020 or during the Los Angeles series.

Look. You win championships in October beating the best teams in the league come postseason time. But it’s a long, arduous road to get there – and if you hope to get there, it takes focus, consistency and syncing up as a unit. The Padres have to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and play high-quality baseball on a nightly basis.

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Right now, the hard truth is this. With the first month of the season almost in the books, the Padres simply haven’t done what it takes to be considered a World Series contender. Let’s hope they begin to rewrite that narrative come May.