One would think that a matchup against a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are clearly re-tooling with an eye on the future, on your home turf would be enough to get the bats going. But that’s hardly been the case, with the San Diego Padres tallying just three runs in the first two games of the series.
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All the attention was on Dinelson Lamet on Tuesday – and he passed the test, throwing two scoreless frames without any issues health-wise. Of course, the question now is how he feels in the days to come and then, the focus shifts to stretching him out as quickly (and safely) as possible to give the rotation a shot in the arm.
But regardless of who is on the mound for San Diego, the bats have to start making some changes. The Padres rank 26th in baseball in terms of OPS and top just two teams in slugging percentage – the Detroit Tigers and, you guessed it, the Pirates themselves.
Jayce Tingler’s club has scored three or fewer runs in 17 of its first 31 games, despite boasting one of the most star-studded rosters in the league. Despite ranking near the top of the league with eight home runs, Fernando Tatis Jr. is batting just .225 with a .308 OBP. Manny Machado checks in at a similarly disappointing .219 mark. Just one player – Trent Grisham – is batting north of .300 on the year entering Wednesday’s action.
Padres will go as far as Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. carry them
There aren’t a lot of changes the Padres skipper can make to get this team going. At the end of the day, the Padres are only going to go as far as their superstar left side of the infield carries them. As great as it is to see Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers get off to solid starts, the offense goes as Machado and Tatis Jr. go which, to this point, hasn’t led to much success.
Thankfully, the Dodgers, who jumped out to a 13-2 start to the season are battling a lot of the same issues as the Friars. Los Angeles’ offense is flailing and the club dropped both games in Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. That means San Diego and LA enter play Wednesday tied for second in the NL West at 17-14.
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To this point, the top-heavy Padres rotation has put the team on its back. With Yu Darvish getting the ball at Petco in the finale against the Bucs, the club has a chance to take the series heading into an off-day Thursday before heading to San Francisco to take on the division-leading Giants this weekend. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll remember to pack the bats.