The San Diego Padres lost once again to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night to fall to 1-6 against their bitter rivals this season. This season, things felt like they were shaping up to be a two-team race in the west between the Friars and Dodgers but it's been anything but, thanks to the Padres underperforming drastically.
At 54-56 on the season, the Padres desperately need as many wins as possible to get back in the Wild Card race. They're currently 4.0 games behind the third spot, but also have to jump four teams just to squeak into a playoff spot.
With six more games to play against the Dodgers this season (including three this weekend), the Padres desperately need to find a way to get some wins. If these players step up, that'll give them a better shot.
1) Padres third baseman Manny Machado needs to step up against the Dodgers
Manny Machado has done a nice job turning his season around following his brutal start. Since June 1, Machado is slashing .276/.343/.519 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI. This is after Machado had a .654 OPS with just five home runs in the first month and a half of the season.
Machado has turned his season around, but has utterly failed against the Dodgers. The last time the Padres and Dodgers faced off in a series was in mid-May in Los Angeles. Machado went hitless in 11 at-bats in a Dodgers sweep. The Padres scored just four runs in three games.
Machado has been swinging a hot bat, but even last night he had just one hit in five at-bats against the Dodgers in San Diego's loss.
It's not Machado's fault that the team allowed 10 runs, but they also score a whole lot more and win a whole lot more when he actually produces. He has a 1.020 OPS in Padres wins, and a .528 OPS in losses. You expect virtually every hitter to do better in wins, but that difference is stark. He must show up the rest of the weekend for them to stand a chance.