In the 101st game of the 2023 MLB season, the San Diego Padres seemed to wave the white flag on any hopes of a magical October inside Petco Park.
Sure, it's possible the Padres can still put things together in time for general manager A.J. Preller to decide this is a squad that can make it back to the NLCS or go even deeper, but it sure didn't feel like on Monday night when the Pittsburgh Pirates were launching home runs off Yu Darvish.
Monday's 8-4 home loss to Pittsburgh is exactly how the Padres didn't want to start a critical homestand leading into the final hours before the MLB trade deadline. It all looked so promising when Ha-Seong Kim belted a first-inning home run to give San Diego a quick 1-0 lead. However, just like things have unraveled as the season has gone along, so did the Padres on Monday night.
San Diego Padres may have finally slipped into the seller category
Starting Tuesday 6.0 games out of the NL Wild Card, this Padres team (on paper) is talented enough to go on a run to get back into the postseason picture ... but haven't we said that all season?
This team has had people scratching their heads since losing the first two games of the season at home to the Colorado Rockies. Then it was, "Well, just wait until Fernando Tatis returns." Then it was, "Manny Machado just needs to start hitting." Then it was, "Xander Bogaerts just needs to get his wrist healthy." Then it was ... well ... you get the point. The Padres have been waiting all season for that magical elixir that is going to transform them into the NL superpower so many thought they would be before the season began. And still Padres fans wait for that to happen.
The time for waiting, however, may well be over. Blake Snell is scheduled to get the start on Tuesday night as the Padres look to even the series ... but will it be his last home start for the Padres? At this point, it seems it's a very real possibility as San Diego is certainly looking more like a MLB trade deadline seller than a buyer.