San Diego Padres morning after: Hope is there after series win over Baltimore Orioles

Taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles, and doing it with heart and energy, is exactly how you start a critical homestand if you're the San Diego Padres.
San Diego Padres celebration
San Diego Padres celebration / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Now that's how you start a critical homestand if you're the San Diego Padres.

Sure, they're just 3-7 over their last 10 games, but the buzz and energy from the last two games feels a little different at Petco Park, doesn't it? Taking two of three games from the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles, including Wednesday's 5-2 win, cut San Diego's Wild Card deficit to 4.5 games with 41 contests still to play.

Plenty of San Diego fans are agreeing with the Hawkeye GIF and begging the Padres to not give them hope, only to have those hopes dashed on the cruel rocks of reality if San Diego falls short of meaningful baseball in October. But maybe, just maybe, Albert Pujols was right when he predicted there was still a run left in these Padres.

San Diego Padres showing heart during critical homestand

Let's face it, there was plenty to cheer about for the Padres over the last two games, including the return of Michael Wacha to the rotation. But the steal of home by Fernando Tatis Jr. on Wednesday night and his reaction to it sent a charge throughout Petco Park.

Now, to borrow a line from Heath Ledger's Joker with the Arizona Diamondbacks coming to town for four games followed by the Miami Marlins for a three-game set, "and here we go." With both of those teams ahead of the Padres in the Wild Card standings, counting these as must-win series is certainly no joke.

Take two of three from the Orioles and win series against the Diamondbacks and Marlins and, worst case, the Padres are 7-3 on a 10-game homestand. It's not unreasonable ... if the Padres show the same energy and heart they did on Wednesday night. With NL Cy Young favorite Zac Gallen taking the hill on Thursday night for Arizona, it's an anything but easy task to keep the winning streak going. But has anything been easy for the Padres this season?

Stay tuned, San Diego fans, because, yes, there is hope in the air.