"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.'" Those words certainly ring true for the 2023 version of the San Diego Padres, and rang perhaps even more true on Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
Sure, the Padres walked away with an 11-8 victory that included a ninth-inning rally to earn the win. However, in the end, it wasn't the gravity of a win that Padres fans were expecting when looking ahead to the September schedule and seeing this series with the Dodgers as a potential showdown for the National League West title. Instead, it was just another series and just another game as the sands of the 2023 season slip through the hourglass.
San Diego Padres show what could have been against Los Angeles Dodgers
That ninth inning on Monday, however, was glorious, wasn't it? Juan Soto hitting the go-ahead blast and then Xander Bogaerts following that with a shot of his own to put an exclamation point on the rally made, at least for one inning, things seem like they should have been this season. Borrowing the Leonardo DiCaprio GIF of him sitting up in his chair and pointing at the TV screen, that's what Padres fans felt like doing in the final frame. This is what they were supposed to be, right?
Supposed to be, yes. In reality, no. Any team can look like what it should be for a short period of time. Heck, the Colorado Rockies were leading the NL West after some wins in San Diego to start the season. Short bursts can happen, but sustaining it over the long haul is where you see exactly how the team is really built.
This Padres team has talent, but it also has too many flaws as well, perhaps putting A.J. Preller on the hot seat. Padres fans have been reminded of the flaws all season. However, for one brief, shining moment on Monday, those could be forgotten in a win over the Dodgers that will, sadly, mean little to either team in the final tally of the 2023 season.