Good morning, Friar Faithful! Slam Diego has returned thanks to Gary Sanchez and the postseason gods smiled upon the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
Let's start our news and notes roundup at Petco Park where the Padres flexed their muscles against Jack Flaherty and the Baltimore Orioles, posting a 10-3 win. It took 120 games, but the Padres got their first grand slam of the season courtesy of a blast from Sanchez that staked San Diego to a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
The offensive output was needed to stop a skid for the Padres that was the worst in baseball since early August. Losing eight games since August 4, San Diego led all MLB teams in defeats during that time span.
San Diego Padres get help in Wild Card chase
One of the best things about Tuesday's victory was that it came on a night when four of the teams the Padres are chasing for a Wild Card spot (Philadelphia, Miami, Cincinnati, and the Chicago Cubs) all lost. It would have been almost a perfect night for the Padres if Arizona hadn't pieced together a ninth-inning rally against the Rockies in Denver. However, with the losses by the teams ahead of them, San Diego now sits 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot with 42 games left to play.
Last night's win, by the way, boosted San Diego's odds to make it to the postseason, per Baseball Reference, to 19.2 percent. That's a 4.2 percent increase over the odds before Tuesday's game.
San Diego Padres get a boost in farm rankings
While there may be plenty of questions about the present of the Padres, the future of the franchise is looking better on the farm, thanks in part to the emergence of Ethan Salas.
According to MLB.com, San Diego's farm system ranks ninth among MLB's 30 teams. That's a substantial jump from where the Padres sat when the season began (ranking 23rd). It's also a big year-over-year leap as the Padres sat in 28th place after last season's trade deadline moves to land Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and others.
As we reported last week, both Salas and Jackson Merrill have moved into the top 10 prospects in all of baseball, helping the Padres climb the standings.