San Diego Padres have obvious kryptonite, need at MLB trade deadline

San Diego Padres relief pitcher Luis Garcia
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Luis Garcia / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-back heartbreaking losses in San Francisco to the division rival Giants have pointed out the obvious for the San Diego Padres.

San Diego Padres have trade deadline need once again exposed

In San Francisco's comeback for an extra-inning win on Tuesday night and San Francisco's walkoff win on Wednesday night, the kryptonite for this star-laden team once again revealed itself. Sure, batting with runners in scoring position has been a problem all season, but the true weakness of the team seems to what happens in the later innings of games.

After Wednesday's loss, San Diego is now 2-7 in games where they are tied after eight innings, 5-13 in one-run games and (just for good measure after Tuesday's gut punch) 0-6 in extra-inning games. Those are numbers that simply won't allow you into the postseason, no matter how much you've been spent on a roster or how many All-Star Game appearances are up and down your lineup.

We have talked in past articles about what the Padres need at the upcoming MLB trade deadline, and there is every belief that A.J. Preller will be active and a buyer at the deadline. But the need has become very apparent ... and it's relief pitching.

San Diego simply must fortify its bullpen if it is going to contend in the second half of the season. Sure, Robert Suarez is on the horizon and will likely be back with the Padres some time before the MLB trade deadline, but more needs to be done. Moves need to be made in order to give San Diego more options in the closing moments of the game when Josh Hader isn't available.

Shrug it off as "a bad game" or "just a run of bad luck" or whatever you want, but the Padres are now 73 games into the season. Eventually, one-run losses or late-inning collapses will catch up with you in the race for October, especially in a National League West where the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Giants all have visions of the postseason at the moment.

San Diego must improve its options in the bullpen. Otherwise, that kryptonite will keep what could be a Superman-type of team looking more like Clark Kent every game.