Baseball Reflections

What’s Going On With the Padres?

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The playoff stretch is officially among us. Usually, this is one of the worst times of the year for Padres fans. Oh yes, around this time of the year, Padres fans know all too well what happens. We begin to unravel. Winable games are lost. Tempers flare. Playoff hopes slowly dissipate. After dropping two straight to Seattle and Arizona – the San Diego Padres now find themselves on a hot winning streak. 5 straight wins. And down the stretch, too? What is going on? Was there some sort of cosmic shift in the Universe? Nope. What has caused our success is quite simple actually. In fact, it can be summed up with two words. 

Starting. Pitching. 

The Padres have uncharacteristically posted a 1.80 era (best in bigs) since 9/13 – and the results have shown. 

We’ve seen Snell, Darvish, Musgrove, and Clevinger work their ways to well-earned wins throughout the streak. And not just getting the “win” bid, either – no, they’ve actually won us these games. 3, 0, 1, 0. That’s how many runs the opponents have scored in the streak.  Hell, San Diego’s starting pitching has even held opponents scoreless for 25 innings! (Which, I’d like to point out is a statistical lead for the season). And the timing couldn’t have come at a better time – as we claw our way towards a NL Wild Card spot. It’s funny, because most of these wins had come against the Arizona Diamondbacks – a solid team, but beatable nonetheless. What took me by surprise, was when the wins began to extend to the St Louis Cardinals series. It only takes one look at the Cardinals record to show you how quality of an opponent they are.

Sure enough, the offense has been able to string enough runs together to beat those measly numbers. And, speaking of which, the bats have come alive quite nicely as well. 12, 2, 6, 5. That’s what we’ve done on the other side of the game. Not too shabby. Really, what it’s come down to, is a dramatic spike in the RISP average – an area where we’ve struggled all season. There’s still our fair share of struggles – with Soto and Bell still slumping in their inaugural half-season as Padres. 

That said, could you imagine how dangerous the San Diego Padres would be if all of these phases were clicking? Just picture it. Snell back to his All-Star form. Musgrove pitching like he did in the first half. Juan Soto living up to his gargantuan contract. Josh Bell back in his groove. Combine that with a decent bullpen, and the consistency of Manny Machado, Brandon Drury, and role players like Croenenworth Kim and Profar. That’s a team that can seriously compete right there. 

If this streak has been any indication of the heart Bob Melvin is juicing the guys with in the final stretch, then it is a much needed change of pace from years past. Sure, we’re not going to “win out” – let’s be somewhat realistic here. But, if we can keep this momentum going into the post-season, who knows what we can do. I’ve been saying it all year long – the starting pitching has been far too sporadic, especially given our faltering offense. But, if our starters can keep teams below 2 or 3, there’s a good chance we can win any given game. 

Although the streak was snapped in the last game against the Cardinals – we still put up a good fight, and the game was lost because of one pitch. A grand slam, at that. Sometimes, the luck comes to an end. It’s what comes next, and how you react. Will we let one home run ruin our mojo? I certainly hope not. Because if the pitching can keep this up – we’ll be in amazing shape going into October.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: What’s Going On With the Padres? – Baseball Reflections - Sports News Center 247

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