|Padres Playing Poorly Toward the End||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on September 08, 2010
The foundation the Padres season is on is crumbling.
In reality it's not a huge surprise.¬† After all the Padres were baseball's Cinderella story of 2010, not a team that anyone expected to contend. ¬†But throughout the season they've made it look good, made it look real, until now. Entering Tuesday, their lead over the Giants was just one game and 4 1/2 over the Rockies.
And now the Padres have their feet deep in the fire.¬† Over the final four weeks they face the Giants 11 times, three more against the Rockies, four against St. Louis and three games against the Reds.¬† That's hardly an easy schedule especially if you add in another six games against the Dodgers.¬† That's an ominous schedule but neither the Rockies nor Giants have one that is all that much better.
Outside of perhaps the San Diego dugout, confidence isn't very high that the Padres can close the deal.¬† But the question as to who can take the NL West from the Padres isn't a gimme.¬† The Giants certainly have the edge, but the Rockies are by far the more dangerous team in the eyes of most of the other contenders and they have a history of making late season runs.
Whatever happens, it should provide us with a large dose of September, and possibly even some early October, drama.¬† And with all of the contenders playing each other a number of times, the head to head matchups should make for some outstanding baseball.
But things are looking up for the Padres.¬† Ace Mat Latos, who missed last night's game, isn't down because of a sports injury, just a minor illness and he can be expected to rejoin the pitching staff in the next few days.¬† And they've finally broken the ten-game losing streak that put them at the edge of the abyss.
Now the Padres need to build on that win, try to make it two or three in a row quickly and ideally put a crimp in the plans of both the Rockies and Giants.¬† With their next two games against the Dodgers, who are just playing .500 ball, the Padres have a chance to do just that, but they'll have to face off against the Dodgers top two pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.
Win or lose, the Padres are looking over their shoulder and hoping they can claw their way to the playoffs.