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This team lost a front-line starter, traded away a big bat and stud closer and fired its general manager in 2014. Yet it finds itself eight games out of the second wild-card spot thanks to an 11-7 August run.
The Padres get the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies 16 times from now until the end of the season. While San Diego’s combined record against those two clubs is an ugly 10-12, neither of those teams is looking to put up much of a fight anymore.
We’ve seen late-season runs by the Padres before, but those came when they were clearly finished in the wild-card race. This year, they have the National League’s second-best pitching staff since the All-Star break, and if another run is in them, it might be enough to shock the league.
Playoff chances: 20 percent