San Diego Padres: Is It Time To Embrace Them?

Christopher SchmidtContributor IJuly 26, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Heath Bell #21 of the San Diego Padres celebrates the win with catcher Nick Hundley #4 against the New York Mets at Citi Field on June 10, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres are 58-39.  With a winning percentage of .598, San Diego stands atop the National League, and are behind only the Yankees and Rays in the league as a whole.

Peter Gammons predicted in March that come mid-season the Padres would have the best record in the NL.

Tim Kurkjuin puts the Padres fifth in his power rankings but has written more stories about both the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros this year.

No one expected much from the 2010 Padres, except apparently Mr. Gammons, who is, incidentally, brilliant.

The talk coming into this season was whether San Diego could keep Adrian Gonzalez, coupled with residual chagrin over not keeping Jake Peavy. 

With Peavy occupying rather an expensive spot on the White Sox DL, and Gonzalez not even being mentioned in trade talks there is reason for optimism, even hope.

The upcoming series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is sure to be more telling than the recent sweep of Pittsburgh.

If the Padres suffer a second-half slide, it won't surprise their many detractors. 

With a National League leading team ERA of 3.29, and winning record at home, on the road and against the NL West, it would not be surprising if this team stays in the pennant race, detractors or not.