The Padres have been one of the most successful teams in the National
League this year, if not the most successful. It has surprised many
people throughout the year that they have not only claimed greatness,
but kept it.
Their pitching has been stellar all year, and their offense is good
enough to supply the runs for this team. They often have outbursts of
double-digit runs and this comes as a shock because they do not have an
offense like the Phillies.
They have survived by playing smart ball the whole year and doing the
little things right. Will Venable's virtual stealing of home against
the Cubs a few weeks ago was beautiful to watch as a fan of baseball,
even if it made my blood boil as a Giants Fan.
Who Will Come out on Top in the West?
But I have been suspicious of the Padres success all year, and it was
not until I looked into it a little more that I found possible reasons.
Everyone has been wondering why the Padres have been winning so many
games lately and I couldn't remember them going through a stretch like
the Giants were going through where they played several division leaders
or playoff contenders in a row.
pitching, which is why they are not in the playoff picture. This may
also be a reason as to why the Padres are able to score so many runs
with not many offensive threats. The Giants did the same thing when
they played these teams which led to an incredible July record of 20-8.
The only two playoff contenders (besides the Giants) that the Pads have
played since the break were the Braves, a 3-game series in which they
lost, and the Phillies, a 3 game series they got swept in. I checked
out the calendar and they have games with the Cards and Reds still
coming up in September.
We, Giants fans, have been waiting for this team to fail all year, and
they will be tested in September. If the Giants play consistent ball
and their pitching is as advertised, there is a great shot that they
can still win the west. The Pads pitching should be tired by the time
they face potent offenses such as the Reds and Cards, and maybe even
Now that everyone has begun to actually believe in the Padres success,
they might be surprised at how this season ends up if the Padres don't
deliver against good teams. If the Giants can take out the Padres in
their 7 remaining head-to-head games they are in a great position.
The Giants' explosion of run support against the Reds was amazing but
it did not last forever. They still rely on their pitching to win
games, but it helps when your offense scores 16 runs for you. That's
when everyone is hot.
Imagine what could happen if only a couple of players were hot!
Well, now that I think about it, we know the result
of that because it has been the definition of the Giant’s season.
Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff, and Andres Torres have been a part of most
of the Giants victories. They have rarely had help from Pablo Sandoval
or Freddy Sanchez until recently, even though Juan Uribe and Pat Burrell have picked
up the slack at times. This has led to the roller coaster ride of a
season for the Giants and doubts that they will be able to make the
The series against the Reds showed an upside to the ride, even after a
disappointing road trip. Everyone was hot and it led to an unreal
amount of runs scored by the Giants. The recent series against the
Diamondbacks was a disaster and almost resulted in an embarrassing
It has been said over and over, but the Giants will not make the
playoffs without a turnaround in their starting pitching.
The Giants need to get hot if they want to overtake the Padres,
as they start to finally struggle. They have the tools to succeed
they just need to use them ALL at once.