History Continues to Repeat for San Diego Padres

Jul 20, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Abraham Almonte (34) scores a run behind San Diego Padres catcher Victor Caratini (17) during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Abraham Almonte (34) scores a run behind San Diego Padres catcher Victor Caratini (17) during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Diego Padres were swept in the second consecutive series by the Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend. Those six losses could play a significant role in whether or not the Padres secure the second wild-card berth in the postseason. Unfortunately, history continues to repeat itself as the Friars are facing another season of missing the playoffs.

San Diego Padres Were Climbing to The Top

There was a point earlier this season, the Padres were 6-1 against the Dodgers and the talk of major league baseball. Each contest was a thrilling affair that became must-see TV for all baseball fans. Everything looked in place for Friars until the wheels came off in late July.

So, what changed? Well, the biggest difference between the two teams is how the front offices attacked the trade deadline. The Dodgers regrouped, recalibrated their machine to become the odds-on favorite to win their second consecutive World Series title. On the other side, it did not feel like the Padres did enough at the deadline.

Tatis rules out shoulder surgery. light. More Padres

Preller’s Greatest Misjudgement

Adam Frazier was a nice addition, but Padres general manager A.J. Preller’s top priority at the trade deadline should have been pitching. The starting rotation was mired with injuries and lackluster performances. Frazier’s acquisition alone did not move the needle in the NL playoff chase. The Friar Faithful expected Preller to evaluate the situation and add a starting pitcher to the mix. Instead, he allowed the team’s main rival to take the trade market’s top prize out of his hands without much of a fight.

After the Max Scherzer trade fell through, Preller failed to acquire another starter before the deadline. Granted, it was a robust market, but the Padres could not afford to stand pat. The move did not have to be flashy, but a pitcher who could give them length each outing.

Symptom of Padres’ Problems: Lack of Quality Starting Pitching

The symptom of the Padres’ problems has been the starters’ inability to go deep in their starts. Before their recent injuries that will keep them out indefinitely, Blake Snell and Chris Paddack had provided a reason for optimism with their improved performance on the mound. Snell posted a 1.83 ERA over his last seven starts with 59 Ks in 39.1 IP. Still, even with their recent success, both pitchers averaged a little over five innings per start.

Thus, Padres manager Jayce Tingler was forced to overtax his bullpen. Not surprisingly, he has worn a path from the dugout to the mound in Petco Park. This unit desperately needed a break, but the starters could not oblige with their request. The call for reinforcements was sent out, but no minor league prospect or re-thread veteran has responded to the challenge.

Injuries to the pitching staff have played a role in the demise of the Padres. The biggest question for the final three weeks of the season is who will start after Joe Musgrove’s turn in the rotation. The Padres are relying on over-the-hill Jake Arrieta and shaky Yu Darvish to keep them above water. Right now, TBA is the Padres’ best starting pitcher. When the injury bug becomes an immovable object, then your season is doomed.

The Erosion of Talent

Every professional sports franchise experiences an erosion of talent. This is the nature of a business that relies solely on a person’s athleticism. Constantly, players are being evaluated. It could get them promoted, demoted, benched, or traded. Baseball fans have learned to expect a season of uncertainty each summer.

General managers rarely believe that their source of the team’s struggles and are firmly convinced the root of the failures lies elsewhere. Usually, it is with the manager, coaching staff, or the players themselves.

It is frustrating that the San Diego Padres failed to deliver on their spring training promise of becoming a legit postseason contender. Instead, they’re a good team that has too many flaws to be great. It has been the team’s motto since their first World Series appearance in 1984.

Next. Chase for the NL Wild Card. dark

After sifting through the wreckage of this season, Preller made a careless mistake in the construction of his starting rotation. What makes this situation all the more frustrating from the Friar Faithful’s perspective, none of this comes as a surprise.