Padres must turn page on miserable season series against Dodgers

The talent level between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers is not that wide. But the results on the field between the two teams tell a different story.

For the Padres, the 2022 season series against their National League West rival has been a miserable experience. The games have been one-sided affairs as the Dodgers hold a 12-4 advantage with three games remaining in the season series. The Friars have been outscored 100-41 in those 16 games played.

If the Padres are going to the postseason, they must turn the page on their failures against the team up north and play winning baseball.

No question, the Dodgers are baseball’s elite franchise as everything they touch turns to gold. The team is an astounding 55 games above .500 and clinched the NL West division title with relative ease. The Friars were a distant memory in the Dodgers’ rearview mirror since April. Now, the Padres have to concern themselves with securing a wildcard berth to keep their season alive.

San Diego Padres Must Play Better Baseball to Secure Wildcard Berth

Currently, the Atlanta Braves have firm control of the first wildcard position as they have 10.5 game lead on their opponents. The Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Padres will be battling one another for the final two wildcard berths. The last two teams standing will have played their best baseball of the season to get their shot at the postseason.

It seems like a lifetime ago when the Padres mortgaged their future to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals. The trade came during a disastrous July for the Friars (11-14 record for the month). Padres general manager A.J. Preller hoped the addition of Soto would jumpstart the team’s anemic offense.

Instead, the bats continued to sputter and the pitching no-showed for the second half of the season. The results were the Padres falling further back in the NL West standings. The Friars were 12 games back of the Dodgers on July 31st. Despite staying above water with a 16-13 mark for August, the Padres lost ground in the standings on September 1st. They were 13.5 games out and dropped to third place behind the San Francisco Giants in the standings.

Final Series of 2022 Season Will Decide The Padres’ Fate

So, what will it take for the Friars to secure a wildcard berth? They did not give themselves the cushion needed to withstand a poor month of baseball. I hate to sound like an old sports cliché, but the Padres’ fate will be determined by how well they answer the challenge.

The Friars have no soft-landing spots in the final 21 games of the regular season. They are scheduled to face other playoff-contending teams (Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers). Each opponent will be a tough foe as they’re looking to secure their postseason berth.

Other series on the docket include key battles against divisional rivals: A four-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a three-game road series against the Colorado Rockies and a season-ending home series against the Giants. If history has shown us anything, each team would love a chance to spoil the Padres postseason plans.

The Friars must overcome their offensive struggles and play to their potential. If they can turn the page, the newfound confidence gained could make them a tough out in the postseason.

The San Diego Padres have been dealing with injuries and inconsistencies with their key performers all season. Despite all the struggles, the team’s main goal is to hold on and punch their ticket into the postseason.

It does not seem out of the realm of possibility.