The San Diego Padres just finished a fairly disappointing series in Milwaukee. After beating the Chicago Cubs twice in a day, the Padres just could not win this four game series in Milwaukee.
The Padres split the series with the Brewers at two games a piece. This is obviously not a good result. The Padres split a four-game series against the Mets recently, and that was a great result. The Padres should not be performing at the same level against two distinctly different teams like the Mets and Brewers.
There were still many positives to take from this series. The Padres did not look horrible in any of these games and in general they have been playing good baseball. The Padres have also done a good job playing as a team which is essential in this game. This team seems to have great chemistry which is a key to succeed in baseball.
There were many fresh faces in this series like Christian Friedrich and Hector Sanchez and all seemed to fit in nicely into the team. Even Tayron Guerrero was called up from El Paso. Guerrero was received with hugs by the Padres bullpen and welcomed back to the group. If this team is missing something it certainly isn’t chemistry.
Game 1: Nice Comeback James
James Shields suffered the worst embarrassment of his career in his start prior to this start in Milwaukee. Unless you live under a rock, you would know that Shields gave up a homer to Bartolo Colon. James bounced back quite nicely in the first game of the series in Milwaukee. Shields had a masterful performance going seven innings and striking out nine. The superstar offensively for the Padres on Thursday had to be Melvin Upton Jr. The outfielder had three hits including an RBI single and a solo shot. Alexei Ramirez also bagged himself a nice game going 2-3 with a double and a sac-fly RBI.
The Padres bullpen did their job as well. Brandon Maurer looked sharp, pitching himself out of trouble and not allowing a run. Ryan Buchter would then come in the ninth and get his first career save. Buchter has been amazing for the Padres and proved to add more value to his role on the team. This was nice way to kick things off in Milwaukee. The Padres looked solid out there and it was nice to see Shields bounce back after that start against the Mets.
Game 2: Not Another Shutout
The Padres did not get shutout by the Mets or Cubs but the Brewers went out there and shutout the Padres. This was a horrible result against a pitcher they should have hit around. This is definitely not the team you want to see shutting you out. The Brewers have the worst pitching in the majors as discussed in the series preview. Junior Guerra came in with an ERA of 6.00 before this game. Guerra went six scoreless innings then the bullpen came in and shut the door on the Padres.
There were still positives to take from this game. One was the start put in by Christian Friedrich. The lefty would go six innings and only allow a run on a sac-fly by Chris Carter. Carlos Villanueva would then take over and pitch a couple of scoreless frames. The pitching in this game for the Padres was great. The Padres pitchers would end Ryan Braun‘s hitting streak at twelve on Friday as well. The offense just could not perform and the Padres would only achieve three hits in the game. This is truly a worrying result for the Padres. To get shutout by the Brewers is just something you don’t want to see. This was the ninth shutout the Padres have suffered this season, and it was definitely the most disappointing one.
Game Three: 2-0 In Extras
The Padres definitely came into this series with a lot of fatigue. Their last off day had been on April 28 (They did have a rain-out last Monday). They had also just played a doubleheader against the Cubs on Wednesday. The last thing the Padres needed was extra innings. Especially with Luis Perdomo making the spot start. This was already set to be a long game for the bullpen. Perdomo would only go two innings and allow two runs. The bullpen would then need to go 10 innings. First one up was Brad Hand. He would definitely lend a helping hand going four scoreless innings and striking out five. The other pitchers that would go in the game were Kevin Quackenbush, Buchter, Maurer, Fernando Rodney, Leonel Campos and Carlos Villanueva. The bullpen collectively would go 10 innings, allow four runs and strike out 13. These are really not bad numbers as the pen was already under serious fatigue. They really grinded it out in this game. The fact that one of the starters didn’t have to be used is impressive in its own right.
The Padres offense would really go off in this game scoring eight runs. Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Melvin Upton Jr. and Derek Norris would all get home runs in this game. The Padres would go on to win 8-7 in 12 innings. This game was really just amazing to watch. This game was a team effort. This was a win which the Padres really earned. There were several smiles after the win because they fought for this victory. This game overall was a huge morale booster for the team. Overall one of the best collective performances by the team so far.
Game Four: There are no ties in baseball
Cesar Vargas had another quality start, but still did not get the win. Vargas went five innings and allowed two runs. The two runs did both come from solo shots which isn’t ideal but still he only allowed two runs. Those solo shots would come from the bats of Chris Carter and Jonathan Lucroy. On the mound for the Brewers would be “12-year-old, Zach Davies” as Don Orsillo said. Davies who literally looks like a child, had a nice start. He would go six and a third and allow two runs. The runs would come via a Derek Norris sac-fly and a Brett Wallace solo shot.
Unfortunately for the Padres, Kevin Quackenbush would allow a run in the seventh off a double by Chris Carter. The Padres offense would be unable to generate anything else and the game would end 3-2. This lost would ultimately come from fatigue. The players had to be tired after the 12 inning game on Saturday. The Padres tied yet another series. Now the one against the Mets had Padres fans exited. I mean to split a four game series against arguably the best team in the National League, that’s impressive. This time though the tie is not a positive. The Brewers are quite simply one of the worst teams in baseball. This was a series which the team should have easily won. You can argue that the Padres themselves aren’t that great. But when they are beating teams like the Cubs and Dodgers, there is this ray of hope.
Can the Padres Compete in the NL West?
This has been a topic that Padres fans have been talking about since before the season started. After the series against the Cubs, the answer would be an immediate yes. Now the answer doesn’t seem to clear. I would still say yes. The Padres, despite not winning this series showed a lot of positive traits. Especially in that 12 inning game on Saturday night. The biggest positive to take from this series is that this is a team. Last season the Padres were not a team. They were just a group of good players playing on the same team. Now the Padres have really found chemistry. We still have some really good players but now we have chemistry. That was the key to success on the 84 and 98 team and is the key to success for all sports teams.
The Padres really have that chemistry feel on this 2016 roster. Even with all the injuries this team has found how to play like a team. The Padres are still in last place, but are only four games out of first. More importantly, the Padres start a series against the first place Giants on Tuesday. If the Padres can win that series it will be more than clear that the San Diego Padres can compete in the division this season. For now though I still believe this team can keep it interesting, at least for a while.