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Friar Faithful: 2021 San Diego Padres June Recap

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Coming off of a successful month in May, the Padres hit a small skid to begin June but were still able to finish strong and churn out another successful record. Now that June has ended, we’re going to look back and examine how the Friars faired against their competition as well as what lies ahead in July.

Padres June Recap

Even with June being the second time this season they finished a month 15-12, the Padres were able to overcome an early drought and turn it around. Their four-game losing streak started with the Houston Astros and trekked on with a series loss/sweep from the Chicago Cubs. Needless to say, it wasn’t the start that fans and players alike were expecting to begin the month.

Against the Cubs, Chris Paddack and Ryan Weathers surrendered five and four runs apiece while Dinelson Lamet only allowed one run in five innings of work. Even with those runs given up, Weathers still holds onto a strong 2.63 ERA while it remains to be seen if Paddack is still worth holding onto in this rotation. The next series against the New York Mets would be San Diego’s chance to liven things up and end their losing streak.

Out of the four games played, San Diego was able to snatch the first two while the Mets rallied and took the back half of the contest. Fernando Tatis Jr.’s homer and Blake Snell’s seven-inning, ten strikeout performance was exactly what the Friars needed in order to end their losing streak. Even though they snapped out of their slump, it wasn’t enough to win the series but still a step in the right direction.

The Padres were able to hand the Mets a nice goose egg when Snell was on the mound but Jacob DeGrom was able to help his team return the favor. The shutout against the Friars in game three would only be the third time this season that this has happened to them. The other two times came from losses against the Milwaukee Brewers and, of course, Los Angeles Dodgers. Next up on the homestand docket: a revenge series against the Cubs.

In the first game against Chicago, RBIs from Manny Machado (3), Eric Hosmer (2), and Brian O’Grady (3) would be enough to secure the win for the Friars. The following games? Well…not so much. San Diego dropped the final two games of the three-game set after being outscored a combined ten runs to two while also losing their second series versus the Cubs in June.

Keep in mind, the Padres were facing a Cubs team who wasn’t back to full strength after losing a few guys to injury and they were still unable to get the job done. Dinelson Lamet and Yu Darvish’s lackluster starts combined with seven hits in two games essentially spelled out doom for the Friars in this one. With another losing streak on hand, it was time for them to pack up their bags and fly to New York for a much-needed break.

Again DeGrom would again best the Padres in a 3-2 win, one in which he fanned the Friars ten times in six innings of action. In that one, Snell was only allowed to go four innings after giving up four runs on the day thus giving us another bad performance from him this season.

Another loss would follow in game two but before they boarded the plane back to San Diego, they had to leave the Mets with something to remember them by. Although the series win was out of their reach, the Padres were able to battle back and win game three to avoid the sweep but still lost their second consecutive series. Now into the middle of the month, it was time to get serious as they look to head to Colorado to take on the Rockies at Coors Field.

A first glance at the Rockies would reveal a team who was 15 games out of first place in the NL West with a league-leading eight walk-off wins to their name. Not much to consider a threat, right? Wrong, very wrong. Lament’s second consecutive loss came in a narrow 2-3 defeat by the Rockies to open the series. Since the beginning of June, Dinelson Lamet’s ERA has steadily climbed from an impressive 2.50 up to a misery 3.67. Even so, he remains one of the top starters on this team.

The Padres couldn’t gather much in the next two games as they faced their second and third loss in a row by the end of this matchup. Three series losses in the middle of the month and a record of 4-11 only perpetuate the frustration that this organization is currently facing let alone losing control of its divisional standing. With these losses behind them, it was time to face new horizons in the form of the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers when they flew back to San Diego.

Looking for the break they so desperately needed, the Padres were finally able to win their first series of the month and in sweet, sweeping fashion. With fans now being allowed back in California sports stadiums at full capacity, many speculated that this was San Diego’s major key to success and who could blame them? All Padres starting pitchers, minus Miguel Diaz, went a minimum of five innings per game with minimal runs allowed and high K/BB ratios.

Joe Musgrove went seven strong innings while allowing only four hits and three walks in game one. Chris Paddack looked back to full form as he struck out a season-high 11 batters and only surrendered two runs against Cincinnati. With a four-game win streak now in full effect, it was time to face the Los Angeles Dodgers and swipe the SoCal crown in their tie-breaking series.

It didn’t take long for the Padres to jump on LA when they scored four runs in the first inning of the first game eventually came away with the win. Following this strong start, Yu Darvish was able to pad the defense and go six innings with a season-high 11 strikeouts to lead the Friars to the promised land. Manny Machado was another key factor in that one when he went four for three with a home run and three RBIs.

The Padres were able to score two runs in the first inning of the following game which was then finished with a Ha-Seong Kim pinch-hit home run to send the crowd home happy. The third game also went San Diego’s way as they swept their second opponent in a row and built upon their four-game win streak to stretch it to seven. With a series advantage over the Dodgers and the stench of victory emanating off them, it was time to relocate to Arizona and face the last-place Diamondbacks.

The Padres would go on to win the series outright but not before their eight-game win streak was snapped after a miserable 10-1 loss in game two against Arizona. This isn’t something you usually see from a strong team like San Diego but again, in this day and age, no team is safe from situations such as this. With the final series win of the month, the Padres were able to put themselves back in the green and overcome what looked to be a losing month for them.

Looking Ahead

Already having a series win against Cincinnati that started at the end of June and now a series loss against the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego finds themselves in a familiar spot. Their schedule this month is comprised of teams that aren’t in their division so opponents like the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Miami Marlins will be their competition in the coming weeks. With the All-Star break approaching next week, the Friars will look to take some time to rest as well as cheer on fellow teammates Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Cronenworth, Yu Darvish, and Mark Melancon in the Mid-Summer Classic.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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