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Friar Faithful: 2021 Padres Mid-July Woes

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The Padres have a losing record heading into the middle of a month for the second time this season. With head coach Jayce Tingler at the helm and San Diego’s monstrous roster ready to go, no one bothers to question their journey to success. While this could be cause for concern, who are we to question the method that allows them to finish with winning records every month this year?

Padres Mid-July Woes: No Need To Worry

The Padres seem to have a mixed approach to winning ball games and it sure shows. Being in a rough and tough division like the wild NL West, you can’t constantly ride a rollercoaster of wins and losses to climb up the latter. So far through July, that seems to be their game plan and it won’t be stopped anytime soon.

The Friars started off July with a series win against Cincinnati, ending with a walk-off loss in the final frame of action. Taking the wind out of the sails of an NL Central contender like the Reds was exactly the momentum the Padres needed. Next up on their calendar was a trip to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Phillies.

Down 3-0 to begin the first game of the series, they eventually battled back to even things up in the ninth after the Phillies bullpen blew another save. This was the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia’s bullpen had blown eight saves in nine games. Regardless, the Padres’ effort went for not when Brad Miller stepped into the box and became the hometown hero when he delivered a walk-off double in the tenth inning.

The next game for San Diego was met with disappointment when Yu Darvish surrendered four runs in six innings of work which turned into their second consecutive loss. However, the Fourth of July brought fireworks for the Friars as they crushed Philadelphia eleven runs to one in the series finale. Series losses are the epitome of a bad week so heading to the nation’s capital to play the Nationals provided a bounce-back opportunity.

Again, the starting rotation would fail to deliver in-game one when Joe Musgrove allowed five earned runs, including a home run, in seven innings. Fortunately, the second game would go San Diego’s way when Wil Myers delivered a care package of five RBIs to secure the win. Padres starter Ryan Weathers gave up four funs in his outing and continued to add to lackluster starts for San Diego’s rotation.

The final two games were split as neither team was able to bring home the gold to win the series. The hot and cold play followed them again in this one but things could have been a lot worse given they weren’t receiving much help from their pitching staff. Colorado was the next roadblock in their way and this time, the Padres would be looking to exact revenge after a series loss/sweep last month.

What promising hope that was ignited with a game one win fizzled out shortly after. The Rockies would again take their second consecutive series against San Deigo by dealing them back-to-back losses in the final two games. Keep in mind, this is a team that sits 18 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West and is most likely out of playoff contention.

It’s a bit mind-boggling how the Padres could lose to a team that they clearly should have beaten outright. The Rockies were fortunate to have luck on their side this season as most of their wins have come at home in Coors Field. The best news to come out of this loss was the fact that they would be given a few days off for the All-Star break.

Now moving onto their next opponent, a rematch versus the Washington Nationals. The Padres started with a bang and dropped twenty-four runs on the Nats to easily steal the show and secure the win. However, game two was postponed due to a shooting outside of Nationals Park pushing the game to the following day.

Once the game resumed, the Padres were able to finish what they started and took game two but were unable to secure a win in the last game of the series. This series’ win was huge for them as they looked to stay within earshot of taking first place in the NL West. The problem lies in the fact that they can’t seem to get above 5 1/2 games out of first place given San Fran and LA are neck and neck for the top spot.

Finishing Strong

With the All-Star break finished, it’s time for the Padres to get back to playing ball. A 6-9 win/loss record in the middle of July isn’t great, but it’s a positive step in the right direction after going 4-11 in the middle of June. Even with this pattern emerging, they have yet to finish a month with a losing record in 2021.

Their series against the Braves will be a tough one but if they continue to push the flow then they will find paydirt. Other upcoming opponents include the Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, and Colorado Rockies. Winning in these series is crucial if they want to stay alive in the division title race.

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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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