Here’s a simple comparison between the Padres’ most recent 24-game stretch and the one that preceded it:
Games AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K DP SB CS LOB BA OBP SLG 102-125 806 120 204 41 4 25 113 91 163 19 18 3 166 .253 .329 .407 126-149 794 70 187 30 3 20 68 57 178 22 9 7 155 .236 .290 .356
What went wrong on offense? Everything. The two things that jump out at me are the complete collapse in plate discipline and base stealing efficiency. When the three-run homer isn’t a significant part of your attack, stuff like that gets magnified.
Here’s the pitching side:
Games IP H R ER HR BB K ERA W-L 102-125 211.0 186 79 77 17 83 187 3.28 16-8 126-149 212.0 219 117 110 23 80 206 4.57 7-17
Too many homers. Too much everything else. To sum it all up:
Games W-L RS RA RS/G RA/G 102-125 16-8 120 79 5.00 3.29 126-149 7-17 70 117 2.92 4.88
Fewer runs scored, more allowed. Yup, there’s your problem.
Given the turnover that the rotation has gone through, I figured the pitching would’ve been worse. Their xFIP is only 3.73 this month (fifth best in the league).
But, but, but, Geoff, we win more when we steal bases; Ted Leitner said so!!!
You can’t leave out the quality of the opposition. The more recent stretch has seen the Padres playing teams with better pitching or hitting or both (PHI, Col, SF), or not-so-good teams that happened to be in an upswing (ARI, MIL). The earlier period saw the Padres facing some bad teams that weren’t doing well (PIt, Cubs). Add some arms blazing new innings totals (LeBlanc, Richard), some inevitable backtracking from the bullpen (Gregerson, Mujica, Webb), and some less-than-stellar defense, and it’s a wonder the team didn’t do worse.
I think the thing that stands out the most to me is the team’s defense over the past 24 games. The K to BB ratio has actually been better during the past 24 games, but the team has given up 33 more hits during this stretch. I think the absence of Hairston and Gwynn has hurt the Padres a lot more than we initially thought.
The loss of discipline and the SB% suggest that maybe the hitters / runners have been pressing.
Things that would roll off your back in June make your eyes bleed in September. Adrian gets a called strike just outside the zone and it seems to halve our chances of winning the game, Headley takes strike one and it feels like he might as well be heading back to the dugout. Torrealba calls for 38 consecutive pitches in a six-inch corner of the strike zone against Molina.
The Giants have the easier road, but as we saw in 2007, crazy stuff can happen. Let’s stay within striking distance until the final series and see if there’s a bottle of 1996 vintage magic tucked away in a moving box somewhere.
Agree 100% with Tom Waits. I like that they have at least kept it within a game so far. The trend hasn’t been good but they have surprised us so much this year that I wouldn’t put anything past them if it’s still to be decided in that final series. I think this season could boil down to what they do against the Reds while the Giants and Rockies are playing each other.
Tom, that assessment might be applied to us FANS too. Nervous nellies, we are, especially the crazies who comment on blogs! It’s funny that the Padres have players who have “been there before”. The younger players were listening in June, but when they hit late August, they tune out? Maybe the Padres need a clubhouse shock from one of those veterans with a ring. Maybe it’s time for Matt Stairs to pick a fight, or something.
If the Padres can play the next 13 games like they are all playoff games and win at least 9 of them they should have a good chance of making the real playoffs.
Looks to me like worry, exhaustion and panic, all pretty common things with a young team in September. If anything, it’s good we get this out of the way now so that down the line we don’t worry about crap like this. I’d foresee us being much more effective in September next year
Perhaps, we are expecting way too much, but couldn’t the Padres have gone .500 instead of 7-17 since Aug. 26?
That the team is only 1/2 game out of first is incredible.
A couple of nuggets:
Most of us know that the Pads lost 3 games only once until Aug 26-28. Since that stretch, they have lost 3 straight games nine times!
On the brighter side, four of the six teams in serious contention for NL playoff spots finished play on September 21 with 66 losses (Braves, Reds, Giants, Padres), with only the Phillies ahead of that pace. It’s a roller-coaster ride, but technically the Friars still control their own destiny… which is a phrase that, when used to describe baseball, has always caused me to chuckle.
I’ve noticed that the last few losses, the Padres are getting more or a similar number of hits to their opponent, but still losing because they aren’t scoring runs on those hits.
I wonder what the numbers say about this? Are the Padres failing in extra-base hits (and thus RBIs) or really just scattering them over the frames while our opponents, maddeningly, string together consecutive hits (and thus RBIs or run situations)?