With sky-high expectations after a monstrous talent haul at the trade deadline, the San Diego Padres might well have received a reality check over the weekend.
The Padres welcome the San Francisco Giants to town for a three-game series starting Monday, and any thought of how far the Padres can advance in the playoffs after acquiring Juan Soto and other highly regarded players might well shift to whether they make the postseason at all.
After suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in Los Angeles, San Diego is not only 15 1/2 games behind — a distant second — to the Dodgers in the National League West, it’s also clinging to the third and final wild-card slot by 1 1/2 games over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Even the Giants, who are two games under .500, aren’t out of the conversation at 6 1/2 games out of the wild-card chase.
The Dodgers outscored the Padres 20-4 over the weekend and dealt San Diego its first shutout of the Juan Soto/Josh Bell era. The Padres, who have gone 17-23 since June 22, have lost four straight since winning the first four games of a five-game marathon series against the Colorado Rockies.
“We got whipped,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. “We have to string some games together, we have to do better. Any way you slice it up, this is not what you’re looking for. We have to flip the script. We’re going to have to play better than this.”
Monday’s game will feature a matchup of left-handers: the Giants’ Alex Wood (7-9, 4.42 ERA) against the Padres’ Blake Snell (4-5, 4.16 ERA).
The Giants are 10-11 when Wood starts this season. He has a 1.25 WHIP and a .260 opponents’ batting average. He is 1-1 against the Padres this season with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in three starts. He has 18 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.
But Wood has a 5-3 career record against the Padres (19 appearances, 13 starts) with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. And in San Diego, Wood is 3-1 in nine games (six starts) with a 1.56 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP.
“We’re still playing to get back in the playoff picture,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said recently. “You never know.”
Snell has a 1.33 WHIP this season with a .222 opponents’ batting average. The Padres are 4-9 in Snell’s 13 starts, but he has won three straight starts, giving up two runs on 12 hits and three walks with 21 strikeouts in 17 innings for a 1.06 ERA.
Snell, who lost his first five decisions this season, got his first win against the Giants on July 8, giving up one run on three hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts in six innings.
The Padres are 6-4 against the Giants this season and 2-2 in San Diego.
–Field Level Media