So here we are..the final month of the baseball season, with a fight for first place in the National League West….and a four team fight for a wildcard spot in the National League.
And here we are, the Padres headed into their final 30-games, still in the grasp of a 2-month free fall that threatens to wash away all the good things the Padres had promised the fans they would do as a trade off for all the patience the community exhibited thru the years of rebuilding.
There will be time to evaluate what went right or wrong, once we get to the end of the season with the Friars.
But straight ahead, is what the fans think the Padres can do with what is left on the schedule.
And straight ahead too will be watching the out-of-town scoreboard , where all the other teams in this dogfight are facing crunch time games that will determine where they finish.
A look at the remaining schedule for each of the teams that now have their backs to the wall:
PADRES: How tough is the schedule ahead…23-games against teams in their own pennant fights…..They have 10-against the Giants, though San Francisco seems to be fading. There are still 6-to be played with the surging Dodgers. They face Houston on the weekend. And there are still 4-games against desperate Atlanta, fighting to win its division race. And that does not include 3-other games against fiesty St-Louis. Do you trust this starting staff to go out night after night and shut these teams down, or hope the bullpen can find the resolve to prevent this monumental collapse?
REDS: A 1-dimension team, lots of hitters, playing in a Great American Ballpark bandbox. More importantly, whom Cincinnati plays. The list includes 9-games vs the anemic Pirates…3-with Detroit and 4-with the Cubs. That’s 16-pretty winnable games even with half a pitching staff..
PHILLIES: They have hitters, have some pitchers, but have not really put together a hot streak. Now or never, but real possible. They play a combined 16-games against the Pirates-Orioles-Miami-Mets. The Phillies could win all 16-of those games.
CARDINALS…This may be impossible when you consider what the other teams in the playoff hunt have to play. How does St Louis get it done, facing the Brewers 10X….the Reds 5-games…4-against the Dodgers and 3-with the Padres. Any chance-no chance, especially with a battered pitching staff.
PROJECTION:…Dodgers win the division, the Giants finish second and the Reds stomp all the bad teams to get the other wildcard spot. This turns out to be a bitterly disappointing finish to the Padres season. I projected a (93-69) season in San Diego. They might not even make it to an (81-81)..500-season. And then the ‘Blame Game’ should begin at Petco Park