As we close in on the ending of the first month of the season, the San Diego Padres are one of the few teams who couldn’t be happier for April to end. Outside of the mid-April series sweep of the hated rivals from up north, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres have been horrible to say the least. Through Wednesday night’s game, neither the pitching staff or the hitting have been doing particularly well. When you can’t do both well, let alone one, your team will probably struggle. Sitting at 5-15 through Wednesday, the Padres have the second worst record in baseball, only a 1/2 game ahead of the Miami Marlins.
While the team batting average has not been abysmal (they’re hitting .243 as a team, good for 21st in baseball) it’s the hitting with runners in scoring position where the Padres struggle the most. Hitting .227 with RISP won’t give you many opportunities to win. The teams who hit better with runners in scoring position tend to win more games than those who don’t. While the Padres may struggle offensively, getting Chase Headley back to 100 percent will definitely help those hitting around him, but they need the likes of Carlos Quentin, Yonder Alonso, Nick Hundley and if they can get some production from the rookie Jedd Gyorko it would help immensely.
The biggest issue, in most eyes, is how poor the Padres pitching has been. Through Wednesday, the Padres rank 29th in both ERA (4.70) and WHIP (1.49). Allowing nearly two runners per inning is not good for pitching, it means pitchers are throwing more pitches each inning, shortening their starts and overusing the bullpen. Under the tutelage of manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley, Padre teams are usually in the top half of most pitching categories. So, what gives this season? Well injuries play a big part in that, but so does depth. This staff doesn’t have a “stopper” or someone who can go out and give a team a much-needed win when things aren’t going well. Someone, from either in the rotation or in the minors needs to take these struggles and turn them around. Here’s to hoping the last week of April and May are much better for our Friar Faithful!
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