It is hard to believe that as recently as 25 August, the Padres enjoyed a 6.5 game lead in the National League West and had the League’s best record. The next day a funny thing happened. I attended a game. It was my first Padre game of the season, days after I returned from months in Israel. They lost that day, to the lowly Diamondbacks, and would lose nine more before their next win.
Today they are on the precipice, having evidently forgotten what little they ever knew about hitting.
Let me see if I have this straight…
The Padres could win all three in San Francisco this weekend, then come home for an “overhang game” against the Giants, win their fourth straight, and be the division winner.
Or the Padres could win all three in San Francisco, and avoid needing to make it a 4-game streak, if the Braves lose three in a row at home against the Phillies. Then the Braves would be eliminated from the Wild Card, and the Padres would be the division winner without a tie-breaking game (because they would have won the head-to-head with the Giants, 13-5, making SF the Wild Card team).
It gets yet more interesting if the Padres sweep while the Braves win one of three. Then we have a three-way tie. Now that would be fun to watch, but it still means a 4-game winning streak against the Giants to win the division. (If they lost their overhang game against the Giants they’d get one more chance in this scenario, in an overhang game against the Braves for the Wild Card.)
Or the Padres could win just two of three from the Giants, while the Braves get swept. Then they play the Braves in an overhang game to decide the Wild Card.
See, still various ways to get to the playoffs even after a miserable five weeks. But the best we can say for the Padres is they simply need a miracle.
Hey fans, as they like to say at the Padres’ ballpark, “keep the faith!”