The darlings of this year’s trade deadline are officially in deep shit. There’s something I find annoying about the San Diego Padres. It’s bizarre because I like a lot of their players. I’ve been on record saying I believe Juan Soto has the potential to be the best left-handed hitter that Major League Baseball has seen since Barry Bonds. Manny Machado is having an excellent season and could be the next hitter to reach the 3,000-hit mark (though he still has a ways to go). They have a good, established manager in Bob Melvin, and they play in a great park, but this is becoming a team of posers. They spend big, then sell the farm at the deadline, only to crash back down to earth when the lights get bright. Is it good for baseball to see a team go for it as the Padres have at the deadline in recent years? Of course. Have they still not won a big game since, like, 1998? Also yes.
I’m writing this blog because the Padres officially reached panic mode last night following a second straight loss to the pitiful Washington Nationals. The Nationals hadn’t won back-to-back games since July 26th and 27th. That was back when Juan Soto and Josh Bell were still on the team. They did San Diego a favor by trading them, yet somehow they’ve beaten them on consecutive nights. Josh Hader, once again, fell completely apart. His ERA since joining the Padres is 16.20, and his FIP is 10.92. Who could’ve seen this coming except anyone who watched him in July? I understand that even the best go through dry spells, but he has a 14.66 ERA dating back to July 15th. He had a negative bWAR BEFORE the Padres traded for him. If it weren’t for his pedigree, he’d be the kind of pitcher an organization would seriously be considering DFA’ing at this point. And that big, newly repaired, high-powered offense of theirs? It has seven hits over the last two games against a Nationals team that started Anibal Sanchez and Paolo Espino.
Do I think the Padres end up salvaging this and finding their way into the postseason? I’d still say yes. They are a game ahead of the Brewers right now, a team that decided to sell at the deadline despite being in first place. I think they somewhat find their footing, but is this a team that can compete for a World Series? God no. Fernando Tatis Jr being a moron may have taken the wind out of their sales. I understand that. Losing your franchise player for an entire year is tough to recover from, but there is still more than enough talent here for them to overcome that. And there is sure as hell more than enough talent for them to beat the Washington Nationals. The hype train has derailed. “Slam Diego” is slamming down to earth. They better fix it fast, or they’ll be remembered as one of the great fraud teams of recent memory.