We’ve seen some incredible feats in major league baseball this season. Just last night, Ronald Acuña swiped his 70th bag, becoming the first player in Major League history to complete a 40 home run, 70 stolen base season. It really has been a great and historic baseball season. Yet, one of the most mind-blowing statistics of 2023 is at the San Diego Padres, a team with a positive run differential near 100, came into last night with an 0–12 record in extra innings.
After months of being the least clutch team maybe in the history of the sport, the San Diego Padres broke through and prolonged their inevitable elimination from postseason play with a victory last night against the San Francisco Giants.
I can’t really get a gauge on this strange anomaly. Is it bad luck? If you played the season out 1 million times, how many of them would end with the Padres being this shitty in extra innings? Is it randomness, or is there a correlation? There have been so many stories that have come out about the lack of leadership in San Diego and about how there have been clubhouse issues from the beginning, but I still wonder if that matters during the game. Is the clubhouse issue really why this team can’t win games in extra innings? It’s essentially the sole reason why they won’t make the playoffs. They’ve gotten transcendent years from many of their stars. They just lack the clutch gene. Maybe team chemistry has a lot to do with that. ￼￼
This Padres team somehow made history and also avoided it at the same time. Their 0–12 record in extra innings tied a Major League record for most extra-inning losses without a win in a single season. But with last night's win, they avoided becoming the only team ever with 11 or more losses in extra innings that didn't win a single game in extras. The 1969 Montreal expos also went 0–12 in extra innings, but unlike these Padres, they couldn't rack up a single victory. ￼
I genuinely wonder what the Padres' offseason plan is going to be. It's still an exceptionally talented roster, but it's clear that something about this core is rotten. I can't imagine that they'll be this unlucky in extra innings next year, but this is the second time in three seasons that they woefully underachieved despite a bloated payroll. They haven't had much to celebrate, but at least they can take some solace in the fact that they won't be winless in extra innings.￼