One week ago the San Diego Padres had just completed a sweep of the first place Arizona Diamondbacks and were charging towards taking over that spot. Even mid-week it looked like they were going to be the ones that would overtake the DBacks. Just a few down games however and suddenly they find themselves in fourth place once again 3.5 games behind the DBacks. Kudos to the DBacks for weathering the storm but the Padres need to regain their momentum.
On two occasions now the Padres have shown the ability to get hot and put a win streak out there. They need to start another hot streak as they begin a series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are not pushovers, certainly not with Cliff Lee on the mound in game one, but the Padres should be able to win the series. Now that they have themselves even with the contenders in the National League West, they should be able to go out and win two of every three games and eventually overtake the division.
The danger for the Padres right now would be to press themselves to try and do too much. Just like you can’t hit a grand slam with nobody on base, you can’t win ten games in a row in nine innings. Their pitching staff has improved greatly over the past month. They can ride that starting staff and allow timely hitting to come along and win games for them. From now until the all-star break will be crucial for the Padres. They could be in first place by then or they could drop out of the race again. Time will tell.