The Padres are hoping that they can start another winning streak tonight, and move back up in the NL West standings, when the Philadelphia Phillies come to San Diego. The hometown Friars lost their last two games to the Dodgers on Saturday and Sunday after taking the first two of the four-game series.
Heading into the weekend, the Padres were in second place in the NL West and had won eight of their last 10 games. The starting pitching had finally found some consistency, which appeared to be the last piece of the puzzle to turn San Diego into a playoff contender, even with the Disabled List littered with regular starters.
That’s when it all came crashing down.
Edinson Volquez allowed five runs in 5.2 innings on Saturday, the result of fielding errors by Pedro Ciriaco and Yasmani Grandal. Dodgers pitcher Zach Greinke countered with one run allowed over eight innings, stifling the Padres’ offense.
On Sunday, Andrew Cashner did his best to win the game through pitching alone despite a lack of offensive support, giving up just one run in eight innings. Bud Black inexplicably substituted in Huston Street in the ninth inning of a 1-1 tie game, with Cashner having thrown just 91 pitches, and the mistake cost his team the game when Street allowed back-to-back home runs.
The Padres now sit in fourth place in the NL West with a record of 38-38. They are just a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, who are tied for second place behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Phillies come to town with a 5-10 record in their last 15 games. Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.53 ERA) matches up against Eric Stults (6-5, 3.25 ERA) tonight at PETCO Park for the opening game of a three-game series.
It’s possible that the Padres have caught the Phillies at exactly the right time in the season. With a four-game series against the Marlins starting Friday, San Diego is hoping Monday night’s game could start another seven-game winning streak like the one that ended last Tuesday.