Go Padres! NL Wild Card Series begins tonight

Yup, the COVID-19 pandemic has played absolute havoc here in America and around the world. The nation began to hunker down in mid-March as the virus spread. Quarantine restrictions were imposed inconsistently as government officials in the various regions of the country weighed the public health risk versus economic health. Businesses have cut back or closed altogether and millions of people have been laid off or terminated. The death toll continues to rise despite those who imprudently call the pandemic a hoax: 206,000 deaths have been attributed to C-19 in the U.S.A. to date. If the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, we also had the BLM protests accompanied by looting and destruction in many cities.

Amidst those kinds of significant and challenging circumstances, professional sports were/are hardly a priority, but many hoped the pro leagues could put together some type of package, if only to bring a little “normalcy” back to the very chaotic situation.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association hammered out a plan for a shortened, 60-game season and play began back on July 24th in empty stadiums.

I was optimistic for my San Diego Padres. Free agent pickup, Manny Machado, definitely didn’t live up to his hype in 2019, but Padres fans were hopeful he would return to form as one of MLB’s premier players. Fernando Tatis Jr. was on his way to the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year, until an injury felled him in August. And I was once again hopeful that previous free agent pickups, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, would finally get their heads on straight.

The abbreviated season and expanded playoff format meant just about every team had a shot if they could sustain a few hot streaks. Well my friends, the Padres put together quite a season and finished 37-23, the third-best record in MLB behind only the L.A. Dodger$ and the Tampa Bay Rays. Tatis SS was a shoe-in for NL MVP until he slowed down in August. However, Machado 3B stepped it up with a back-end NL MVP performance. Hosmer 1B played very well and many fans are thinking about Myers RF for Comeback Player of the Year for his excellent season. Rookie Jake Cronenworth 2B was a delightful surprise for the first 30 games, although he cooled off. After a slow start, Jurickson Profar LF settled in and finished the season as the hottest hitter on the roster. Young Trent Grisham did a nice job at CF. Big bat, Mitch Moreland 1B, was a late-season acquisition for the DH slot, but hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Starting pitchers, Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies had excellent seasons, although Garrett Richards and especially projected-ace, Chris Paddack, disappointed. The Padres acquired Cleveland Indians ace, Mike Clevinger, in late August to shore up the rotation.

With their impressive 37-23 record and their 2nd-place finish behind the Dodger$ in the NL West, the Padres earned the 4th seed in the playoffs and will face the 5th seed St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-three series beginning tonight, 5 p.m. ET.

The last time the Padres were in the playoffs was…hold onto your hats…2006. The biggest concern for the Padres going into the series will be the recent nagging injuries to Lamet (biceps) and Clevinger (elbow).

If Lamet and/or Clevinger can’t pitch, the Padres would need a huge break. Can the big bats (Machado, Tatis, Myers, Hosmer) and the relief staff rise to the occasion?

44 thoughts on “Go Padres! NL Wild Card Series begins tonight

  1. Sorry, Papa Tom. My mother-in-law is a lifelong Cardinals supporter and out of loyalty to her, I gotta go with the Cards! (Truth be told, I am a Phillies fan, would much rather go with the Padres, but you know how it is!) Also, I didn’t realize you were a baseball fan, baseball is life in my family as such, I have nominal/unsaved family members who resonated with my post on peace https://bluecollartheologian.blog/2018/12/11/peace/ maybe you will like this too. Love, air hugs and blessings to you and Corinne!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mandy, I’ll bet you’re wondering how an ex-Catholic saved by God’s grace and living in Western New York could be a fan of the “Padres”? Well, I jumped on the then-San Diego Chargers bandwagon in 1969 when I was 13 and then reasoned to myself that since I was following the Chargers I might as well follow the Padres, too. Lots of thin and very little thick in 50 years. The Cards always manage to outplay the Padres, but this season San Diego looks better on paper if the pitching holds up.
      Thanks for the inspirational post! The Lord is definitely watching and we should strive to please. Thankfully, He’s also our encourager and our strength!
      Thank you and love, air hugs and blessings to you and Nathan as well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was absolutely wondering how you ended up a Padres fan!! Sorry the Chargers moved to LA, I was unhappy about that (same with the Rams)! Cora (MIL) also thinks you will win but as they say, “hope springs eternal!” My folks are divorced and we went with my dad on Sundays and so I seriously had little choice in being a sports fan. There was a time in my life I wanted to be a sports writer, but sports are a hobby for me and didn’t want it for my job. I am have to say I am SO glad we have something else to divert our attention after what transpired last night (stupid me watched that whole thing!).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was unhappy about the Chargers’ relocation. It was frustrating that San Diego and Charger ownership couldn’t reach a compromise. I’m glad the Bolts finally parted ways with Rivers and look forward to following Herbert’s development. My Dad had zero interest in sports so I picked it up myself. I’m at the point where I just follow my four teams (add NY Knicks and a local college hockey team) and don’t know much of anything about other teams. It’s a fun hobby and I don’t take it too seriously (except when one of my teams is in the playoffs like tonight!).
        I watched about half of the debate. Argh! Don’t get me going on politics! 😒

        Liked by 1 person

      3. People forget that Eli was first drafted by the Chargers. One of the best gifts I ever got anyone ever was for my brother: powder blue, autographed LT jersey that said MVP. My brother is NOT an emotional guy and the fact that he was excited made it even better! I won’t get you going on politics, I won’t do that to Corinne!!! What a mess!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. RE: Powder blues
        Wow! Nice gift! Those powder blues and lightning bolts are what initially attracted me to the Chargers back in 1969.
        RE: politics
        Actually, Corinne is the one who is politically-minded, not me. I started to detail her political views, but stopped myself. They’re untenable in my opinion and I’ll leave it at that. 😙

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Rays had an outstanding season, too! Let’s hope for a Rays-Padres World Series! As a 50-year Padres fan, I’ve always despised the Dodger$. So arrogant with their best-team-money-can-buy payroll. Most everyone here in Western New York is a Yankee$ fan but I put the Yank$ in the same category as the Dodger$.

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      1. I actually used to check the daily box scores beginning in 1970 and the only decent player worth following back then was first baseman, Nate Colbert. It was a long dry spell until the Padres put together a good team in 1984.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re absolutely right. I somewhat forgot about Cito. Six years with the Padres, all mediocre except for that one All-Star season in 1970. Eleven years in the majors and a lifetime .256 BA is nothing to sneeze at.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Chiming in…
        The Padres historically have had a hard time with the Redbirds. Gotta break the pattern starting tonight!
        RE: Hockey
        I’ve followed the Chargers, Padres, and Knicks since I was 13 and swore I would never follow hockey. But in 2009 I started following Rochester’s only Division I collegiate team, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (my alma mater) hockey team, on a whim and by chance they went all the way to the NCAA Frozen Four that season. So that’s my hockey team.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh sorry about hockey, did you ever have to cover that?! If I may ask, growing up were you a Giants or Yankees fan?! I have always enjoyed hearing people’s responses to the Dodgers. I have some friends in their late 80s and they will stay up to all hours listening to LA. I also know people in their 80s who said when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn, they were done with baseball. Personally I will take the Yankees over the Mets all day everyday. Let’s go Rays!

        Liked by 2 people

      1. So far I can watch the games live because of the early starts but tomorrow’s possible game starts at 10 p.m. so I’d catch the highlights in the a.m.

        Liked by 1 person

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