Just last week I was happy with the Padres playing one game below .500 in their seven games. This week, one game over feels like a missed opportunity. Taking two of three from the Mets was nice, but the split with the Rockies just didn’t feel good. Winning that series would have meant first place. Not that first place in the NL West matters too much in the middle of June, but it would be nice to see the Padres above the dodgers in the standings some sixty games into the season.
Which brings me to my focus of this week’s post; what are the expectations for this team this year? I used to think this team could scratch and claw its way to a respectable record while waiting for their superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to return. And then watch out! Nando will hit 50 second half dingers and they overtake the dodgers and win the West. But now they sit 13 games over .500 and a half game back of that LA team and I’m starting to think this team is better than I previously thought. This team is good. And Fernando will now hit 50 second half dingers and take this team to the World Series.
Full disclosure, Fernando is not hitting 50 second half dingers. He probably won’t hit 25. His wrist is still not healed so goodbye power. But it’s okay, Eric Hosmer will step up his power game to make up for it! Hos might be slashing .139/.158/.194 for June, but come July, watch out. The prestige value will be turned on. The dad bod will find dad strength and muscle out maybe 2 home runs. Kevin Acee recently said Hos is worn down and tired. He’s tired and we aren’t halfway through June. Maybe the month long wedding celebration followed by the month long honeymoon right before Spring Training should have included a workout here and there? Nah, Hos is happy with his career. He’s won a World Series. Winning two would just look greedy.
You know who hasn’t won a World Series? A bunch of ex-Rangers. The Padres now start three ex-Rangers (X-Rangers?) in their typical lineup. Jurickson Profar, Nomar Mazara and Jorge Alfaro all had a solid week for the Padres. Maybe the Padres don’t need to go outside the organization to look to improve the offense. Maybe they just need Profar to stay hot. Mazara could be the left handed bat they thought Matt Beaty was going to be. Trent Grisham can keep fighting back to a respectable slash line. Jake Cronenworth can worry a little less about being so dreamy and a little more about that sweet swing. Manny, you just be you my good friend. And get healthy. No one is saying it, but I saw how slow he was to get up after an awkward swing. It’s hard work trailing that wagon around all the time. Good thing someone works hard in the off-season.
The Padres will go on the road for seven games this week, before returning home for seven more next week. They’ll finally have a day off on June 27th. I should probably think 7-7 would be a good conclusion to this long grind of a brutal June schedule. But this team is better than that. I honestly believe 9-5 or even 10-4 is achievable. They’ve raised my expectations. I now want them in first place in late June. And then late July. And late August and September too. I am expecting more. And I am ready to get hurt again.