Comparing “The Streaks”

As I sit here and type this up the Padres are down 6-2 to the Nationals in the 4th inning. Starter Andrew Cashner is long gone and twice the Padres have had runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs and not been able to score. The bright side? Chase Headley’s bat, after hitting the ball hard but with nothing to show for it in Boston, has a double and a HR already. But, assuming the Padres lose this game it will be their 7th loss in a row and 9th in their last 10.

Bleak times friends. Bleak times.

The obvious good side to all of this is the NL West remains remarkably mediocre and the Padres are somehow still within 4.5 games. Very much alive for the post-season.

But this losing streak. This stupid losing streak. It’s draining. It sucks the wind out of your sails. During this losing streak I no longer look forward to the game but dread it. Because I know something bad is going to happen. It takes one good series to snap out of this feeling. One sweep of one team and the memories of this stupid losing streak will fade away. Such is the nature of 162 games. But for now, it’s painful to watch.

I spouted off my frustration on Twitter and received this response.

Hmm…interesting. The 2010 losing streak. Like any traumatic event I remember details of the epic late August, early September 10 game losing streak that cost the Padres the division. And I now compare every losing streak to it. Until this past two weeks, no Padres losing streak came close to the frustration of 2010. But this one is getting there. So, let’s go Tale of the Tape here on two epic collapses.

How Did They Start?

2010: Thursday, August 26th. The Padres had just won 3 in a row when they faced Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks, including a 9-3 drubbing the night before of said Diamondbacks. They apparently were none too pleased with that as they laid the wood against the Padres and Kevin Correia. Correia went 3.1 and gave up 9 ERs. In the blink of an eye the Padres were down 11-0. A 5 run 8th kept the game from being a complete laugher. Diamondbacks 11, Padres 5 (Padres 6 game lead in West)

2013: Saturday, June 29th. The Padres were already showing signs of struggling prior as they had split the 4 game series vs Los Angeles and lost the series to Philadelphia. The Marlins had just come off winning 3 of 4 against San Francisco but in Game 1 were the Marlins of 2013 we’ve come to expect, falling 9-2. Ordinarily reliable Stults was anything but reliable and an offense that had plated 9 runs the night before spurted. Marlins 7, Padres 1 (Padres 3rd in NL West, 2.5 GB)

Who Were TheĀ Opponents?

2010: Arizona (twice), Philadelphia, Colorado. Two teams above .500. Colorado (barely). Philadelphia (a lot).

2013: Miami, Boston, Washington…so far. Two teams above .500. Washington (barely). Boston (a lot). Marlins, despite being sort of terrible, have now won 8 of their last 10.

Offense?

2010: Not much to speak of. They scored more than 3 runs twice during the 10 game losing streak. The aforementioned 11-5 loss and a 7-4 loss, again vs Arizona, again at the hands of Ian Kennedy. They were shut out by Cole Hamels, and scored only 1 run against Joe Blanton.

2013: Not much to speak of. Have not scored more than 2 runs in any of the losses thus far. This includes being shut out in Miami. Last time the Padres had been shut out? May 27th.

Worst Loss?

2010: This is a bit subjective I suppose but I’ll go with September 3 vs Colorado. Cory Luebke gave up 4 runs early but him and the bullpen kept Colorado scoreless from the 3rd on. After rallying to get within 1 the Padres threatened in the 7th only to have Ryan Ludwick strikeout looking. Credited with the save that day? Huston Street.

2013: July 3. The offense still wasn’t coming around, mustering only 1 run. But Edinson Volquez kept one of the best hitting teams in baseball off-balance. Luke Gregerson wasn’t so lucky, giving up a walk-off HR to Gomes.

Fallout?

2010: The Padres snapped their losing streak by sweeping the Dodgers. But by then, their once seemingly insurmountable 6.5 game lead had shrunk to 1 game. Even sweeping Los Angeles only gave them one extra game of cushion. While the team didn’t lost their division lead, it turned September from a coronation of a division winner into a dogfight that the Padres ultimately didn’t win.

2013: ???

Who knows how long this free fall will last. Or where the bottom is. Evereth Cabrera is back which should help. Gyorko and Alonso are on there way back. And the Padres head home (where they are a far different and better team) and face far less challengers in Colorado and San Francisco. Then, mercifully, a break.

Luckily, the Padres play in a very mediocre division. And they’ve won 7 in a row this season once before. The way this division is going, one winning streak could flip those standings in a hurry.

They just need to stop losing first.

 

Normally I post on Friday morning. Unless Thursday is a national holiday. Then it’s Friday “at some point.” Tweet at me @LeftCoastBias

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