Sunday, August 2, 2020
First Place Padres, And Why It's Not a Hallucination
Last year, when the Padres started the season hot, we all kind of shrugged and waited for them to cool down.
It is 2020, this is a 60 game season, and the Padres are even hotter than they were last year. I don't think we can wish this one away.
Right now, most of the Padres rotation is hot, and most of the Padres lineup is hitting. It's that simple. Tatis is off to an awesome start, Hosmer and Myers are having comeback years, Trent Grisham and Jake Cronenworth are fitting right in, and only Austin Hedges is having trouble, though you could have predicted that. I knew last year that the Machado deal wouldn't lead to instant results because this team needed time to mesh, and now that Tatis, Hosmer and Machado have established a core that Tommy Pham and Grisham can add onto, it's a lot more compatible, and it's a lot easier to just coast.
As good of a start as the Padres' rotation had last year, this one is time tested. Here we have a trusted veteran in Garrett Richards, who's off to an impressive start, and looks to earn back some goodwill after some injury plagued years in LA. But it also helps that Davies, Lucchesi, Lamet and ESPECIALLY CHRIS PADDACK are doing exemplary jobs in the rotation, and Pierce Johnson and Drew Pomeranz have fit right into the bullpen, which otherwise is one of the weaker parts of this team.
I do think this team has more to it than it's had in years, and the hit-miss quality of a lot of the rest of the NL West might give them a few more wins than usual. But there is genuine quality here, and if they keep at this pace, we may have a playoff threat come from this team for the first time in 15 years.
Coming Tonight: A pitcher doing all he can for the Orioles.