What to think about this winning streak …
Did anyone see this coming? Drop six in Houston and Chicago, staring at a 13-22 record with the Reds, Giants and Cubs coming to town, each with at least two formidable pitchers on the mound against the Padres team that has struggled mightily on offense?
Did you see eight consecutive victories? I sure didn’t, only because I hadn’t seen this run of quality pitching from this bunch since, well, the first 12 games of the season and even then it wasn’t nearly this good.
Numbers to crunch: In this blissful run, San Diego’s starting pitchers have a 2.22 ERA. The bullpen has a 0.34 ERA. Those are pretty sick numbers. Teams just don’t do this kind of thing, especially with teams who have as many unproven arms in the bullpen as the Padres do.
It’s a nice sample size, to be sure, but let’s not fool ourselves. This can‘t last forever. And you know what? That’s fine. Because these guys, Mujica, Burke, Gregerson, have shown they can indeed get Major League hitters out. OK, Burke doesn’t have the greatest sample size but I like his makeup and love how much his ball moves.
The hitting scares me a little and it has since, well, Opening Day. How often do you see a team hit .198 over eight games and never lose once? Again, that doesn’t happen. But read between the lines a little. Look at the hits they are getting. Three chances with runners in scoring position on Saturday and two hits, the two-run double by Giles and a two-out single by Chris Burke.
Let’s face it: The Padres have run into some pretty good pitching this week. Volquez, Arroyo, Harang, Zito, Sanchez, Lincecum and Zambrano. I don’t think they would want to do that all over again, do you?
That brings us to today. Well, beyond today. The Padres head out for a six-game road trip to Arizona and Colorado starting Monday, two teams below them in the standings, two teams having all sorts of trouble of their own.
Is a 4-2 trip out of the question? Certainly not, even if the pitching slips a little — they can’t keep this up — and the hitting picks up (it should on the road).