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DROPPING ANOTHER ONE

Chris Ello
June 22, 2018 - 7:12 am
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Today, it's my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. Blah, blah, blah. For some reason, the Padres think it's Christmas. Because all they've given me lately is a lump of coal.

In dropping another game Thursday night, this time 3-0 to the San Francisco Giants, San Diego now has a new record losing streak for the 2018 season -- five games. 

Hey, I might be a year older, but I'm no wiser.

When San Diego recently won five consecutive series' -- which included knocking off the first-place Atlanta Braves at home and the always troublesome St. Louis Cardinals on the road -- I must admit I fell for it. Yep. I started thinking this Padre team actually had a chance to make something of this season.

Well, you can blow out the candles on that idea now. In losing five games in a row, the Padres have scored a grand total of seven runs and batted well below .200 as a team. They've had lousy starting pitching and even worse defense. Even their vaunted bullpen even blew a game during this stretch.

I really shouldn't be mad at the Friars. Look in the mirror, pal. I should have known better. Winning 10 of 14 games and pulling to within four games of the .500 mark has turned out to just be a mirage. Actually threatening to finally escape the NL West cellar and pulling within reasonable range of the division-leading Diamondbacks and Dodgers was like the old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown.

How could I be so dumb?

After all, the Padre team that has shown up (or not shown up, depending on how you look at it) is the one that everybody expected to see when this 2018 season began back in late March. You remember that stinker of a ballclub that lost its first four games of the season and immediately took residence in the Western Division basement.

Well, it seems that club has now returned right before the All-Star break. Maybe having Will Myers back in the lineup will eventually help, but at this point the Padres' offense is basically non-existent. Defensively, a team that has no room for error is doing nothing but making errors.

In Thursday's loss to San Francisco, center fielder Manual Margot couldn't get to a fly ball, costing one run. Jose Pirela dropped a popup, costing another. The Padres have made an error in 35 games this season and have lost 27 of them. (They're actually quite good, with a 26-16 record when they don't commit an error).

And so it is that another season is quickly slipping away. Not much may have been expected of this team back in the spring, but I don't buy stuff like that. You put your team together with the idea of trying to compete for a championship. If not, then why are you in this business in the first place?

But first place seems miles off now. San Diego has slipped 8 1/2-games off the Diamondbacks' pace, and is four back of Colorado just for fourth.

I thought, for just a moment there, the Padres might actually be on to something. But I was wrong. Happy Birthday to me.

It's going to be quite a celebration.