In today’s Cup O’ Coffee we’ll ponder (over some dark roast) the road that lies ahead for our Padres in the coming month.
After a day off to relax and decompress the Padres will be back in action tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. It would be easy to consider this next series a write-off against a scuffling 5-12 Reds squad. The same could have been said regarding the last 2 game set, and yet our Padres were handed back to back losses handily. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking to get any easier on the upcoming schedule and the Giants won’t show back up until June. The next month’s slate of games will truly test the Padres’ mettle.
Let’s contemplate the road ahead.
Seattle Mariners – 4/23-24
The Vedder Cup rivalry will be renewed in the back end of the homestand just after this upcoming 4 game Reds set. These Mariners were off to a red-hot start before going 4-6 in their last 10. Even though Seattle has dropped to 2nd they’re still 13-8 in a competitive AL West. That record may be even better before the Mariners make their way to San Diego; they play last-place Anaheim (8-10) before heading south. The Pads will have to fight hard to keep the Cup in SD before the rivalry continues in August.
@ Washington Nationals – 4/26-28
The Padres will get another off day to travel before beginning an east coast tour with the Nationals. The Bryce-less Nationals are currently at 8-8 but may get a boost of confidence with an easier slate before seeing San Diego. Washington will wrap up against the Giants before seeing Miami and Colorado. These Nationals are middling in both the hitting and pitching departments with their bullpen an Achilles’ heel (8.04 ERA). Winnable series? One can hope.
@ Atlanta Braves – 4/29-5/2
The youth-filled Braves are currently sitting 3rd in a competitive NL East and are looking up at the improved
Harpers Phillies and Mets(!?). Atlanta is currently losing a series to Arizona and will get another tough foe in Cleveland before seeing Cincinnati and Colorado. These Braves can hit while their pitching is…ok save for the bullpen. The Padres will have to hope their own pitching has worked out the kinks in Washington prior to this 4 game set.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 5/3-5
The Padres will return from their road trip with no reprieve as the Dodgers will come to town for Cinco de Mayo weekend. LA has once again seized #1 the NL West after quite the skid against the Cards and Brewers. The Dodgers handily swept the Reds and are now on a road trip of their own starting in Milwaukee. They’ll try to regain some honor before meeting the Cubs in Chicago. LA will then come back home to face the (currently) 2nd place Pirates before jumping back on the road at San Francisco and San Diego. The Dodgers have unfortunately resumed being the Dodgers despite early woes with some of their pitching staff. The Padres always have a fight on their hands when LA shows up on the schedule.
New York Mets – 5/6-8
This is odd to write: these New York Mets are doing pretty well. The often-lesser of the New York teams are riding some very hot bats to a current 10-8 record, good for 2nd place in the NL West. Three of their starters are still posting K/9s north of 10. That’s despite Jacob deGrom falling very slightly back to Earth, by his standards. New York will face a few tests of its own (Cardinals, Phillies, Brewers x2) and the Reds before landing in Petco. The Padres were 2-4 against the Metropolitans last season. One can only hope for a much different outcome this go-around.
The Padres will then hit the road and visit Colorado for 3 and Los Angeles for 2 before coming back home to…
Pittsburgh Pirates – 5/16-19
The Pirates are currently 10-6, just behind the Brewers in the NL Central. In much the same vein as our squad, the Buccos are riding some really good pitching to success. Pittsburgh will have a pretty competitive slate before getting to San Diego with contests against LA, Oakland, and Texas. The Pads plundered 4 games of 6 from the Pirates last season. Perhaps this year’s crew will tear down the Jolly Roger again?
The Padres were able to taste 1st place for the first time in years. It’ll be a tough road to make it back to the top with this upcoming month, but our squad has provided some spark and surprise before. Here’s to the hope of a successful next month’s worth of games!