The Major League baseball season is an absolute marathon full of ups and downs. Just when you think a team is done, they could very easily come back and prove you wrong. Baseball is a magical sport, right when you think you have it figured out as a player or fan, it changes on you. It always has, and always will. This upcoming series in San Francisco is very crucial for the team to right the ship. The Giants are a hot team and they stand in front of the San Diego Padres in the playoff race.
Slugging outfielder Matt Kemp has shown small signs of breaking out of his season long slump, but has still struggled at the plate. He has given away at bats from game to game and the Padres can not have that from their middle of the order guys. Kemp is a notoriously streaky hitter, and most Padres fans are eagerly awaiting his rise from slumber. He is needed by the team more than ever, and without his proven bat producing, the Padres will continue to spin their wheels.
This season has been heart-breaking for a lot of Padres fans. Most have given up hope and are calling for the team to make more changes. It could be in the works for the Padres, but the team has given this regime of players another couple of weeks to perform. If the team fails to get above .500 by the All-Star game on July 14, the Padres will most likely explore trade options in the opposite direction. They will be sellers.
So is life as a Padres fan. Except this team will not be torn apart and its best players sold off. The team has some issues, but with solid players at its core in Wil Myers, James Shields, Craig Kimbrel, Derek Norris and even the slumping Matt Kemp, the future is still bright in Padres land. The ownership group has made the commitment to produce a winning club on the field and they are striving for that. With a few changes here and there, the team could easily be a front-runner for years to come.
This series against the San Francisco Giants is important in so many ways for the Padres. Coach Pat Murphy and his leadership skills are surely being put to the test. His first week of being the Padres manager was probably not as he envisioned it. He is still getting to know his players and Padres fans will get a better idea of his managerial abilities in the next days.
I would expect him to start trying to motivate these lackluster Padres very soon. The team can be very stoic and complacent from time to time on the field. From what I know about Pat Murphy, that will not fly under his regime. He demands accountability and just like James Shields sign, if you want to get better, play better.
The Giants led by Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, are a Championship caliber team and their style of playing ball is widely respected among the Major League Baseball community. Manager Bruce Bochy has perfected the art of managing professional ball players. The former Padres manager gets the absolute most out of his players and the team excels with him at the helm. The Giants have won three out of the last five World Series Championships and the Padres should take a lesson from them. If you construct a team the correct way, the sky is the limit.
We will see what Padres team comes out for the three game set in the Bay Area. This team can be very frustrating to watch from time to time. All the ability in the world doesn’t automatically transmit into a winning ball club. A team must have the intangibles to succeed, and this team has yet to find out what those intangibles are. A successful end of the road trip in San Francisco could go a long way for the Padres. We will see if this team wants to compete, or if they are just happy collecting a pay check.