The 2016 MLB regular season is finally complete. As a San Diego Padres fan, there definitely is this sense of relief. The 2016 season was horrible when it came to wins and loses.
Fittingly enough, the Padres would get swept in their last series of the season. The Diamondbacks would take all three games to avoid finishing last in the N.L. West. Unfortunately, that title would now fall to the San Diego Padres.
There were plenty of bright spots throughout the season which gave us hope for the 2017 season. Some of those bright spots would even be found in this very series. Overall, the Padres seem to be doing great in this unorthodox rebuilding process. The team definitely looks to be on the way up. There are several exciting prospects, which will make an impact in 2017 and in years to come.
This final series was really rough to see as a Friars fan, especially this last game where the Friars would fittingly end their season falling to a walk-off. The pitching would not be the strong suit of the series. With the exception of Paul Clemens, no other pitcher would stand out. Even the great Clayton Richard would have a shaky start. Offensively, the team wouldn’t play too badly, but the offense of the D-backs would outdo them. Strikeouts would of course be a problem this series, as the Padres would strike out 28 times throughout the series.
Let’s get into the recap and close this 2016 season and start thinking about 2017.
Game One: It’ll Be 20 For Schimpf
The Padres would start off this series with Edwin Jackson on the mound. He would have a shaky start as expected. Jackson would finish his season throwing six innings and allowing five runs. Overall, Jackson cannot be in future plans for this team, he definitely has proven to be a huge liability. For the D-backs, Braden Shipley would have a solid start. The rookie would throw five innings and allow three runs to finish off his season. Offensively, the Diamondbacks would be led by Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings. The pair would each hit a two-run blast to amount for most of the D-backs runs.
Offensively, the Padres would really not look great. Luis Sardinas would be the only Friar to get more than a hit, with two on the night. The run producers for the team would both be rookies in Ryan Schimpf and Manuel Margot. Margot would not have the best night, going 1-5, but he would drive in a run. The run would come in the fourth inning via an RBI double. Ryan Schimpf would impressively slam his 20th home run of the season. The blast would also come in the fourth inning as Schimpf would drive in Alex Dickerson with the two-run blast. Schimpf has really been out of this world this season for the Padres. You can really see that he has potential to reach 30 home runs in a season, which he might have hit had he played with the team since the season started. The little infielder has been one of the brightest spots of this 2016 season. I definitely can’t wait to see what he can do in 2017. The Padres would fall in this game by a score of 5-3 as mentioned before. That 20th home run by Schimpf would be the highlight of the game. It would also make the defeat easier to cope with.
Game Two: Defense, Strikeouts and More
The second game of this series would just be an ugly game to stomach. The Friars would fall by a score of 9-5 in this game. The Padres would play absolutely horrendously in every single aspect of the game. First, we take a look at the pitching, as Clayton Richard would have his worst start of the season. The southpaw would give up seven runs in four and a third innings. Only four of the runs would be earned, due to some mishaps with the defense. Truly inexcusable some of the mistakes that would be made. In terms of offense the Padres would do okay, providing five runs in the ballgame. But the real problem would be the strikeouts. Archie Bradley would have an amazing day on the mound going seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out 11 batters. In total, the Padres batters would suffer 12 strikeouts in the game. We have seen this as a consistent problem throughout the 2016 season. Many times, the Padres batters will look absolutely silly up at the plate, just swinging at nothing.
Five different players would provide the runs for the Padres in this game. Wil Myers, Yangervis Solarte, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje and Derek Norris would each drive in a run. Another notable player would be Jon Jay who would go 2-5 with a triple. Overall the offense would provide some runs as a unit. But again the strikeouts would really dampen the overall performance of the offense. In terms of the D-backs offense they would be really solid. Jean Segura would have a great game going 2-3 with a double and a triple. Rookie, Mitch Haniger would also have a nice game as he would go 2-4 with a solo shot. Yasmany Tomas would be the biggest contributor to the Snakes offense. The Cuban outfielder would go 2-4, with a three-run home run. Overall, this game would be a total disaster for the San Diego Padres. Not one single component would impress anyone in this game. This would turn out to be a really disappointing game, especially with Clayton Richard on the mound. Richard has really been quite the revelation for the team, and hopefully we do resign him for the 2017 season.
Game Three: Swept Right Into Last Place
This last game of the season would really exemplify what the 2016 season has been for the Padres. The game would end 3-2 in the Diamondbacks favor. We would see some typical occurrences which we have seen all season long in this game. Paul Clemens would pitch the best game of his career in this one. Clemens would pitch a season high six innings and only allow a run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Clemens has been absolutely amazing in these last few starts. He definitely finished off the season in a very strong fashion. However, it still remains to be seen whether or not he will form part of the 2017 rotation. I still have many doubts concerning Clemens, mostly having to do with stamina. The fact that the most he has pitched this season is six innings is quite worrying. We will have to see in spring if Clemens can crack the rotation. We would truly see a pitching duel in this one though, as Matt Koch would also look solid in this game for Arizona. Koch would also go six innings and only give up a run.
In terms of offense, we really would not see much of it in the game. Chris Owings would continue his strong series as he would open up the score in the second inning. Owings would pick himself up an RBI via a ground out. The Padres would then tie things up in the fourth inning. Hunter Renfroe would double to drive down the left field line to drive in Wil Myers and make it a tie ballgame. The Friars would then take the lead in the seventh inning. Luis Sardinas would get an RBI double driving in Austin Hedges. With a 2-1 lead, things would then get typical in the eighth inning. Brad Hand would be in to pitch. Hand has had a solid season, but he really has been unstable throughout the season. Sure he has a lot of strikeouts, but he definitely is not someone you can really count on daily. Hand has given up his share of game tying or go-ahead home runs throughout the season. Well It would happen again in the eighth inning of this game. Hand would give up a game tying solo shot off the bat of Brandon Drury. After that we would see another interesting occurrence in the Padres half of the ninth. Ryan Schimpf would come ever so close to tying up the game. Schimpf would hit a ball into the stands, which would appear at first glance to be a home run. However, upon further review, the ball would actually be foul, much to the Padres’ despair. Things would get even worse in the bottom half of the ninth inning. Brad Hand would remain in the game, almost like a white flag, just wanting to get the season over with. Of course something would go wrong with Hand on the mound. The lefty would give up an RBI single which would end the game. Phil Goselin would be the author of that single which would drive in Socrates Brito. Just like that, the 2016 Padres season would come to a close. Unfortunately the Padres would end the season in typical Friars style. It really could not have come in any other way. Until next time Friar Faithful, it’s been my pleasure. Go Padres!