The next statement may surprise people (well at least surprise people who know me and my encouragment of optimism). THE PADRES ARE NOT VERY GOOD.
At least they are not playing well. Top to bottom they are not a conistent team. There are some talented players that are inconsistent, and there are some players whom simply should not be playing anymore. They are now, also, a 3-12 team. They've had some bad luck for sure. But they're run differential suggests they should be about a 5-10 or 6-9 team. Still bad, but a little more respectable. Defensively, they've largely been playing better of late. The Pitching, except for Richard's start at Colorado, has been acceptable this week. Problem is, this team is simply not hitting. 4 runs over the last 27 innings. That won't win games no matter how good the rest of the team may be playing.
I saw some positives tonight. Strikeouts were down. They got some hits and put together some decent looking at bats against Cole Hamels. Hamels was on the ropes a few times early, getting out of some bases loaded jams. I hate to say it, but good pitchers like Hamels is, tend to get out of trouble, especially against teams, like the Padres, that aren't hitting. Hamels has made better teams look worse. The Padres didn't turn in an embarrassing performance tonight. They didn't strike out 15 times like some predicted. They didn't get no-hit like others predicted. Volquez kept them in the game, allowing 0 runs for his first 6 IP. Unfortunately, the Padres allowed 5 straight hits enroute to 3 runs for the Phillies in the 7th. Hey, the Phillies got hits. I'd be more frustrated if they were kicking the ball around, or walking everyone. They didn't. That's baseball I guess. Volquez's final line was 6+ IP 3 R 3 ER 3 BB 5 K and that will win more games then not.
I saw some more criticism of Bud Black tonight over a double switch that allowed Jason Bartlett to come into the game, and brought out Andy Parrino. As much as I have criticized Bartlett and Hudson, I would have made the same move at that point. Some may call it a stupid move, at the time of the switch, the Pitchers spot was coming up first. They were playing to protect a one run lead.It was going to be one of the Hudson or Parrino to come out and Hudson is the better defensive option. I understand the frustration. I understand not wanting Bartlett to play at all, and wanting to see more of the kid. I get it. But let's put the hyperbole and emotion aside and it really was a defensible move.
I really don't know where I'm going with this. I'm frustrated. I realize the team isn't that good. Its being demonstrated. They are also not THIS bad. Its just getting harder to realize that. Harder to find the ways to prove it, when the bottom line really is WINNING.