Padres May Have Limited Window To Catch Up In NL West

Baseball 27 May 2011

If this Padres ball club has any interest in getting within striking distance of the NL West division leaders, the next few weeks may be the best, and possibly last chance for them to do it.

This team has paid poorly thus far, and are 7.5 games behind the division leading Giants.  That’s a lot of ground to cover and teams to leap frog, but for the next 17 games the schedule offers an opportunity for the Pads to make up some ground and become relevant if they can quickly pull their act together.

From now through June 12 the Padres play Washington, Atlanta, Houston, Colorado, and Washington again – 11 of the next 17 games are against teams with winning percentage near or below that of the Pads.  Meanwhile, the Giants play Milwaukee, St. Louis, Colorado, Washington, and Cincinnati meaning 14 of their next 17 are against teams with a .500 or better winning percentage.  The Rockies during that stretch plays all NL West foes except their current three game set against St. Louis.  The Dodgers will have the toughest schedule facing Florida, Colorado, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, then Colordado and Cincinnati again – tough run.

Keep in mind that the Giants just lost catcher Buster Posey (broken leg 6 weeks minimum), Colorado will be without starter Jorge De La Rosa for the remainder (elbow reconstruction), and the Dodgers have 6 players from their opening day roster on the DL, weakening all three clubs.

The Diamondbacks are the other team with a chance to make some hay, playing sub .500 clubs in 10 of their next 17.  They’ve been on a roll winning 11 of their past 13, and are essentially not missing any key players.

For the Pads to take advantage of this brief scheduling imbalance, they will need to do something they haven’t done yet this season – play better than their 20-30 record.  If they can’t then this front office will have few options but to start making roster moves with an eye on 2012.

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