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OOTP21 Padres: Things take a turn for the worse

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What the hell happened to the (virtual) Padres over the weekend? Nothing good!

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Last week, I announced that I would be playing through every game of the season using the San Diego Padres on Out of the Park Baseball 21. By the time I made that announcement, the Padres were already 2-0 and looking to sweep the Colorado Rockies in the season’s opening series. A lot has happened since then! Let’s get caught up...

Padres sweep Rockies

The Padres kicked off the season with a 4-0 start. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, the starting pitching looked very strong, and the bullpen was a weapon that could be used to shorten games.

Game 1: Padres win 4-3 (14)
Game 2: Padres win 7-5
Game 3: Padres win 5-0
Game 4: Padres win 5-1

Despite my proclamation that I would trade away the main parts of the Padres’ roster early on, this was around the time when I started wondering if I could make it to the playoffs in 2020 without doing that. Maybe it would be better to hang on to Kirby Yates, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, etc.?

Padres stay hot at Petco Park

Against a very good Atlanta Braves team, the good times continued to roll for the Padres. It wasn’t a sweep, but back-to-back series victories ain’t bad.

Game 1: Padres win 6-2
Game 2: Braves win 3-1
Game 3: Padres win 7-2

Injuries come calling

I, the virtual GM and manager of the virtual San Diego Padres, was feeling really good at this point. Even with a slow start to the season for Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Tommy Pham, the offense was regularly putting up 5+ runs a game and we were headed to Coors Field (henceforth known as “the moon”) to face the one team we had already swept.

However, a couple of injuries had occurred in that Braves series that threatened to derail things early in the season. In the first game, Emilio Pagan was 23 of the way through a scoreless inning when he felt something pop and had to be taken out of the game. The news afterwards was rough.

Luckily, the San Diego bullpen is so stacked that Pagan was my 4th or 5th most important reliever. I could sustain this injury without much of an issue....or so I thought.

In an eerily similar situation two games later, Drew Pomeranz hurt his back 23 of the way through a scoreless inning and had to be taken out of the game. I braced for the big bad news and was relieved that he’ll be out for only 5 weeks.

To fill these new roles in the bullpen, I need to shuffle around my roster. I now had 2 open spots and probably needed them both to help the bullpen. But, what if I could help the bullpen and also solve a glut on the other side of the position side of the roster as well?

A 2nd Trade!

The last time I posted, I told you about the minor trade of Abraham Almonte to the Seattle Mariners for defensive stud CF Braden Bishop and some cash.

This time, in a deal that has bigger long-term ramifications, I shipped Brian Dozier (who Ron Fowler had wanted me to sign to a contract extension) to the Boston Red Sox for a really talented prospect.

Jeter Downs barely sniffed AA last year, so he’s probably two years away, but he’s one of the best 2B prospects in all of baseball and I was able to get him for a guy that was essentially the third 2B on my MLB roster.

Fowler’s not going to be happy about it, but he can’t deny the value!

Call-ups

Out go Pagan (IL), Pomeranz (IL) and Dozier (trade). Onto the active roster comes Cal Quantrill (bullpen), Matt Strahm (bullpen) and Jake Cronenworth (bullpen/SS).

Did the team get better? Of course not! Pagan and Pomeranz will both be sorely missed for as long as they’re gone, but we’re just trying to keep the ship together right now.

A trip to the moon

I can’t stand Coors Field. Not in real life and not in this game. It sucks. It’s barely baseball and it ruins stats and I just hate it.

Anyway, the Padres (6-1 before this series!) offense went in the toilet and the Rockies (1-6 before this series!) did the opposite of that and now I know what a sweep feels like. But not a normal sweep, a moon sweep.

Game 1: Rockies win 16-5
Game 2: Rockies win 12-2
Game 3: Rockies win 7-6 (11)

Brutal. Just absolutely brutal. The Padres’ starting pitching got beat the hell up, as did the bullpen, and the San Diego offense was practically non-existent.

The 6-1 Padres that were flying high are now the 6-4 Padres, headed to Atlanta, wondering how things went from great to terrible so quickly. I’m wondering the same.

I’ll likely be back next week, if not sooner, with more updates. Until then you can keep watching me play through the games on Twitch:

As always, feedback and ideas in the comments are appreciated!