If I were to tell you in Spring Training that the San Diego Padres would be six games out of a playoff spot entering September 23, you’d tell me I was crazy. But that’s the reality the franchise faces.
They have made a move that proves they have finally told the world that they aren’t making the playoffs. It was not including Manny Machado in today’s lineup against the San Francisco Giants. Instead, Ha-seong Kim, a .201 hitter, is playing third base. Here’s the full lineup:
Lineup for afternoon baseball vs. the Giants. pic.twitter.com/RhsysiIGFh— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 23, 2021
Do I blame the Padres for giving Machado the day off? Of course not, because I know that the season is over. The Friars are on the verge of losing their sixth straight game and Machado hasn’t sat since June 27. But if San Diego was still trying to stay in the playoff race, Machado would walk into Jayce Tingler’s office and say ‘We’re fighting for a playoff spot. There’s less than two weeks left. I can rest when the season is over. Put me in the lineup.’
Even if the Padres were still trying to inch a little bit closer to St. Louis, who have won eleven straight games, it would be essentially impossible for them to just get into a tiebreaker game to determine who gets into the Wild Card game. The Cardinals would have to fall on their faces and go 5-6 while the Padres would have to go 11-0. There’s no way they go 11-0 against the Giants, Dodgers, and Braves even if everyone is healthy.
The longest winning streak the Padres had this season was nine games but that was against the Cardinals (who weren’t this hot), Rockies, and Mariners—not against three of the four best teams in the National League.
Us Padres fans are just going to have to enjoy watching our team play for the next week and a half because it’s about to end way sooner than it we thought it was going to.