3 reasons the Padres won’t repeat last September’s collapse

Going into September 2021, the San Diego Padres seemed to be following the arc they expected. 500 in his 10 games and was in playoff position in the National League as the final month of the regular season began.

That was roughly how things were supposed to be. The revived Padres finished his abbreviated 2020 postseason run with the best winning percentage in franchise history. The following offseason, General Manager AJ Preller again took bold steps to strengthen the roster. If anything, his passing . 500 in 10 games in the final month of the regular season fell short of expectations.

However, things quickly deteriorated. The Padres won his 2021 regular season from September 1 until the end of his season, where he was 7-21, beating his opponents by 53 points. They were eliminated from postseason contention with over a week left in the regular season and manager Jace Tingler was fired after just two seasons of work. Likewise, Preller’s job security appears to have taken a hit.

A year later, the Padres, now led by manager Bob Melvin, found themselves in playoff position with a batting average of over . 500 in 14 games heading into September. The hope in San Diego, of course, is that his drive in the stretch doesn’t cause a collapse of his 2021 model. In addition to having a more sure hand in Melvin’s dugout, the Padres are also at the 3-3 waterline since the calendar flipped to his September. Plus, looking to the future, he has three reasons why last year’s meltdown probably won’t be repeated and a possible return to the playoffs. So let’s see why we’re optimistic in San Diego.

1. Make your schedule easier

The Padres have a winning average of .548 for the rest of their opponents this season. It’s tough, but nothing compared to last year’s Gauntlet. Going into September 2021, the Padres had a .602 (!) average win percentage for their remaining opponents. In terms of the year, it’s like he’s playing for the Cardinals and the Mets for a month.

Last year, they faced the 107-win Giants and 106-win Dodgers a total of 16 times in September, and given the intensity of racing in the NL West, these two juggernauts are doing their best to win every game. I was doing my best. He played 25 of 28 games with the Padres last September, a team that finished in the postseason.

On another level, the 2021 Padres have only managed to play 11 of their last 28 games at home. But this year, he will play 18 of his last 30 games at home. The road ahead isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s a far cry from what we faced during the September 2021 meltdown.

2. Better rotation

The San Diego rotation is now full steam ahead into September.

  1. Joe Musgrove
  2. With Darvish
  3. Mike Clevinger
  4. Blake Snell
  5. Sean Manair

This is in contrast to the second half of last season. Let’s see how the Padres split his September 28 start in 2021.

  • Darvish 6 starters
  • Musgrove, 6 starts
  • Vince Velázquez, 4 appearances
  • Jake Arrieta, 3 starts
  • snell, two start
  • Chris Paddack, two starts
  • Reiss Knehr, 2 starts
  • Pedro Avila, 1 start
  • Ryan Weathers, 1 start
  • Pierce Johnson 1st inning (bullpen game)

In terms of rotation consistency, since September 1 last year, the Padres have used 10 starting pitchers, the same number as in previous seasons in 2022. Combining his five aforementioned members of the current rotation this season, the ERA puts him at 3.86. The K/BB ratio he has is 3.69. This includes off-season acquisitions. Manaea, who has endured a brutal second half, has been skipped into the next turn in the rotation and will almost certainly be in the postseason bullpen (assuming the Padres are there). The Padres didn’t have Clevinger in 2021 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Excluding Darvish, Musgrove and Snell from the calculations, the rest of the pitchers who started September 2021 would have a combined ERA of 5.55 that year. Unless the injury piles up in the second half, we won’t be spotlighting a player in decline like Jake Arrieta as the season approaches.

Superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hasn’t played this season and won’t play again this season. First because of an offseason wrist injury, then because of his 80-game suspension for his PED violation. Tatis was a steady presence in the San Diego lineup last September, but that’s clearly not the case this time. The good news for the Padres is that their headline-grabbing Deadline addition, Juan Soto, is on the fold. Find your level.

Similarly, shortstop and Tatis replacement Ha-Seong Kim has a strong showing in 2022. He boasts his 107 OPS+ at bat, a particularly strong performance as a shortstop, making him a notable asset in the field. Kim ranks in the 86th percentile in his Statcast average of outs, and in Baseball he has saved 7.0 runs on the field, ranking him 10th among shortstops. All things considered, Kim’s current WAR is 4.0 for him, second only to Manny Machado for the Padres this season. It’s not Tatis Peak, but it’s not too far.

So, for the three reasons above, a repeat of last year’s stretch drive disaster is unlikely. It’s possible, but signs at this point point to the Padres returning to the playoffs in his 2022 season.

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