The Padres find themselves in the later portion of August for the third time in three seasons with something to play for. Heading into Shea to square up against the NL East leading Mets the Friars find themselves 3.5 games behind the Diamondbacks in the west and leading the Phillies (who they play this road trip after the 3 game set with NY) by a game for the wildcard. The Padres have kept themselves in striking distance of the rattlers all without their most exciting offensive player, Milton Bradley, for close to 2 weeks. Rookie skipper Buddy Black has Bradley penciled into left tomorrow night at Shea Stadium and I'm sure he had to fight back a smile as his left hand sketched out the name.
With the starting pitching and defense that the Padres employ they make for a tough match up for any senior circuit team. They have shown glimpses of power throughout their line up and hope that Bradley, Barrett, and Scott Hairston all make healthy recoveries for the September run. Frair fans also hope to continue to see a red hot Brian Giles (circa Pittsburgh), and a consistant stick out of Geoff Blum filling in as the starter at second.
The bottom line is that the Pads have at times been a little difficult to figure, stagnint bats, and random bullpen blow ups. However, when the standings are laid out the Friars have an outstanding opportunity to progress to the playoffs and do some serious damage. Time to sit back, and enjoy a memiorable run to the post season ~ and from there anything can happen...especially with this pitching.