Padres Daily: A sudden end
Good morning from Philadelphia,
It’s all over.
There is no better way to say it. Because that’s how it ends for a team that made the playoffs. It goes, and then it doesn’t. That’s it.
“We did everything we could,” Joe Musgrove said last night. “We put up a better fight and it wasn’t enough. We can live with that. It’s not so much that we’ve lost and are going home, but that no one is ready to go home. Do you know? We do it for eight or nine months, and tomorrow you wake up and there’s no schedule, no plan, no agenda. It’s just different.”
Often more than the sadness, it’s the sense of shock that hits you when you’re in the clubhouse after a playoff streak ends. It’s like a group of guys who seem to have hit a wall. It’s especially touching when you’ve witnessed so much work, struggle, failure, success and drama over the past eight months or so.
This sudden ending was a big part of my game’s history (here) after the Padres lost in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
There was a lot to unpack.
Jeff Sanders wrote (here) on the decision to send Robert Suarez to pitch to Bryce Harper and how it came about. The story includes manager Bob Melvin’s take on how he handled the final two innings and details about the fateful matchup.
Bryce Miller’s column (here) addressed Trent Grisham’s ninth-inning foul and added that it speaks to the Padres’ real problem in the NLCS.
There is much more to talk about. Obviously, there was a lot more to this season than what happened last night or even what happened in the postseason. I just think it will be lost if we talk about it now.
I’ll be doing a lot more unpacking over the next few days. Check out ours The page is updated for various season reviews and offseason previews to come.
As for why the Padres lost the NLCS, you can focus on two or three moves Melvin made (or didn’t make). But how about we take a look at what the Padres’ Nos. 2 and 3 hitters did vs. what the Phillies’ Nos. 2 and 4 hitters did:
- Catcher Austin Nola’s presence on the team has grown exponentially this season. Pitchers love his knowledge, care and calmness. Melvin, a former major league catcher, trusts him for those same traits plus his ability to read swings, call plays and recognize situations. Also inside, a quiet, friendly person is a fierce competitor. Check out Austin’s quotes about his brother, Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, playing in the World Series in Jeff Sanders’ Notebook (here).
- Will Myers excelled in what could very well have been his last at-bat as a member of the Padres. His $20 million option will not be picked up by the team, though there is some mutual interest in bringing him back on a smaller deal. Said Myers: “I’ve got to talk to some people in my corner and see what it’s going to take. Definitely a real possibility. I love San Diego. Very comfortable here. So let’s see what happens. You never know.”
- Manny Machado’s .583 hitting percentage was the highest for a Padres player in a single postseason, as was his .910 OPS.
- The Padres’ 14 home runs set a team postseason record, surpassing the 1998 team’s 13 home runs by one.
- Yu Darvish has made four starts this postseason, posting a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings. All eight runs he allowed came via home runs. The homer he allowed to Rhys Hoskins yesterday set an MLB record as Darvish became the first pitcher in history to allow at least one homer in 10 consecutive postseason games.
Ok, that’s it for me. As I said, there is much to discuss in the coming days. I need to work on it.
Thank you so much for joining me this season. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those of you who read the newsletter regularly. Her reach has grown significantly in three years, and I’m grateful for that. I love interacting with you and learning about what makes you a fan. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
It will be February before we know it.
We’ll talk soon.