The worst of the storm is over. Another might be brewing, but the Padres have weathered a crackling, torrential, window-rattling assault. Ten straight losses. The annual drubbing in St. Louis. The home set loss to the Giants. Tell the truth, you wondered if it would ever end, didn't you? Take a peek at the standings now. The Padres are still atop the National League West.
Irony of ironies, your most disliked rival supplied umbrellas and slickers. With enemies like the Dodgers, the Padres do not need friends. The Padres swept the Dodgers in San Diego earlier this month, and a San Diego victory tonight in Los Angeles would apply the broom again. So the Padres are 5-0 against the Dodgers this month, recalling for me September '96 when I see the SD and the LA on the same field. Against the rest of the schedule since Aug. 26, the Padres are 4-17.
One other thing about the Dodgers. They were flatlining against the Rockies as well. Then someone paddled them and they came back from 6-1 to beat the Rockies on Sunday, and the Rockies haven't won since. Absent that Dodgers comeback, Colorado would've pulled into a tie with the Padres, who led the Rockies by 11 games -- 11 games! -- only 27 days earlier. Maybe that Dodgers comeback killed another Rock-tober.
The margins remain thin, the Giants are only half a game out. But if there's a more favorable schedule, it appears to be the Padres'. The Giants still must go to Denver. On the verge of winning their first playoff berth since I can't recall, the Reds could be in hangover mode while they're in San Diego this weekend. The Cubs follow them to town. Then comes the finale in San Francisco, where the Padres are 5-1.