Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the National League West Division and the Atlanta Braves for winning the wild card spot. The Giants certainly earned their spot with dominant pitching down the stretch and timely hitting from their reconstructed line up. The Braves had to win a game against the Phillies and they were finally better than the Phillies' scrubs to get into the playoffs. Of course, winning one of three against the Phillies when the Phillies weren't really trying doesn't bode well for their post season. But for fans of the San Diego Padres and for those of us that took a fancy to the latest underdog story, the ending was sad.
The Padres finally fell victim to their offense. Unlike the Giants who have some legitimate studs in their rotation, the Padres were doing amazing things with some league average starters (Latos notwithstanding) and a rugged bullpen with great defense to thrill us for most of the summer with their amazing run. But that offense just couldn't get the team to the finish line. There are sixteen teams in the National League. This is where the Padres finished in some of those relevant offensive statistics:
Runs - 11th
Hits - 15th
Doubles - 16th
Homers - 11th
Batting Average - 14th
On Base Percentage - 13th
Slugging Percentage - 15th
Some other numbers: -34.9 in Batting Runs. Only 29% of their hits went for extra bases. Their OPS for September/October was .650. In the 72 games they lost, they averaged 2.42 runs per game. They had a .691 OPS when leading off an inning. The combined lead off batters had a batting average of .234 and an OPS of .611. The Padres had a .644 OPS with the bases loaded. They had a .600 OPS in the eighth inning and a .688 OPS in the ninth inning (they weren't going to rally from behind).
In short, it was an offense that the Padres almost overcame until the very last day of the season. But they fell one game short. But still, nobody in the world thought this team would amount to anything and they nearly pulled it off. It was an amazing story. Unfortunately, the story didn't have a happy ending.