So much for a bad April ending.
Prior to last Thursday’s off day, the Padres had lost seven of their last eight games to finish the first month of the season.
On Sunday afternoon, they had won three straight.
Following the three-game sweep of the Rockies over the weekend, the Padres find themselves back above .500 –two games above to be exact (14-12)—as they embark on a nine-game road trip.
The series sweep was the Padres first of the season.
Many were quick to write this team off after the way it stumbled over the final days of the first month. But, the way it played over the weekend was a reminder that the season is long, and that this team is still learning to fire on all cylinders.
“Coming off what just happened to us, it’s nice to bounce back,” said manager Bud Black after Sunday’s 8-6 win. “I like the way we bounced back and got this one but our guys know, every day’s a test. But it’s nice to bounce back after what happened earlier in the week.”
The series sweep offered a glimmer of hope for things to come.
Against the Rockies, they hit, they played defense, and they pitched.
The bullpen, largely to blame for the team’s April struggles, was as good as it’s been all season, surrendering just two earned runs in nine and third innings of relief.
Starters Ian Kennedy and Brandon Morrow were solid Friday and Saturday night, and even with James Shields not at his best Sunday (he allowed five earned runs in five and a third innings of work), he grinded.
What’s encouraging, though, is that the offense –which has been good all season— continued to produce and the bullpen did its job.
All facets working together.
Just Upton, Derek Norris, and Jedd Gyorko (yes, Gyorko) all homered Sunday.
Gyorko, who’s working through another slow start to the season, smashed a two out, pinch-hit two-run homer (his first of the year) to extend the Padres lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
It was all the Padres would need to secure the sweep.
And hopefully, like the off day, what this team really needs to hit is stride.
–Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)