Under normal conditions, a five-game losing streak is not a major cause of concern.
Little is normal about 2020, however, and the San Diego Padres are more than a little concerned about their current skid as they head for Arlington, Texas, on Monday for the first of two games at Globe Life Field — and the first of four games in as many days against the Rangers in an unusual, four-game, home-and-home series.
It’s not only that the Padres have lost five straight. It’s how they are losing … and who the players they have lost while losing those games.
Meanwhile, the Rangers return home from Colorado, where they won two of three against the Rockies. Although Texas had its four-game winning streak snapped Sunday afternoon, the Rangers are still 7-2 over their last nine games after a 3-8 start.
“You put together some wins in a short season like this and it can turn things around,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said after Saturday night’s win at Coors Field.
The Rangers’ spurt has moved them into the playoff picture.
On the other hand, the Padres are 4-8 in their last 12 games and have fallen below .500 for the first time in 2020. They’ve also tumbled to fourth in the National League West.
Maybe an interleague venture is what the Padres need. All 23 of their games thus far have come against rivals from the NL West.
Sunday’s loss to the Diamondbacks left the Padres 5-5 against Arizona this season, after they won five of the first seven.
The Padres led Sunday’s game 4-2 with two out in the bottom of the eighth when Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer off reliever Emilio Pagan.
Actually, that marked improvement for the Padres bullpen, which had given up at least four runs in each of the first four games of the losing streak.
But the bullpen — rated one of the best in the majors entering the season — isn’t the only problem.
The Padres have scored only 13 runs in five games, with seven of those coming on home runs. In fact, 27 of the Padres’ 35 runs over the last 10 games have come on the home run.
And the Padres have lost personnel during the plunge. Closer Kirby Yates, who led the majors in saves in 2019, went on the injured list Saturday with bone spurs in his right elbow.
Right fielder Wil Myers, who is hitting .288 with five homers, left Saturday’s game with back problems and did not play Sunday.
First baseman Eric Hosmer (gastritis) and left fielder Tommy Pham (leg cramps, sore wrist) are also ailing.
“It’s been frustrating, obviously,” said Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler. “I know the guys are feeling it.
Monday night’s game matches a pair of right-handers — the Padres’ Zach Davies (2-2, 2.78 ERA) vs. the Rangers
Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.06 ERA).
In his first four starts as a Padre, Davies has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 16 hits and three walks with 18 strikeouts. This will be Davies’ 116th major league start, but it will be the first of his career against the Rangers.
Lyles has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits and 12 walks with 12 strikeouts in four appearances (three starts) this season. Against the Padres, he is 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in 14 appearances (10 starts).
Lyles pitched for the Padres in 2017-18 after being released by Colorado. He was 3-7 as a Padre with a 5.53 ERA in 13 appearances (five starts).
–Field Level Media