FriarBall: Cardinals once again have Padres number

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cardinals once again have Padres number

How come it seems that no matter how good or how bad a team is, there are just some clubs that just know how to beat others. In this case I am talking about how the Cardinals always seem to be the Padres in meaningful games, especially when it comes to the playoffs, but losing three out of four this week really hurt when SD is in the middle of a pennant race.

Amazingly San Diego won the 2005 and 2006 series, 4-3 and 4-2 respectively, but St. Louis holds an all-time series lead of 240-170 and won this year's matchup 4-3. SD has also lost 6 of its last 7 playoff games to St. Louis and also swept them in 1996. In fact, SD has never won a series against St. Louis in the playoffs.

This year the losses seem worse not only because St. Louis is going nowhere fast but also because the Padres lost to a bunch of mediocre pitchers (and that is giving those guys a lot of credit). Losing to guys like Kip Wells and Braden Looper just can't happen when you are in pursuit of a World Series title.

It's no secret where the Padres are struggling (offense and starting pitching not involving Jake Peavy and Chris Young) but this is the time of year where teams of destiny seem to win despite their shortcomings. If SD truly is on track for a World Series title this year, the time to get lucky is now.

Obviously it's still possible to win a World Series if you struggle to make the playoffs - St. Louis did it last year - but going that route will be a lot tougher than SD trying to win a playoff series against the Cardinals.

These last two-plus months of the season are crucial if this is to be SD's year, but only luck at the same time will ensure the Padres' run to the first championship in any sport for San Diego.

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