FriarBall: Winning clutch games

Friday, September 21, 2007

Winning clutch games

Between watching the chases for the various division pennants and with the start of football season, it has occurred to me - and maybe that's just because I'm slow - that there are certain franchises that just win clutch games.

The most obvious example of this for me is an NFL one (sorry guys), the New England Patriots (sorry again). It doesn't seem to matter what hype is surrounding what upstart team, the Pats just seem to get the job done and are a constant contender for the Super Bowl.

The best examples of this in baseball come from the AL East (here's the third apology) and you guys know who they are. But what about in the NL? It seems there has been a changing of the guard of some sort in the NL with no team really establishing itself like Atlanta had done for about 14 years.

All three division leaders are struggling towards the postseason and the biggest opening is for the Pads, only a 1/2 game behind Arizona. We've been a playoff team a few times the last decade but now is the time for the Padres. With 10 games left it's time to see how clutch this group is and if they can put it all together, they could establish themselves as the team to beat in the NL in 2008 and beyond.

Obviously looking that far ahead is a little far reaching at this point but this organization seems to be on the verge of doing something special and my only plea is for these guys to focus the rest of the way. When these guys are on they can beat the best teams in the league but they have struggled against teams like tonight's opponent Colorado.

This is the point of the season where legendary tales begin and SD is in the position to write a true epic. It all comes down to how bad these guys want it and how well they are willing to play for it. If I am Arizona I am peeing my pants right now because the Pads are in the best spot they can be in. I smell the playoffs and a division title.

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