Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 11/8/14
The San Diego Padres came into the season picked to compete with the Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, and New York Mets to finish with the worst record in baseball. A young team with an unproven staff, the Padres don’t really get any attention from the baseball world. Then quietly, they began to make some noise, and not just because they brought back their awesome late 90′s duds. Don’t look now but the Padres are in the middle of a big three-game series with the San Francisco Giants, sitting two games back of the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks. What is even more impressive is that the Padres are doing this without getting really great performances from anyone. They have been hit hard by injuries, they aren’t hitting terribly well, and their pitching has been mediocre at best. They are getting good outings from the surprising Eric Stults and from serviceable veteran Jason Marquis, but outside those two it isn’t a pretty picture of pitching. San Diego came into today’s contest with the Giants with a team ERA of 4.71, good for 25th in the league. Two of their starters have ERA’s over 5.50 on the season, Edinson Volquez is at 5.84 and Clayton Richard is even worse, with a 7.01 Earned Run Average. How are the Padres coping with ineffective starting pitchers and their injury problems? Well for one, they are playing terrific defense. According to FanGraph’s Ultimate Zone Rating, the Padres are the fourth best defensive team in baseball. That is one way to negate inconsistent pitching. The other way, getting production from the entire roster. The Padres have yet to really be at full-strength. Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, Huston Street, and Jedd Gyorko have all spent time nursing wounds and Everth Cabrera just went down with a hammy the other day. Cabrera will be a tough hole to fill in the lineup, he is hitting .305 and leads the league with 31 stolen bases. Fortunately for Bud Black and his squad, their reinforcements have risen to the occasion. Kyle Blanks has filled in at first base and left field for black, and is having a June to remember hitting .317 with five homers. Blanks isn’t alone, according to The Outside Corner, he’s had plenty of help: Perhaps it’s the production that the Padres have received from their reinforcements — reserves filling in for injured starters — that best explains their success thus far. Logan Forsythe has been a capable replacement at second base. Following a 3-for-6 performance in Monday night’s win, he has a .292 average and .766 OPS. Luke Gregerson substituted at closer while Huston Street was out, notching three saves to go along with a 1.95 ERA. Coming into the season, the NL West was practically handed to the Giants or Dodgers by baseball experts. The Padres, who own the lowest payroll in their division at $71,690,000, spent about $140,000,000 less on their team than the Dodgers did. The NL West has been quirky thus far,The Rockies and Diamondbacks have both surprised and the Dodgers also have (but in the bad way) making it a three team race between San Fran, Colorado, and Arizona. Now, it has turned into a four team race thanks to Bud Black’s young Padres. If he can continue to get production from his entire roster, who knows how long the Padres can hang in their tight division. No matter how it plays out its gotta be nice for the Padres and their fans to be competing again after a few years as the NL West doormat.         Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.