After everything the franchise achieved in 2022, the San Diego Padres have taken a step back in 2023.
They were playing in the National League Championship Series a season ago.
Now, they are 61-70, fourth in the NL West, 20 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division lead and eight games behind the third and last Wild Card spot.
Their +53 run differential is actually better than a sizable numbers of contenders, but it’s completely useless at this point.
It has been that kind of year in San Diego.
Lots of their struggles stem from Manny Machado’s inability to post his usual MVP-like numbers.
He hasn’t finished with an OPS of .835 or under since 2019, when he had a .796 mark.
In 2023, he is all the way down to .780: not necessarily bad, but definitely not good for his standards.
He understands this and has received criticism.
He is obviously frustrated: just ask the Padres dugout.
Here is a clip of Machado taking batting practice with a cooler and slamming his helmet to the floor, courtesy of Dodgers insider Blake Harris.
Let's see how things are going with Manny Machado and the Padres pic.twitter.com/yTx2qlU7Fk
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHHarris) August 27, 2023
The Padres were just swept by the Milwaukee Brewers and are falling too far down the standings when it comes to the Wild Card.
An incredible collection of individual talent, they are looking less and less likely to make the postseason with each passing day.
The National League has gotten too competitive, and not even Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Ha-Seong Kim, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Snell and other stars have been able to avoid disaster.NEXT: The Padres Season Continues To Fall Apart