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So the Padres drop three of four games in Miami to the Marlins, where one might have figured that the Friars had a reasonable expectation to take three of four. Then on to Boston to face the Red Sox on Tuesday, playing a team that has the best record in the American League, and the result was a 4-1 loss (Jesus Guzman hit a nice home run, so there is that), which was in line with how the two teams match up.

Two more with the Red Sox and then it’s on to face the Washington Nationals for three more. The Padres have now lost four in a row and eight of their last ten games and seem to be in a free-fall lately. What changed?

In the standings of the National League West, not much. The Friars are still 2 1/2 games behind the floundering Arizona Diamondbacks, and three games separate the entire division from first to last place. So maybe you chalk this stretch up to nothing more than a streak in the wrong direction.

Or else, maybe it’s just the Padres coming down to earth. The bats are streaky, and not very good as of late. Relief pitching has cost the club some wins otherwise, while starting pitching has been up and down but not nearly as horrible as many would claim.

But the Padres have no one player that can carry other struggling players on his back. Last year, it was Chase Headley, but Chase is struggling. This year, there isn’t a player in any position that has seemed capable of it.

Sometimes there’s a starting pitcher you can count on to right a sinking ship. Other times, a bat gets hot and carries a team. That isn’t happening this year, and it seems to be a component that’s missing.

All of these guys try. All of them. Trying doesn’t ensure wins, and trying isn’t enough to help the Padres past where they are, which is four games under .500 and tied with the Dodgers for third place in the division.

Someone has to step up, Chase Headley can’t always be the guy to carry the load. With three-quarters of the starting infield on the disabled list and a third of the outfield with three-fifths of starting pitching joining in the ranks of the too-bruised-and-battered-to-go list, the Padres need a hero or they’ll be in last place before they return to San Diego at the start of next week.

The San Diego Padres need a hero, and they need a hero right now.


Notes:

Kyle Blanks has a sore heel (Achilles jokes stifled) so he will go on designated hitter duty until that calms down. Meanwhile, Everth Cabrera (hamstring) is rehabbing in Ft. Wayne (day two) on Wednesday, and the others are still static until they aren’t. No bad news for the progression of Jedd Gyorko (groin) or Yonder Alonso (wrist), but no bad news is perhaps good news. Perhaps.

Wednesday, game two between the Red Sox and Padres will commence at 4:10 PM PDST. Edinson Volquez (6-6, 5.50) will go for the Friars against Jon Lester (8-4, 4.61) for the Red Sox. Listen in on radio 1090 AM or watch Fox Sports San Diego for the visuals from Fenway Park.

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