Real or not? Padres have plenty of reasons to stay optimistic

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The win was even more dramatic considering the circumstances leading up to Kenley Jansen's final pitch. Kirby Yates, so dominant all season as the closer, had allowed both of those ninth-inning runs to pick up the losses on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Chris Taylor's two-run homer off Robbie Erlin in the eighth gave the Dodgers a 5-4 lead.

Then the Padres loaded the bases with no outs off Jansen -- including two bunt singles by Manuel Margot and Wil Myers -- only to look like they would squander that opportunity when Greg Garcia inexplicably struck out looking on a 3-2 cutter down the middle to end a nine-pitch at-bat and Francisco Mejia popped up to first base.3

Renfroe, by the way, has five career grand slams, tied for second most in the majors since his debut in 2016, behind Manny Machado's seven. It was the first pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in Padres history and their first walk-off win of the season. What could have been a demoralizing series instead ends on a positive nfl jerseys china nike

Can the Padres hang with the big boys all season? The victory leaves them 2.5 games behind the Dodgers and 1.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. On paper, the Dodgers certainly remain the heavy favorites to win the division. They have the talent and the track record, so FanGraphs projects them as the much better team moving forward and gives them an 89 percent chance to win the division compared to the Padres' odds of 3.9 percent.

The young rotation has been excellent, with a 3.52 ERA, fourth best in the majors. Rookie Chris Paddack has been the breakout star, but Matt Strahm (3.03 ERA) and Nick Margevicius (3.47) have been solid, while Eric Lauer (4.30 ERA) and Joey Lucchesi (5.00 ERA) have been a little less consistent. Cal Quantrill and Pedro Avila also have made spot starts, meaning four rookies have started a game while Lauer and Lucchesi are in their second nfl jerseys cheap china

Can they keep it going? The group has done a good job of limiting walks and home runs and has allowed the third-lowest exit velocity among rotations, behind only the Dodgers and Rays. These guys are good and pitching with a lot of confidence.

Margevicius is the big surprise, jumping from Class A to the majors, but his deception and pitching smarts help make up for a lack of premium velocity. You also wonder how a rotation of four lefties will play out over an entire season and the depth will be tested at some point if there are innings limits on Paddack of Margevicius. There is also the possibility of signing Dallas Keuchel, probably after the draft in June if he's still in play.

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