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Road Trip Roundup: Strong Start Leads To Bitter End 

The San Diego Padres wrapped up an initially progressive road trip in a rather disappointing fashion on Thursday at Miller Park in southeast Wisconsin. San Diego dropped the fourth and final game of the series 10-1 to the 47-63 Milwaukee Brewers.

In fact, the Padres dropped three out of four games in the series—to the 47-63 Milwaukee Brewers.

After being shut out by the New York Mets in game one of a three game set at Citi Field, San Diego countered back, going on to win the following two days, which included a demonstrative seven run comeback, capped off by Justin Upton’s ninth inning two-out homerun, sealing another victory on July 30th.

The “emotional victory,” as Pat Murphy called it (slight understatement?), proved to aid the clubhouse with confidence, as the Padres moved on to Miami, taking two out of three from the Marlins, and then exploding for thirteen runs in the opener against Milwaukee.

One could assume that the confidence for San Diego came to a jolting halt right about there.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday all concluded in San Diego losses by margins of three runs or more.

The last three days (or months) haven’t exactly been enjoyable for the Padres, or fans, for that matter. The failure to find consistency, momentum, and common ground in the organization reflects in the club’s (still) sub-.500 record on August 6th.

It’s not to say that clubs don’t go through slumps, because at one point or another, every team does. The simple inability to recover from losses, along with an inability to retain a culture inside the clubhouse has weighed heavily on the Padres’ shoulders.

The relentless excitement that once filled the crisp San Diego spring air has turned into a repetitive, hot, muggy, and uncomfortable feeling in the San Diego baseball community.

It is often heard that momentum in baseball only goes as far as the next day’s starting pitcher does—it’s another factor to consider in assessing the 2015 Padres thus far.

While fans have seen multiple quality starts from the rotation in the past few weeks, it seems as if time and time again, a walk here or an extra-base hit there turns into something much greater than it initially appears to be.

Inconsistency strikes, once again.

In midst of the negativity, which a San Diego fan can easily become absorbed in, optimism does have its time and place, as the Padres still are well alive in the National League Wild Card race. No, three consecutive losses to a team 23 games out of first place in their division isn’t quite flattering, but in San Diego, fans have come to expect the unexpected.

With October on the horizon, yet another point to consider is if the Padres do indeed make the playoffs, what happens next? Is an appearance in the postseason alone good enough for fans in San Diego this year? After all, do fans actually want to see a team like San Diego, as streaky as they’ve been, in the postseason, or is it a disaster waiting to happen? Baseball proves us wrong time and time again, so as for that matter, fans can only sit, wait, hope, and maybe even pray for the best.

This weekend marks the return of baseball to San Diego, as the Padres welcome the Philadelphia Phillies for a three game series beginning Friday night at 7:10 pm. Those who arrive early will enjoy Padres Cocktail Fest in the Park at The Park. On Saturday, Padre greats Benito Santiago and Garry Templeton will both be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame; fans in attendance will receive a replica throwback Templeton or Santiago jersey.

As one can tell, there are plenty of reasons for fans to still make their way through the Petco Park gates, beginning as soon as this weekend. Yet, as far as the condition of the baseball team goes, fans can only do some more sitting, waiting, and hoping (and praying).