They were called the Cinderella team of 2010: a collection of second-hand, ragtag players who stepped it up all season long and put together a season of shock and awe in San Diego.

Now, with just three games left in the regular season, all the magic potions in the universe may not be enough to help the San Diego Padres.

In the last of a four-game set with the Chicago Cubs, the Padres could only muster three hits in a crippling 1-0 loss, their second such defeat in the series.

San Diego scored a total of five runs in the four-game series and was held without a hit today from the third inning on.

That kind of offense won’t win a Triple-A division, let alone the National League West.

It’s been said that it’s not necessarily the best team that wins championships, but the hottest. The Padres certainly don’t qualify in that regard.

Since the last week of August, the Padres have averaged less than three runs scored per game. No matter how good the pitching staff, and the San Diego staff have certainly held their own, that type of production during the last month of the season in a heated pennant race doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

This weekend, the Padres travel to the Bay Area to take on the team hell-bent on sending them to the golf links next week: the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants will send Matt Cain, Barry Zito, and Jonathan Sanchez to the mound for the season-ending three-game set, hoping to close it out tomorrow night. The Giants’ magic number to clinch the NL West is one, and only one win is needed to snuff the hopes of the Padres.

The Atlanta Braves have a say in the matter as well, leading the wild-card race by two games. One Padres loss combined with a Braves win shuts the Padres out of the playoffs altogether.

The Padres can only blame one thing: themselves. In an interview with Associated Press writer Bernie Wilson, Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick said, “I think it’s disappointing the fact we haven’t played our best baseball at times this month.”

“But everyone who goes out there is giving their best effort. It’s tough. We all take our job very seriously. We want to win. We want to perform. Unfortunately, as of late, it’s been kind of a rough go.”

Kind of a rough go? More like a nightmare. Mike and the Mechanics had it right—all the Padres need is a miracle.

Doug is a featured columnist for and Green Celebrity Network.

For continuing sports updates and coverage, you can follow Doug on Twitter @ Sports_A_Holic.

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