With the calendar down to the last day of August, Major League Baseball is about to fire the starting gun on its stretch run.

Much to the surprise of everyone outside of the 619, the San Diego Padres have been maintaining a nice cushion in the National League West all year and are serving me large helpings of crow with each day in first place. Let’s not mention the Friars’ record against our San Francisco Giants—I’ll leave that bit of vengeance to a Padre poster, should one stumble into hostile territory.

Even more troubling for the City, the Fathers were threatening to run away with the pennant until getting swept over the weekend by the Philadelphia Phillies. That makes four losses in a row for SD (five including Monday night’s), but the club still has a six-game advantage in the loss column over the lads.

Until this little bump in the road turns into a sincere losing jag for the front-runners, San Francisco’s best shot at the postseason remains to slip through the Wild Card side door.

But the Orange and Black will need a few things to happen, first.

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