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Padres leaders believe team hasn't quit, might be 'trying almost too hard'

Kevin Acee, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Baseball

As people inside the organization became concerned a similar team-wide plummet might occur this season, they kept an eye primarily on Machado.

This has been a different man, they say.

Machado is batting just .236 with a .654 OPS since Aug. 4, a skid that has dropped his season numbers (.274 and .825) from among the National League's top-10. These are reminiscent of his post-July skid in '19, when he fell from batting .278 with an .863 OPS to .256 and .796 by season's end.

He is among multiple players who must perform better if the Padres are to stop reeling and win the postseason spot they seemed destined to get for much of the season.

The team's results have done little to push back against the notion the players have all but given up on this season. They entered Wednesday's game having lost 21 of 29 and hit a major league low .199 while doing it.

Such sustained awfulness will almost always come across as a team being flat.

 

The struggle has for some time more likely been at least partially due to the opposite.

"I think there's a little bit of pressing," Wil Myers said Tuesday night, becoming about the 15th player or coach to say so in the past few weeks.

"There's nothing we can say in the clubhouse to tell somebody to try harder," reliever Craig Stammen said Wednesday. "Because everybody is trying almost too hard at this point."

The question remains as to why the Padres have not been able to right themselves over the past month, a stretch that has seen them fall from 4½ games up in the wild-card race on Aug. 11 to a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals and a half-game behind the Cincinnati Reds going into Wednesday's game.

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