SAN DIEGO -- The Dog Days of August hit the young Padres hard this past weekend. How better to combat the fatigue than with popcorn and a movie?Over three games from Saturday to Monday, the Padres scored three total runs -- two of which came on a pitcher's home run
SAN DIEGO -- The Dog Days of August hit the young Padres hard this past weekend. How better to combat the fatigue than with popcorn and a movie?
Over three games from Saturday to Monday, the Padres scored three total runs -- two of which came on a pitcher's home run and the other on a double steal. In between, they endured a cross-country flight from Miami to San Diego, in which they sat on the tarmac for an hour. For the first time all season, manager Andy Green said he noticed some tired legs and minds in his clubhouse.
So he canceled batting practice Tuesday. And he canceled batting practice Wednesday. The results: a pair of victories over the Giants, the latest a 5-0 win Wednesday night in which the entire team seemed to get in on the fun.
"You can probably make too much out of what batting practice does," said Green. "The optics of it say, 'This team cares, and they're working every day.' These guys, in my mind, have worked harder than any team in baseball this year. It's just necessary to pull back sometimes."
The Padres still had to arrive at the ballpark early Tuesday for photo day. When the team entered the clubhouse, the couches and chairs had been re-arranged, and a projector was installed in one corner.
The entire team kicked back and took in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."
"At this point in the season, it can get tough," said Padres first baseman William Myers. "We had just come off a long road trip, especially in terms of the travel and the times we got into cities. It was really good for us to sit back, clear our minds, relax and just go out and play. We had come off a four-game losing streak, come in here, watch a movie. Then we go out and win a couple. It's just something a manager will do to try and help clear his players' minds."
In Green's eyes, the respite was a necessity. The Padres' upcoming weekend series against the Dodgers will feature a night game Friday, a doubleheader Saturday and a day game Sunday.
It's undoubtedly a grueling stretch on the calendar for a team that features only two players -- Myers and Yangervis Solarte -- who have posted seasons with at least 500 plate appearances.
"We'll probably go through a stretch in September where we'll do it again," Green said of the skipped batting practices. "It's going to be a tough part of the schedule, from a workload perspective. I think the guys, in general, benefit a little bit from the days down and a little lighter workload. There's more life in their legs because of it."
And perhaps it was that little extra life in the Padres' legs that sent them to their fifth series victory over the Giants in as many tries this season.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.