Shildt urges calm amid SD's skid: 'This too shall pass'

June 18th, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- There wasn’t much positive spin for Mike Shildt to put on Monday night’s lopsided loss at Citizens Bank Park, but even after watching his Padres suffer their fourth consecutive defeat, the manager insisted he remains confident in his club.

That’s his job, right? Shildt has been around long enough to know the ebbs and flows that accompany the 162-game grind, so even after getting swept by the Mets over the weekend and experiencing a 9-2 drubbing in the series opener against the Phillies, San Diego remains in the thick of a muddled National League race -- one which has a long, long way to go.

"We’re in a stretch now where we're just not getting it done,” Shildt said. “I don't want to say that there's no level of disappointment or frustration; that's two different buckets. Long-term concern? None, zero. I know we're going to end up right where we want to end up, and that is in October."

There weren’t many highlights for the Padres on Monday, but Shildt did his best to stress the team’s defensive play, the quality of their at-bats, and their effort -- specifically that of Manny Machado, who has been battling a right hip flexor strain in recent weeks.

Kyle Schwarber smacked two home runs for the Phillies, while Cristopher Sánchez held the Padres to two runs over seven innings.

"It's tough; they’re a good team over there and they have a good pitching staff,” Machado said. “On our side, it’s just control what we can control. Keep competing, keep playing good defense, throw the ball, get those extra bases and try to put some runs on the board. Things aren't going our way, so we have to scratch and claw and try to get whatever we can. Compete, go out there and leave it on the field."

The Padres were hanging around with the Phillies throughout the first half of the game, trailing 3-1 in the middle of the fifth after finally scoring a run against Sánchez.

That’s when the Phillies’ offense took over, scoring three runs in the home half of the fifth, two more in the sixth and another in the seventh, cruising to their 24th win in their last 27 games in Philly.

"We’ve shown the ability to come back, but we can't do it every night,” Jake Cronenworth said. “It's hard. We were there, 3-1 in the [fifth] inning, then they come back and score three to blow it open. It’s tough to win when we have [seven] hits and they have 18."

Randy Vásquez allowed six runs on 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings, the third straight game in which the Padres’ starter has thrown fewer than five innings.

"This league is based on pitching,” Shildt said. “We have a good offense and I like our offensive approach, but if you don't have consistent starting pitching, you're going to have a hard time being a consistent club that's going to shake hands."

The Padres have now dropped eight straight road games dating back to June 2, scoring just 18 runs (2.25 per game) during that stretch.

"We all know it’s not going to be like this the rest of the year,” Machado said. “You just have to roll with the punches. We’ve been getting punched in the face a little bit, so keep fighting back. This team has a lot of fight in it; we’ve shown it in the past and we’re going to continue to show it."

Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Padres, who must face Phillies aces Aaron Nola and Ranger Suárez over the next two days as they try to pick up their first victory of the road trip. San Diego will counter with Michael King and Matt Waldron, two of their most effective -- yet inexperienced -- starters.

“There’s not a concern that we're going to get out of it; this too shall pass,” Shildt said. “We’re aware of the next two days; we’re not naive to the fact we’ve got Nola and Suárez going the next couple of days, but we’ve got Michael King going and Michael King has been pretty good. And we’ve got Matt Waldron going and Matt Waldron has been pretty good. That’s a good club; let's don't get kid ourselves. That’s as good a club as we're going to face, so short term, we’ve got to figure it out.”