Big-spending Padres eliminated from playoff contention

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Saturday, September 30, 2023

The San Diego Padres will spend the offseason wondering what went wrong.

The high-spending Padres were eliminated from postseason contention Friday night despite a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox, a finality that prompted Manny Machado to give teammates a postgame pep talk.

"We did what we were supposed to do, but a little too late," Machado said. "We're going to grow from this. ... We're capable of playing better baseball than we did this year."

Juan Soto was batting in the seventh inning when Miamicompleted a 4-3, come-from-behind win at Pittsburgh for its 83rd win, ensuring San Diego would not get one of the National League's three wild-card berths.

Despite winning 12 of their past 14 games, the Padres (80-80) could not overcome a mostly sluggish performance by a star-filled team that started the season with the major leagues' third-highest payroll at nearly $258 million. A 1-9 skid in early May dropped the Padres below .500; San Diego last had a winning record on May 10.

"We know we had a tough year and left a lot on the table," manager Bob Melvin said. "All we can do at this point in time is win games and create a good feeling."

This marks the second time in the wild-card era (since 1995) that the teams with the top three payrolls (Mets, Yankees, Padres) all missed the playoffs. It also happened in 2008 with the Yankees, Mets andDetroit Tigers.

Nick Martinez (6-4) allowed two hits in five scoreless innings with a season-high eight strikeouts for San Diego.

"It's disappointing," Martinez said. "There's lessons to learn from this year, good lessons and bad lessons. Just remember this taste and come out with some hunger for next year."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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