It's hold your breath time again for the San Diego Padres.
For the third time this season, All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. departed a game after suffering a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
The first time it happened, way back on April 5, Tatis missed 10 games during his stint on the injured list. The second time it happened, he returned after missing one game.
"We'll know tomorrow," Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Friday night after the Padres dropped another game to the road-challenged Colorado Rockies in San Diego. "One thing about Fernando, he's had a phenomenal ability to get back in the lineup sooner than expected."
But it's beginning to look like the Padres will need a lot more than Tatis. The trading deadline passed Friday without the Padres acquiring a much-needed starting pitcher. Worse, the pitcher they most coveted, Max Scherzer, went to the National League West rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
To emphasize the Padres rotation problems, Friday's starter Ryan Weathers gave up eight runs -- on three homers -- in four innings in the 9-4 loss to the Rockies, marking the 48th time this season that a Padres starter failed to complete five innings.
Speaking to the media Friday afternoon, Padres general manager A.J. Preller handed a challenge to the Padres' starting pitchers: pitch better.
"Honestly, we're not going to get where we want to get to unless guys in our rotation pitch like they're capable," he said. "We could've added a starting pitcher and if the other four or five guys don't pitch like they're capable, it honestly isn't going to matter."
Tatis. The rotation. Those are just two of the three immediate problems facing the Padres. The other is Colorado.
The Rockies have a major league-worst 12-39 record on the road this season. But they have won three of the past four games they've played at Petco Park.
And they might have a pitching combination the Padres can't beat in Jon Gray and German Marquez.
Just before the All-Star break, the duo held the Padres to one run on six hits and four walks with 16 strikeouts in 13 innings in back-to-back wins. Gray won a second straight decision against the Padres Friday night.
And Marquez (8-8, 3.54 ERA) goes out Saturday night against Padres right-hander Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.27).
"I really like our chances whenever either Gray or Marquez start," Rockies manager Bud Black said recently. "They are quality starters and building momentum."
So are the Rockies, who are 20-19 over their past 39 games and made a decision before the trading deadline to hold onto the two starters coveted by other teams.
The last time Marquez was at Petco Park, he blanked the Padres over seven innings on July 10. In his career, he's 6-3 with a 4.61 ERA in 13 games (11 starts).
Meanwhile, Padres ace Darvish hasn't been particularly sharp of late, giving up four or more runs in three of his past four outings. He has lost three straight decisions, giving up 16 runs on 23 hits and four walks with 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings over his past four starts for a 7.32 ERA.
--Field Level Media