Chris Paddack
Pitcher Chris Paddack, part of Padres’ hopeful future. Photo: MLB Pipeline/Twitter

The Padres are a .500 ball club, trailing far behind the National League West leaders, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yet, their new superstar, Manny Machado is living up to the hype, their superstar-in-the-making, Fernando Tatis Jr. is exceeding his promise and their league-leading closer, Kirby Yates, continues to open eyes during his breakout season.

All that is to say, fans have a lot to look forward to in the second half, which begins Friday at home when the Atlanta Braves come to Petco Park.

Or as Yates tweeted, “Let’s get this second half started.

“We’re not where we ultimately want to be,” Padres manager Andy Green told MLB.com. “We’re on a path. I think people can see that right now. Things are trending in the right direction.”

The Padres had a major positive to close out the first half, winning three of four from their chief rival, the Dodgers. That built on their three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Central-Division leaders at the time, in June.

The Dodgers remain in first, but the Padres barely trail the Arizona Diamondbacks for second in the west, with the Colorado Rockies not far behind. That ranks the Padres, at 45-45, as at least a long shot in the race for one of the NL’s two wild-card post-season spots.

Standouts for the club include Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes and Machado, who each hit 20 home runs or more through the first half. Tatis continues to be hot, with a .327 average. Rookie pitcher Chris Paddack is 5-4 with a 2.84 ERA. Yates was an All-Star, though he didn’t make it into Tuesday’s game.

One warning – the Padres won’t be home for long. After Sunday’s game with the Braves, they embark on a 9-game road trip to Miami, Chicago and New York.

– Staff reports

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