What was that I said about the San Diego Padres after they scored 17 runs on Monday?

Something about how they could quickly revert back to their hitless wonders form (apologies to the 1906 Chicago White Sox).

In their first game after pounding the Atlanta Braves into submission, the Padres got all of six hits against Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson and three relievers while suffering a 6-1 loss to the Braves on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

So much for the momentum of swinging bats hotter than charcoal left on the grill too long. The Padres were suddenly back to normal – that means swinging bats more frigid than a penguin in Antarctica.

At 3-5, the Padres face a must-win game on Thursday if they ever expect to be at .500 again this season. The problem is Atlanta will be pitching Tim Hudson, who has yet to lose to the Padres in six career starts against them.

Yeah, that NL basement the Padres are sharing with the Los Angeles Dodgers right now will likely be coming with an eviction note. Dodgers, you now live upstairs. Move it.

You really have to feel for Padres manager Bud Black. He’s an above-average manager who keeps getting better. He’s a great people person who relates well to players. He knows pitching.

But I fear the Padres are going to eventually have to use him as a scapegoat at some point as their losing ways begin to mirror the football program at Black’s alma mater – those dreadful San Diego State Aztecs.

Remember, the Padres have a new general manager in young turk Jed Hoyer, who I believe just began high school. And in an economic market where a bona fide slugger like Jermaine Dye is still sitting at home, the Padres signed a 42-year-old pinch hitter named Matt Stairs and decided to have a Hairston Brothers reunion (Scott and Jerry Jr.).

That leaves overmatched Kyle Blanks (.207) in the clean-up role when the sixth spot in the order would be the right place for him. Blanks has six RBIs but five came in Monday’s game. He left a whooping seven runners on base Wednesday.

Here’s how anemic the Padres are: Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is batting .367 and has just five RBIs. Fifth-place hitter Chase Headley is batting .424 and has just two RBIs.

Of course, the Padres start three eighth-place hitters most nights (ninth-place hitters if they were an American League team) in shortstop Everth Cabrera (.229), second baseman David Eckstein (.214) and center fielder Tony Gwynn (.143).

When Will Venable, currently in his first full major-league season, is your third-best offensive player, you know you have hitting deficiencies.

So the up-and-down pattern of scoring 17 runs one game and a puny one the next is probably going to be something associated all year with the 2010 Padres. When ownership doesn’t provide enough bats to get the job done, scratching out every single run you can is harder than getting Barry Bonds to admit he was juiced when he hit 73 homers and his head swelled to the size of Mars.

From Sweet 17 to one-run wonders in the span of a game. Not exactly the sign of a team that won’t be spending the majority of summer looking up at all its NL West partners.

Meanwhile, a guy who hit 27 homers last season and has 10 20-homer seasons to his credit sits at home. The fact that the Padres haven’t attempted to add Jermaine Dye to their roster speaks to the real truth – no full commitment to winning.

They gave Jim Edmonds a chance two years ago after Edmonds had just 12 homers for the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals. What do have they have against Dye?

I got some advice – sign the guy. Now.

The Padres can always revert back to the Triple-A philosophy in August when they are 20-plus games back.


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