San Diego Padres Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 2006

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The San Diego Padres celebrate after clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2006.

The San Diego Padres are back in postseason contention.

For the first time since 2006, the Padres have secured a playoff spot. San Diego clinched a second-place finish in the NL West after a three-run, 11th-inning rally to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 7-4, on Sunday. 

The Padres hold a 34-20 record with six games remaining in MLB's shortened regular season. Under the new playoff format for 2020, which incorporates 16 teams, the top two clubs from each division advance to the playoffs in addition to the remaining two highest records in each conference.

In San Diego's last playoff appearances, the team fell in the National League Division Series in back-to-back seasons from 2005-06 under manager Bruce Bochy. The Padres have finished last in the NL West in three of the last four seasons.

During the 2020 season, San Diego has largely been led by Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. In his second year in the major leagues, Tatis Jr. has recorded 15 home runs and 40 runs batted in while leading the league in total runs (47). Meanwhile, third baseman Machado has a team-high .322 batting average while adding 16 home runs and 46 RBI. Additionally, right fielder Wil Myers has added 13 home runs and 35 RBI. 

On the mound, starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet has emerged as a Cy Young contender by recording a 2.07 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 65.1 innings. Zach Davies has a 7-3 record in 10 starts with a 2.69 ERA after being acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason. Trade deadline pickup Mike Clevinger has won two of three starts with a 3.00 ERA, while expected ace Chris Paddack has not performed up to expectations with a 4.23 ERA but still possesses the potential to start a playoff game.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's, Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees join the Padres among teams that have clinched a 2020 postseason berth.  The expanded MLB postseason begins on Sept. 29 with best-of-three Wild Card series.