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San Diego … staying classy

Prior to this season, one of the main story lines facing the San Diego Padres was how early in the season they would fall out of contention and trade Adrian Gonzalez. After winning Wednesday, they are now 72-47 with a six-game lead in the National League West over the Giants. The only teams with a better record in baseball at this point are the Yankees and Rays. The only team with a bigger division lead is the Rangers in the AL West.

LOWEST PAYROLLS ENTERING THIS SEASON
SOURCE: USA Today

What is really remarkable is how big a jump the Padres have made in one season, without making any big moves, while entering this year with one of the lowest payrolls in the MLB.According to USA Today, only the Pirates entered this season with a lower total payroll.

In 2009, the Padres finished fourth in the NL West with a 75-87 record (.463 win pct). This season, through Wednesday’s win they have a winning percentage of .605 -- a jump of .142. If they maintain that pace by winning roughly three out of every five the rest of the way, the 2010 Padres will tie the biggest single-season turnaround in franchise history.

LARGEST JUMP IN WIN PCT
TEAM HISTORY

This jump is very similar to the one the Padres made between the 1997 and 1998 seasons. 1998 is the only other time the Padres have been 25 games over .500 in franchise history. That season also marks the last time they reached the World Series.