Clayton Richard threw his first shutout as a Padre, Ryan Ludwick continued his resurgence with 3 RBI, and the Padres whipped the Dodgers 6-0. Giants won, so they stay a 1/2 game out. Rockies lost, so they picked up a full game (Rocks now 2.5 back of SF).
As I detailed yesterday over at Baseball Digest, San Diego is in a dogfight now. I think they have two advantages - a slightly easier schedule, and one more home game than their rivals. Of course they still have to win. The unfortunate reality of their recent struggles is, they no longer control their own destiny. San Francisco must lose, and so too Atlanta, for the Padres to play post-season baseball. Happily they trail Atlanta by a 1/2 game as well in the Wild Card race.
More good news: ESPN has upgraded their playoff chances to 44.6% from 35.1% yesterday. Almost a 50/50 chance now. That's awesome considering what's transpired since 26 August.
Tim Stauffer vs Ted Lilly tonight. Lilly mesmerized the Padres at Chavez Ravine back on August 3 in a 2-1 Los Angeles win. I think he retired 21 in a row at one point. Stauffer has made 5 career starts against the Dodgers, the last being September 6 of this year. San Diego has won 3 in a row when he starts. Stauffer has been the Padres' other good pitcher over the last 2 weeks (in addition to Richard), so we've got that going for us, which is nice.
Ubaldo goes for the Rockies against Rodrigo Lopez in Arizona. Jonathan "Big Mouth" Sanchez will face Randy Wells in Chicago. I find myself in the interesting position of rooting for the Small Bears. The things we must do to see our teams through.