Thanks to the minor miracle that is the Chicago Cubs, our San Diego Padres find themselves only a half a game out of the West and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Wild Card. And of course, we'd actually be 2 1/2 games ahead in the West if it weren't for Scott Linebrink this year. BA-DABING!!
Seriously though, this weekend is lining up amazingly well. Let's break it down. Keep in mind... We're not very good at breaking things down...
We start out with Boomer vs Professor Mad Dog. You know it's a good matchup when both pitchers have nicknames. You also know it's a good matchup when you can stand the two pitchers side by side and can't imagine any other place where you'd see two guys like that standing side by side. This is a somewhat legendary way to start the series. The key to this game will be whether or not the Padres bullpen will stick it out for Boomer who has been somewhat unlucky in terms of having guys at his back.
Second game finds Woody against Chad Billingsley. Let's say your last name in fact is Billingsley... Is the name "Chad" the most obnoxious name to name your child at that point? Cause to me, if you're going to go with something pompous, it's almost more pompous to not go all the way with a "Cornelius" or something like that.
TV timeout: They just broke the game down on Baseball Tonight. They're taking the starting pitching of the Dodgers over the Padres!? WHAT? For relief pitching they like the Padres. For offense they take the Dodgers, which I guess makes sense. I don't know how the Padres score runs either. On defense they like the Padres. What's the tie-breaker? They didn't give a tie-breaker. Weird.
Chris Young vs Derek Lowe. Another sick matchup. The key to this game will be getting Mike Piazza ABs against Lowe so that we can watch our catcher physically assault the Dodgers starter. I'm thinking Lowe may want to wear a diaper under his jock for this one.
And we finish the series with a doozy... Jake Peavy vs Brad Penny. Peavy vs Penny. I swear that for a series like this, they need to have a weigh-in day. Bring the pitchers that are going to oppose each other into a press conference. Have them strip down to their underwears and stand on a scale, flexing their muscles while holding a baseball. Measure their arm lengths. Do the whole bit. Then print up collectible posters. I'm telling you. This would be great.
So what're the keys to the series?
- The Claw needs to keep up his consecutive scoreless streak.
- Linebrink cannot be used with anything less than a 4 run lead and even then, never in the 8th.
- Brian Giles needs to use his skills at walking extensively. Anything less than 18 walks this weekend will be a failure.
- Mike Piazza needs to absolutely molest his old uniform. I don't care how he does it. I just need to know that Piazza will go into LA, hear the boos from the jerk fans and then do some serious psychological damage to opposing pitchers.
- If any game gets down to it and we need a miracle, bring in Chris Gwynn.