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Game Thread: 05/14 Padres @ Nationals

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Welcome back, Tim. Get out there and <a href="http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1943/fireybudlrg.gif" target="new">make some f_cking pitches</a>!
Welcome back, Tim. Get out there and make some f_cking pitches!

Jeff Suppan dropped his first game of the season in yesterday's series finale against the Phillies. He kept the game close, allowing only three runs (two earned), but that was just a little too much for our Padres to overcome. Unfortunately we couldn't get much off Cole Hamels. Our Padres made it interesting in the 8th by scoring to get within a run of the Phillies, but couldn't muster up enough offense to win.

Today we get what seems like the first bit of really good news in a season full of bad news. Tim Stauffer returns to make his 2012 debut after suffering an elbow injury at the end of Spring Training that landed him on the DL. He will take the mound and kick off a two-game series against the Nationals today. Stauffer pitched three rehab starts in Tucson and Lake Elsinore, striking out nine and issuing zero walks in 15.2 total innings. He posted a 1.72 ERA in his rehab work and feels good coming into today's game.

Ross Detwiler will pitch opposite Stauffer. He is coming off a loss to the Pirates in which he pitched six innings and gave up three runs. He will have to rely on an offense which, much like our Padres, isn't very good at providing run support (San Diego and Washington are both ranked in the bottom four National League teams in terms of run scored) and has been dealing with injuries early on in this season. Washington just had to put their starting catcher on the DL with a knee injury that could potentially end his season. He became the 9th National to hit the DL since the start of the season (Padres have sent 11 to the DL). The difference for Washington, however, is their ability to win the close games. That has allowed them to stay close to the top of the NL East while the Padres have remained in the basement of the NL West.

I don't want to jinx it but I really hope that getting Stauffer, who was arguably going to be the Padres ace coming into the 2012 season, back will be some kind of turning point for the team. Again, we have been crippled by injuries and unexpected changes in the rotation and the lineup all season, so it is nice to finally see something good come about. I'm excited for the return of Stawesome, and hopefully Padres fans will be rewarded for sticking to this team through these couple of rough months we've had to start the 2012 season.

GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!

P.S. Happy Birthday, Luke Gregerson!