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Game Thread: 05/21 Padres @ Cardinals

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May 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard (33) pitches during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
May 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard (33) pitches during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

It has felt great to be a Padres fan these last couple of days. Greater than usual, I mean. With a two game win streak and winning homestand fresh on our minds, a .500 record in May now, and the Rockies behind our Padres in the NL West standings, the Friar Faithful have a few things to smile about. Cardinals fans, on the other hand, are getting a taste of what it was like to be us in the beginning of the season. St. Louis has lost four consecutive games and eight of their last ten. While they still lead the NL Central, it is only by half a game, and the Reds are right on their heels.

So the Cards will be looking to snap their losing streak tonight against our Padres at Busch Stadium. They will send Jaime Garcia to the hill to try to get them out of their funk. In the two outings prior to his last start, he gave up a combined ten runs in 11.2 innings. However, he is coming off a great outing against the Giants, where he gave up just one run in 7.1 innings. Hopefully our Padres can fare better than our NL West foes in San Francisco.

Clayton Richard, whose pinch-hit heroics yesterday helped earn our Padres an important victory, will toe the rubber in tonight's series opener. As one of the heroes of last night's game, he will try to build off of the team's momentum and get us our first three-game win streak. He will also try to build off his last start, a win against the Dodgers, whom he held to two runs in seven innings last week to snap his personal five-game losing streak.

Both the Cardinals and our Padres have a lot to play for tonight. The Cards are on a downward trend that may cost them control of the NL Central and our Pads need to continue to win and stay out of that NL West cellar. Let's hope we can refrain from being St. Louis' slump buster and get that elusive third straight win.

GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!