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Padres vs. Dodgers Game 1 preview: Andrew Cashner returns to Petco Park

Denis Poroy

It feels like it has been twelve years since Rene Rivera hit that single to sink the Brewers, but it's only been about 42 hours. 42 long hours. Thankfully, our wait is down to three hours until tonight's first regulation pitch. That pitch will be thrown by Andrew Cashner, who is returning to the Petco Park mound for the first time since June 18. He missed a couple months with some nastiness in the shoulder he uses to pitch baseballs with, and rejoined the team last Saturday when he took on the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

In his road return, Cashner limited Arizona to a pair of runs over five innings. He allowed four singles and one of each type of extra-base hit, while walking two and striking out just one snake. 59 of his 88 pitches went for strikes, and he left with the score 2-0, in line for a hard-luck loss. The Padres bailed him out by tying the game before they lost it, but he still hasn't gotten a 'W' after his name in any of his last nine starts, despite pitching very well in that stretch. In those nine games, the Friars scored a total of nine runs for him. Not a lot to work with. One can only hope that the second-half "We ruin everything" Padres offense will come through for him this time around.

The Padres' bats will be taking their hacks against veteran right-hander Dan Haren, who is coming off a strong performance versus the Mets. He allowed one run on three hits over seven innings, picking up the win and lowering his ERA to a still-poor, yet eye-pleasing, 4.44. The victory bumped him over .500, to 11-10. Haren has pitched well in his last four starts after starting the month by handing the Cubs six earned runs in just over four innings.

The game begins at 7:10pm local time, so come back then for the game thread. Until then, the last four episodes of Season 18 of The Simpsons, and the first hour-and-ten-minutes of The Simpsons Movie is on.