Monday, September 27, 2010
The final week
Seven games left. Four at home. The Padres are 14-5 overall against the two remaining opponents, the Cubs (4-0) and Giants (10-5). They are 5-1 in San Francisco, where they will end the season...Of some concern is shortstop Miguel Tejada's groin strain suffered on Saturday. Tejada returned to the lineup on Sunday and probably will stay in the lineup, but he's not at full speed and there are no open dates left. With Jerry Hairston Jr. done for the season because of a stress fracture, the Padres are thin up the middle...The hottest hitter on the Padres is Will Venable, who in the last 16 games has batted .462 with a .673 slugging percentage. The other contenders have their own set of problems. Stamina and willpower are being put to a severe test within the Padres, Braves and Giants. That's part of what makes a playoff race riveting.