The Padres ran into a buzzsaw by the name of Zach Duke on Saturday night. The Pirates' left hander was absolutely dominant, pitching eight and one-third innings and giving up just one run as the Pirates beat the San Diego Padres 10-1.
The Pirates wasted no time jumping on Padres starter Shawn Hill. Hill walked the first batter he faced then followed that up with a single from Freddy Sanchez and an RBI double from Craig Monroe to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. That lead was pushed to 2-0 on an RBI groundout from Andy LaRoche.
Hill was never able to recover after that and there ended up being a reason for him looking uncharacteristically bad. He was removed after just two innings of work with what's being called "soreness in his right biceps muscle." It's an injury the Padres didn't need, especially with two starters (Walter Silva, Cha Seung Baek) already on the disabled list. Hill is likely to join them.
Manager Bud Black and the rest of the Padre brass huddled after the game to figure out what they were going to do about their rotation.
Most likely, the Padres will purchase the contract of Chad Gaudin from Triple-A Portland to make the start on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies—a start that was supposed to be made by right hander Josh Geer, but Geer was called upon to pitch four innings of relief after Hill was pulled from the game.
If you want to find a silver lining in the game last night, Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez collected a hit last night, extending his hit streak to seven games. Gonzalez has reached base safely in all 17 games this season and has at least one hit in 15 of those 17 games.
So, either by Sunday afternoon prior to them closing out a three game set against the Pirates or sometime late Sunday night, a decision will have to be made by the Padres on their rotation. Besides calling up Gaudin, where else can they turn?
Right hander Cha Seung Baek likely won't be ready until late next week after he makes at least one rehab start before he makes his comeback, though it's likely he'll have more than one rehab start.
Geer now will be pushed back because of his four innings on Saturday night and you really can't look to any other pitchers in Portland, as guys like Wade LeBlanc (0-2, 5.28) are struggling, although Ceasar Ramos has showed promise so far with his 1-1 record and 4.00 ERA in 18 and one-third innings pitched.
When the decisions are made, whether it's internally or general manager Kevin Towers looks to make a trade, we'll pass the news along as it comes down the wire.
As for the Padres and Pirates, they will finish the last of a three game set on Sunday afternoon from Petco Park. Padres ace Jake Peavy (2-2, 5.13) will take the mound against Pirates right hander Ross Ohlendorf (1-2, 3.00).