In any good superhero story, the good guy, or girl ... the good person has to be almost completely defeated, fate seemingly sealed against insurmountable forces, before rising from the wreckage of his or her situation to save the city/people/planet he or she loves.
For the Padres, that moment may have come Saturday night. In Saint Louis, against the best team in baseball, facing Lance Lynn, who had not lost a start at home since August 7th of last year, the Padres finally remembered how to win a close game.
In the very first inning, the Padres put two runners on with two outs for Jedd Gyorko, who smacked an RBI single scoring Chase Headley to put the Padres up 1-0.
Then something truly unexpected happened. For the first time in a long time, little things went their way.
In the 3rd inning, facing Nick Hundley with the bases loaded, Lynn let loose a wild pitch that allowed Everth Cabrera to score from 3rd base to pump the Padres lead up to 3-0.
In that same at-bat, Hundley got sawed off, his bat shattering with the barrel flying out towards shortstop, but the ball found a little patch of green grass. Hundley hustled for an infield single, Will Venable scored, and the Padres went up 4-0.
Starter Edinson Volquez gave up three runs in five dicey innings, and the bullpen made it stick.
Nick Vincent, Dale Thayer, Joe Thatcher and Huston Street each worked a scoreless inning to give the Padres a 5-3 win and a chance to win a series from the team with the best record in the Majors, and on the road, no less!
It won't be easy. Eric Stults, the Padres' most consistent starting pitcher this season, draws Adam Wainwright, who's 12-5 with a 2.45 ERA.