The Padres entered Friday night's game against the Tigers owners of the lowest-scoring offense in Major League Baseball. So, it stood to reason that this is not a real good time for Detroit's pitching staff to toll in to town.
Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer (Saturday and Sunday's starters) both own Cy Young Awards. Friday's starter Rick Porcello was a first round draft pick who's shown flashes of brilliance, and he's the 5th starter.
Still, in the clubhouse before the game there was a palpable confidence in the Padres clubhouse.
"These are the types of guys you've gotta beat is you want to win in the playoffs," said catcher Yasmani Grandal. "They can be beat. We're big league hitters. We're expected to hit against these guys. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we can take two out of three. Or, the sweep."
He was smiling when he said that last little bit, but if they play anything close to the way they did in their 6-0 win over the Tigers at Petco Park, it's not out of the question.
The Padres put their own ace on the hill, and Andrew Cashner turned in the best performance of the season by any MLB pitcher.
Cashner struck out 11 Tigers hitters in a complete-game, 1-hit shutout. The only hit he allowed was on a Rajai Davis soft liner that diving 2nd baseman Jedd Gyorko missed by maybe an inch. Against a Detroit lineup that featured three All-Stars, including 2-time reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, this start was one for the ages.
"He had tremendous movement with command," said Padres manager Bud Black of Cashner's outing. "He had command of the outside corner to right-handed hitters, he did a good job of getting in on the lefties."
What's crazy is, Cashner did it using mostly fastballs. He mixed a few sliders and changeups in to his 108 pitches, but the biggest weapon was the heater and the diversity with which he used it.
"You saw some fastballs at 90, and I saw some in the upper 90's," said Black. "That was a well-pitched game, as good as you'll see."
Cashner had the luxury of working with a lead, something that had not happened yet this season. The Padres scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, the first runs they've scored with Cashner on the mound in 2014.
Gyorko drove in the first run of the game with a triple to right field that scored Everth Cabrera. It was the first triple of Gyorko's big league career. Jedd scored when Chase Headley dropped a double in to the left-centerfield gap.
Gyorko was making his first appearance in the number three spot in the lineup while Headley made his first start as the cleanup hitter. You can't argue with the results.
Headley also ripped a 2-run home run, his first of the season. The Padres also have their first 2-game winning streak of the year. Not a bad way to start off their string of 20 games in 20 days.