SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have lost 11 of their last 12. The Giants, as you well know, have lost 14 of 16.
Something's gotta not give in this four-game series at Petco Park. These two clubs are limping so badly into the All-Star break, they might as well decide things with a good ol' three-legged race.
The Giants were more concerned with arms, and the freshness of them, after Matt Cain had the shortest outing of his career in Wednesday's loss to the Mets. So they brought back right-hander Jean Machi from Triple-A Fresno to replace Mike Kickham on the roster. As for outfielder Jeff Francoeur, the Giants will wait at least one more day to purchase his contract. (The Giants won't face a left-hander until Sunday, when Eric Stults takes the mound.)
Chad Gaudin, who is facing charges of gross lewdness stemming from an arrest in January at a Las Vegas hospital, remains scheduled to start Friday for the Giants. He'll oppose Sean O'Sullivan, who is a right-hander -- and, I'm just guessing here, also of Irish heritage.
As for this series opener, the Giants have the best possible pitcher on the mound. It's All-Star Madison Bumgarner, who owns four of the rotation's five wins over the club's last 27 games. That's right. In a month's time, the Giants have gotten just one win among the other four starters. (It was Cain, on June 13.)
Here's the rest of the lineup:
Blanco CF, Scutaro 2B, Posey C, Sandoval 3B, Pence RF, Belt 1B, Tanaka LF, Crawford SS, Bumgarner LHP
One more note: There's a GUI convention here in downtown San Diego. I asked around. Even the geography nerds can't tell you where Rock Bottom is for the Giants.