Notes: Young looks to be all way back
Padres right-hander had solid effort Saturday vs. Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- It's taken time for Padres pitcher Chris Young to get a firm grip on his command after he suffered an oblique injury and then tightness in his lower back in July.
But in his final start of the regular season, Young very much looked like the Young who led the Major Leagues in ERA in the first half of the season, as the right-hander gave up two runs on two hits in six innings Saturday against the Brewers.
"It was a good outing; it gave us a chance to win the game," Young said. "That's what my job is. Overall I was pleased."
The two runs were the fewest that Young has allowed in a start since Aug. 15, when he tossed six scoreless innings against the Rockies.
Young struck out seven and walked four, though that number is a little deceiving. Young issued two walks to Brewers slugger Prince Fielder on pitches that he would say were "calculated misses."
"Command-wise, I was careful with a couple of hitters," Young said. "I didn't want to let those guys beat me, mostly Fielder. Otherwise, I made pitches when I had to."
Like in the fourth inning, when, with two runners on base after two walks and one out, Young struck out Gabe Gross on a nasty slider down and in. Young would get out of the inning when he got Geoff Jenkins to pop up to Kevin Kouzmanoff in foul territory.
Leaning on the bullpen: It's no secret that the Padres' bullpen has been one of the team's biggest strengths this season. That has certainly been the case the first three games of this series.
San Diego relievers have accounted for 12 2/3 innings, as no starting pitcher has been able to work past the sixth inning with several pitchers having appeared in all three games.
How does that affect manager Bud Black's plans for Sunday?
"I think they're all available," Black said. "This time of year, guys find a way to muster up an inning or two."
Heath Bell is one of those pitchers who have appeared in all three games of the series. He went into Sunday's game second in the National League in innings by a reliever (91) and was tied for fourth in the National League in games (80).
Teammate Cla Meredith is only one game behind Bell, though Meredith hasn't thrown nearly as many innings (79 1/3).
Bell said he was available to throw up to three innings Sunday, though "I don't think they would let me do that," he said.
Bell credited the training staff for his ability to bounce back so quickly, as he has benefited from their pregame stretching and massage techniques.
Nervous debut: Rookie Drew Macias had an interesting Major League debut on Saturday, when he entered a tied game as a pinch-runner after Oscar Robles reached on a single to start the inning.
"I was more nervous about running over to first base," Macias said. "Once I got on first base, it turned into the same routine. I did shorten my lead than what I would usually take, just to make sure. I told myself not to do anything dumb. 'Don't be a hero.'"
Instead, Macias ended up giving the Padres a 3-2 lead when he scored from second base on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single to center field.
"I saw the ball hit up the middle. I put my head down and was running as fast as I've ever ran before," the 24-year-old Macias said.
But what should have been a bright moment for Macias and the Padres was lost after the Brewers rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning. They would go on to win the game in 11 innings, 4-3.
Friar notes: Outfielder Mike Cameron, out since last Sunday with a torn ligament in his right thumb, has made significant progress the last few days. Cameron was able to swing a fungo bat on Saturday and throw balls into a net. "But [swinging] the regular bat opposed to the fungo was a little tough," Black said. Cameron has been sidelined the last two days by a stomach flu that required an IV. Should the Padres advance to the playoffs, there's a chance Cameron could return mid-week, Black said. ... Fielder missed the game on Sunday after suffering a sprained right ankle in Saturday's game, when a sliding Jason Lane rolled over it on a close play at first base.
On deck: Well, who knows? If the Padres win Sunday, they're the NL Wild Card and will open the National League Division Series on Wednesday. Should San Diego lose Sunday, it will play in a tiebreaker game sometime, somewhere on Monday. Stay tuned.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.