SAN FRANCISCO -- Just after 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, San Diego relief pitcher Tim Stauffer arrived in the visiting clubhouse at AT&T Park nearly looking none the worse for wear a day after having an emergency appendectomy.Stauffer exchanged handshakes with coaches and teammates before the Padres' game with the Giants, the second game of a three-game series. He was released from the hospital at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Stauffer sounded grateful his surgery went well Tuesday morning, though a bit perturbed that the ordeal put a crimp in what has been a blissful start of the season for himself and the Padres. "It's pretty upsetting to have it happen, especially during the season," Stauffer said. "You have four months in the offseason. But there's nothing you can do about it." Stauffer had dinner with his wife and her family on Monday night in San Francisco and, about a half hour later, started feeling some stomach discomfort. "I was pretty much awake all night. There was constant pain, but I didn't think it was food poisoning. I looked up some of the symptoms online and I called [trainer Todd Hutcheson]," Stauffer said. Stauffer relied on a WebMD.com application on his iPhone for what amounted to a crude self-diagnosis that led him to call Hutcheson. Stauffer was eventually admitted to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he had surgery at 9:30 a.m. "I caught it in the early stages," he said. Stauffer was told by his doctor to "walk quite a bit" on Wednesday. There's no hard and fast timeline as to when he'll return. Hutcheson said on Tuesday that four weeks was a good guess. "[The doctor] said I'll know how it feels. There's no set time, it varies from person to person," Stauffer said. "He said he's seen guys come back in three weeks. I'm anticipating the lower side of the timeline." Stauffer is 2-1 with a 0.39 ERA in 10 games this season, serving mostly as a long reliever. He opened the season with 17 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and helped to save the rest of the bullpen with a handful of long outings. "He's been a huge part of our early-season success," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said on Tuesday. "For me, he's been about as valuable as anyone on the staff."
Padres have Giants' number
SAN FRANCISCO -- Following Tuesday's 3-2 victory, the Padres had won eight of the last 11 games they played against the Giants, including all four meetings this season.The Padres have not dropped consecutive games to the Giants during that 11-game span and have posted a winning record against San Francisco in four of the last six seasons. Under fourth-year manager Bud Black, the Padres are 64-50 (.561 winning percentage) against their National League West rivals. So are the Padres really Giant killers? Actually, the games between the teams have been remarkably close. Padres closer Heath Bell, who earned his ninth save on Tuesday by tossing a scoreless ninth inning, said that he's to the point where he expects tight games each time these teams face each other. "I think it was a grind all nine innings," Bell said. "I think it's going to be a nail-biter every time we play San Francisco." All four of the Padres' victories this season have been decided by three or fewer runs. "Runs are hard to come by with these pitching staffs," Padres second baseman David Eckstein said. The Padres, as a whole, are playing better against NL West teams this season. A year ago, it took the Padres until their 24th game of the season to win their 10th game against a NL West opponent. The Padres are already 10-6 against their divisional brethren. A year ago, they were 33-39 against NL West teams.
Webb gaining confidence
SAN FRANCISCO -- Two days after he suffered a loss in Houston, and with an entire off-day to think about it, Padres reliever Ryan Webb found himself back on the mound for another high-leverage situation on Tuesday.Webb was credited for the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, including getting the final out of the fifth inning in relief of starter Wade LeBlanc before throwing a perfect sixth inning. "Absolutely," Webb said when asked if he felt the confidence from manager Bud Black for inserting him in an important situation. "It definitely gives you confidence. With Tim [Stauffer] down, someone has to step up and fill that role." Could that pitcher be Webb? Webb has a history of being a starting pitcher when he was in the Oakland A's organization. Left-hander Cesar Ramos, who was added to the roster Tuesday, is another candidate for long and short relief. Webb was recalled from Triple-A Portland on May 4. He didn't allow a run in his nine games this season with the Beavers. Webb was sent down fairly early in Spring Training in large part so that he could work on a new delivery at the urging of Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley. One of the benefits of that new motion is that Webb said his curveball has more velocity and more bite than his slider, which is the opposite for nearly pitchers.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.