The battle between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers comes to a close tonight as the two teams take to Dodgers Stadium for the last of three games. And it seems that although the odds were in the Dodgers favor to break the sweep and win tonight’s game, the Padres have a secret ace up their sleeve – injured third baseman Chase Headley is off the disabled list and is confirmed to be returning to the lineup to play for his team.
Headley fractured his left thumb during Spring Training in Mid-March while sliding into second base. The switch-hitter has been forced to sit out the entire beginning of the season because of the extent of his injury which kept him on the disabled list and in rehabilitation until fully healed. While unable to grace the Padres’ lineup, Headley has been practicing with the Minor Leagues, where he recently played his fourth game in five days for the Class A Lake Elsinore Storm. And now, he is more than ready to don his Padres uniform once more and face down the Dodgers to earn his team that sweep.
If the Padres are successful in getting that win tonight, it will be their first sweep in Los Angeles in seven years; however, they have won six of seven there by a 42-23 margin, so the odds are great if this turns out to be their night.
The Padres have to be wary of their overworked bullpen, which is offering up Tyson Ross as its starting pitcher tonight. Ross does not have the best track record this season, allowing a total eight hits and seven walks over the course of nine and a third innings thus far. Ross has never faced the Dodgers before, so it is anyone’s guess what the game will bring. Perhaps Ross will follow the excellent pitching seen last night in Los Angeles by Jason Marquis and help usher in the sweep.
Whatever the outcome of tonight’s game against the Dodgers, the reintroduction of Headley into the Padres’ lineup is a game changer. Though his team has been able to hold their own for the past two nights in Los Angeles, his presence can only help them fight toward that third win.