SAN DIEGO ARRIVES WITH BACK TO WALL.Byline: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
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Reliever Doug Bochtler Douglas Eugene Bochtler (born July 5, 1970 in West Palm Beach, Florida) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1995-2000. See also
``Gotta do it,'' said Bochtler, who's brought out the St. Patrick's St. Patrick's or Saint Patrick's may refer to:
This time is quite a bit different, and the Padres need more than lucky icons in a three-game series starting today that will decide the NL West.
``It's something you wait your whole life for, to be in a pennant race,'' said right-hander Andy Ashby
Three games the Padres must win to clinch the NL West title, which is the way they'd prefer to enter the playoffs.
The Dodgers and Padres split a four-game series in San Diego last weekend. While the Dodgers beat San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Padres fell 2-1/2 games back by losing two to the Colorado Rockies, who are 28-53 on the road and came up with three big home runs.
``We have no excuses,'' Tony Gwynn said Thursday after a voluntary workout under gloomy skies. ``They beat us. Now we face the worst-case scenario to win the division. It's not going to be easy, but it's the ultimate challenge.''
Despite the Dodgers' 6-1 loss to San Francisco Thursday night, the Padres need a sweep to win the division.
In the wild-card race, San Diego needs a combination of three wins or Montreal losses to clinch. If the Padres and Expos finished tied, San Diego would be host for a playoff game Monday.
Of course, the Padres could end up being eliminated altogether.
``After 159 games, you'd think you'd feel pretty good about your chance to be in the postseason,'' said Gwynn, who's closing in on his seventh NL batting title. ``I haven't been able to sleep well, I've been paranoid and I've been watching the CNN CNN
or Cable News Network
Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world. sports ticker.
``If we can get in, everybody will be happy,'' he said. ``If not, it will be the longest winter in the history of the Padres' organization. To grind it out and not go to the postseason would be awful.''
Gwynn, Steve Finley, Ken Caminiti and few other Padres came out to hit Thursday at soggy Jack Murphy Stadium. The Padres have lost five of their last six games following days off, and want to be ready for the Dodgers.
The Padres also lost their comeback touch Tuesday and Wednesday, failing to drive in runners in crucial late-inning situations.