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The Padres want to crush your spirits and murder your dreams

Don't take this team lightly. They're the kind of team whose evil is hard to see unless you look really hard. Because it's camouflaged.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Padres series coming.

/sound of whistling

Padres series coming!

/sound of whistling


If you think it's over the top to compare the Padres to one of America's greatest anti-heroes, well, you're probably right. But it's indisputable that the Padres want to kill you and your family. Maybe not literally. Maybe not literally. They certainly want to make you feel bad about your choice in sports teams, though. They want to make you have a bad week. There's nothing worse than your team playing a bad team that hates them. There's nothing you can do.

Giants fan: Ha ha, it must suck to have nothing to play for.

Padres: /grins like Vincent D'Onofrio in "Full Metal Jacket"

Giants fan: Oooh, what, are you going to play spoiler? That's gotta be exciting, lol.

Padres: /grins like Vincent D'Onofrio in "Full Metal Jacket"

Giants fan: Stop that.

Padres: /grins like Vincent D'Onofrio in "Full Metal Jacket"

You've been there. I don't have to tell you what rooting for a spoiler is like. It's all you have, the ruinous fantasy that you will watch other people fail. And it's almost the best. Almost because, well, the best is succeeding the entire season and making the playoffs, then succeeding in said playoffs. Being a spoiler, though. There's something to it.

There's something to it, alright.


There's something to it.

That's what the Giants are up against. The only thing they have in their favor is that the Padres and their fans probably hate the Dodgers just as much as they hate the Giants, which might put them in a schadenfreude dead zone of apathy. Somehow, I don't think so, though.

A look at the pitching matchups for the next three days:

Tim Hudson vs. Odrisamer Despaigne

The pessimist's view: Oh, good. A junk-throwing floop-flim artist. The kind of pitcher you'd expect if Livan Hernandez and Bronson Arroyo had a kid. This means the Giants will hit him as if they were thinking about the logistics of Livan Hernandez making a kid during every at-bat. And Tim Hudson's been slumping, so you know how this is going to go.

The optimist's view: But they're literally the Padres.

Yusmeiro Petit vs. Andrew Cashner

The pessimist's view: Oh, good. A legitimately talented pitcher, back from injury. Cashner threw a two-hit shutout in his last appearance. And who's he up against? The guy who's replacing Tim Lincecum. Why is Lincecum not pitching in this series? Doesn't anyone pay attention? Tim Lincecum against the Padres is one of our great American traditions. We need to start a #hashtag to draw awareness to this.

The optimist's view: Still the Padres.

Ryan Vogelsong vs. Ian Kennedy

The pessimist's view: Oh, good. Ian Kennedy. Let's break down his 18 starts against the Giants in his career.

Earned runs allowed against the Giants
Five: 1
Four: 3
Three: 2
Two: 4
One: 6
Zero: 2

At his worst, he's basically throwing a quality start every time. And what's with this Vogelsong stuff? Where's Peavy? Where's Bumgarner? What is this? Everything's dooooooooomed.

The optimist's view: Padres.

You can see how I'm conflicted. At least there's no Tyson Ross. Even without him, though, the Padres scare me about as much as any team in the league right now. Because they want to crush dreams. The only thing that can sustain them for the next couple months is a bump or two of failed-dream ash.

Power ranking the 10 players most likely to eckstein the hell out of this series

1. Yangervis Solarte
2. Cory Spangenberg
3. Alexi Amarista
4. Seth Smith
5. Tommy Medica
6. Rene Rivera
7. Jake Goebbert
8. Will Venable
9. Abraham Almonte
10. Rymer Liriano

A reminder

Corey Kluber is a candidate for the AL Cy Young this season. He's thrown 219 innings with 244 strikeouts and 48 walks this year, and he leads the AL in FIP. He was drafted by the Padres, but traded for Ryan Ludwick in 2010.

Ludwick hit .211/.301/.330 in 2010, as the Padres frittered away a 6½-game lead with a month left in the season.

The Padres record with Ludwick that season: 30-30.

Again: Corey Kluber

The most Padres-named reliever currently on the roster

Nick Vincent

A list of old friends who have actually had at-bats for the Padres this year

Jeff Francoeur
Xavier Nady
Brooks Conrad


Yeah, but Travis Ishikawa is on the Giants in 2014, so don't make too big a deal of it.

The Giants should beat the Padres. The Giants should be scared of the Padres. I don't believe in the Padres, but I'm scared of them. This series has bugged me for a long time, leering at us from the back of the schedule. It's here. And I'm afeared, if in an excited kind of way.

Don't screw this up, Giants. Don't screw this up.