That was a long time ago.
Meeting for the first time since their 1984 World Series showdown, the worst teams in their respective leagues will meet at Qualcomm Stadium for the opener of a three-game series.
The Tigers and the Padres, who have combined for just 31 victories, are separated by just two games for the worst record in baseball.
“I know there’ll be some people watching this with interest, just to see who takes over the worst record in baseball,” said Padres manager Bruce Bochy, a backup catcher for the Padres in ’84. “But that’s not what I’m in this for, or the players.
“We still have a lot of baseball left. Now, if this was in September and we’re still in this situation, I’d be very disappointed.”
Alan Trammell, the MVP of the 1984 World Series for the victorious Tigers, will be returning to San Diego, where he served as the Padres’ first base coach from 2000-02 before leaving in the offseason to take over as manager in Detroit.
“I’ve been looking forward to this series all season—I was coaching there, and it is home—but there are some mixed emotions,” said Trammell, a native of San Diego. “They are struggling, much like we are.”
The Padres are coming off only their seventh win in 35 games, Monday’s 4-1 home victory over Arizona. They haven’t won consecutive games since April 23-25.
Young is batting .458 (11-for-24) during a six-game hitting streak with three homers, a triple, a double and seven RBIs.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 16 1/2 GB, AL Central. Padres - 5th place, 19 1/2 GB, NL West.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Nate Cornejo (3-3, 3.00 ERA). The Tigers’ ace has not figured in the decision in either of his last two starts, but boasts a 1.91 ERA over that span. In the Tigers’ 5-2 home loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, the 23-year-old right-hander gave up an earned run and five hits over seven innings, lowering his overall ERA from 3.23. Cornejo, in his third major league season, has never faced San Diego.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Lawrence (3-6, 4.58 ERA). Lawrence has lost six of his last seven decisions, including Thursday’s 3-2 home setback to Milwaukee. The right-hander took a three-hit shutout into the ninth before giving up all three runs. This will be his first appearance Detroit.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Young, .278 avg., 9 homers and 32 RBIs; Bobby Higginson, 29 runs and 5 SBs. Padres - Rondell White, .298 avg.; Ryan Klesko and White, 10 HRs and 30 RBIs; Xavier Nady, 31 runs; Shane Victorino and Ramon Vazquez, 7 SBs.
2002 INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Tigers - 6-12; Padres - 8-10.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - RHP Cornejo has a 1.88 ERA in night games this season, compared to 4.02 ERA during the day. … RHP Steve Sparks pitched 7 2-3 innings Sunday, the longest relief outing for the Tigers since Roger Mason went eight innings in 1984. … Detroit won as many games as the Yankees did in May (11). Padres - The Padres signed RHP Rod Beck on Monday and sent RHP Charles Nagy outright to Triple-A Portland. Beck was released by the Chicago Cubs on May 31 despite going 1-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 21 appearances for Triple-A Iowa. … RF White is batting .395 (17-for-43) during a 12-game hitting streak. … The Padres are 44-48 all-time in interleague play, including 25-21 at home.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 9-19 on the road; Padres - 10-20 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - INF Dean Palmer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Danny Patterson (elbow), 60-day DL. Padres - OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Mark Kotsay (back), 15-day DL; RHP Clay Condrey (rib cage), 15-day DL; RHP Brandon Villafuerte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Kevin Jarvis (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Kevin Walker (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Jay Witasick (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Phil Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL.