SAN FRANCISCO -- If Wednesday's start against the Cubs was the last for Chris Young in a Padres uniform, the veteran right-hander certainly finished his career in San Diego on a high note.
Young, who has an $8.5 million club option for 2011 that likely will not get picked up, allowed two earned runs over 14 innings in his three starts since coming off the disabled list in mid-September. He put together a late-season run that didn't look always look plausible when he spent the first 5 1/2 months of the season sidelined with a strained right shoulder.
"I'm just thankful I had this opportunity. It's been unbelievable," Young said. "Hopefully there's more to come. I'll be prepared and keep going, but it's been so much fun to be in this environment."
Young would be the likely candidate to make another start should the Padres force a one-game playoff against either the Giants or Braves, pending this weekend's results. But that, of course, is no guarantee with a three-game series in San Francisco beginning Friday.
The right-hander admitted the thought that Wednesday's outing might be his last as a member of the Padres did cross his mind, but he said his primary focus was helping lead the club to victory in the final week of the regular season.
Young has compiled a 33-25 record during his five seasons in San Diego, many of them shortened by a variety of injuries, and was an All-Star in 2007.
But while Young's resurgence down the stretch proved that his personal health has returned to form, he said the most gratifying part of taking the mound in September has been getting the chance to be a part of the Padres' playoff push.
"To be a part of the win at the end of the season, and really, three wins for me at the end of the season, [and] to see this team where we are now as compared to the last two years, it's really special," Young said. "It hasn't been easy getting here, but we've got an unbelievable group of guys [and] a group of guys that believe in each other that have put in the time and effort and have really overachieved, I think, what everybody's expectations were for us.
"To be a part of it has really validated every day of rehab I've been through."