The Diamondbacks have a collection of right-handed relievers, meaning Klesko could put all those years of experience to use. A man doesn't reach 272 career homers and 941 RBIs without having a good idea what he's doing, and Klesko has a history of doing some of his best work in September and October.
"I can grip and rip and swing hard, and if they run into my bat, they're going to be in trouble," Klesko said, grinning. "Hey, it's worked for me so far."
Park was 7-7 with a 4.68 ERA in 23 games, 21 as a starter, when he submitted to lower intestine surgery on Aug. 23. After losing about 10 pounds, he has had two bullpen sessions and said he is "excited" to be back in uniform. The Padres feel Park or Williamson could claim the bullpen spot vacated by Doug Brocail, who suffered a hamstring pull on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
"Park pitched well out of the bullpen in the [World Baseball] Classic before the season, and I'd say he could be ready by the time we hit the road," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's getting stronger -- putting some weight on. He and Williamson could be additions."
"It'd be great to see Park come back," said teammate Chris Young. "He was great as a closer in the Classic. To come back after that surgery is pretty remarkable. It's amazing what modern technology can do."
Williamson feels he has made significant progress in regaining his prime-time stuff since going on the DL with an elbow strain and shoulder soreness on Aug. 26.
MRIs on the elbow and shoulder revealed no structural damage, easing Williamson's mind. The 30-year-old reliever, the National League's Rookie of the Year with Cincinnati in 1999, was 0-1 in 11 appearances for the Padres with a 7.36 ERA after arriving in a trade with the Cubs.
"I'm feeling healthier right now than I have all year," said Williamson, who has been throwing bullpen sessions. "This is my rehab year [from reconstructive elbow surgery]. I had a cortisone shot in the shoulder to get the tendinitis out, and I'm able to reach back for pitches I haven't been able to throw.
"The MRIs freed up my mind. I feel strong. This is probably the best I've thrown since '03, '04. Hopefully, they'll activate me after the simulated game. I'd love to get back out there. I like pitching with a game on the line -- that pressure. I'm an adrenaline pitcher. This time of year, you get the most adrenaline from the crowd [and] the emotion of the games."
Teammate Todd Walker remembers Williamson's overpowering postseason performance in 2003 when he was 2-0 with three saves and a 1.13 ERA in eight games.
"To be a closer on a team like that in a playoff run, that's not an easy thing to do," said Walker, who also starred in that postseason for the Red Sox. "If he feels the way he should feel -- and only he knows that -- Williamson has shown he can be one of the most dominating guys in the game."
Business as usual:
Paul McAnulty, who narrowly missed a three-run homer in the 10th inning at Dodger Stadium in Monday night's 11-10 thriller taken by the Dodgers, said the team's spirits were fine in the aftermath of a loss that was the difference between leading the National League West by 1 1/2 games and trailing the Dodgers by half a game.
"We got on the bus and just hung out. Same thing we always do," McAnulty said. "It was like, 'It's gone. We've gotta worry about the next 13 [games].' It's baseball. We've got a lot of veterans here who have been around five, 10, 15 years. They set the tone big-time. They're not dragging their heads around. They have great attitudes, and it rubs off on us younger guys."
McAnulty's pinch-hit drive to right-center against Aaron Sele was caught at the wall by Kenny Lofton. Josh Bard followed with an RBI single, giving the Padres their final lead before Nomar Garciaparra's two-run homer against Rudy Seanez -- the Dodgers' seventh homer of the game and fifth in two innings -- ended it.
"I thought I got it good enough coming off the bat," said McAnulty, whose walk-off homer on Sept. 6 beat Colorado, "but I was out in front just a little. Two feet to the right -- it's gone."
Having worked two straight games -- giving up two of the four consecutive Dodgers' homers in the ninth inning on Monday night -- Trevor Hoffman said he was available on Tuesday night.
Hoffman downplayed his shoulder soreness, alluded to Monday night by Bochy.
"Everybody's shoulder is a little sore if they're pitching in September," Hoffman said. "It was a dramatic win for them, but I don't think it was a crushing blow. I don't feel we've lost a ton of wind out of our sails. I don't see anyone hanging their head, [saying],'Woe is us.' We know we have to take care of business with Arizona -- a formidable foe."
David Wells (2-4, 4.71 ERA) faces Edgar Gonzalez (1-3, 5.26 ERA) on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. PT.