Erudite Young on tap to face Giants

Erudite Young on tap to face Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Padres right-handed pitcher Chris Young has more trouble with Barry Zito than most of the other San Francisco Giants hitters. The left-hander owns a lifetime .500 batting average against Young (2-for-4 with two RBIs and two sacrifice hits).

While that may simply produce a smile, consider that Aaron Rowand is still looking for his first hit against Young after 10 fruitless at-bats. Nate Schierholtz is hitless in eight at-bats against Young, including six via the strikeout.

Emmanuel Burriss and Travis Ishikawa are a combined 0-for-8 against him. Fun with statistics: They can tell you a little or they can tell you a lot.

Whatever the numbers may indicate, there's always more than meets (or misses) the horsehide.

And so it is with Young, a Princeton grad who can hold forth on any number of subjects. Part of his thesis examined Jackie Robinson's impact on racial stereotypes in the media.

"He is so well versed on so many things that we are able to talk about a lot of things," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Stanford grad Jody Gerut has a locker next to Young. What do they normally talk about?

"Politics," Gerut said. "I'm mostly apolitical. I try to be the antagonist to his conservatism."

Whatever his views, he'll be hoping to erase the bad memory of his last start and bring forth the qualities of his first two starts of the season, both victories. And to keep the Padres on track to one of their best Aprils in team annuals.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Chris Young (2-0, 4.86 ERA)
After opening the season with two victories and a sparkling 1.38 ERA, Young struggled in his last start against the Phillies on Friday, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits with two walks in 3 2/3 innings. Young's troubles started early as he allowed five runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run to Chase Utley that landed in the upper deck in right field. He needed 82 pitches to get 11 outs. This against the Phillies team that he was 2-1 against with a 1.96 ERA in three career starts. Young will now face a Giants team he handcuffed on April 12, tossing seven scoreless innings.

SF: LHP Barry Zito (0-2, 10.00 ERA)
Let's face it: Zito hasn't had a whole lot of success in April, the cruelest month of the season to him. It remains the only month in which Zito possesses a losing record -- he is 13-25 with a 5.28 ERA lifetime -- and it is also his worst month for ERA. Zito hasn't won in April since April 21, 2007, when he threw 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Lifetime against the Padres, Zito is 3-3 with 3.98 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts).

Tidbits
The Padres scored in the first inning Tuesday night for the first time in six games. ... Adrian Gonzalez is a career .280 hitter against Zito. ... David Eckstein is 11-for-48 against Zito, which includes time in the American League. He's also drawn seven walks and stolen four bases. ... Brian Giles had two hits against Zito earlier in the season and is 6-for-15 with three doubles and seven walks overall. ... Class A Fort Wayne TinCaps right-hander Anthony Bass was named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week after winning both of his starts and not allowing a run in 12 innings. He gave up six hits and struck out 10. He did not walk a batter. He was, however, the losing pitcher in Fort Wayne's first loss of the season, 5-2, to West Michigan on Tuesday night. His ERA is 0.56. The TinCaps won their first 10 games in succession. ... The Padres have scored two runs in the fourth inning all year, both against the Giants 11 days apart.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
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Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Padres (Kevin Correia, 0-1, 4.09) vs. Pirates (Ian Snell, 1-2, 4.24), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Padres (Shawn Hill, 1-0, 3.60) vs. Pirates (Zach Duke, 2-1, 2.95), 7:05 p.m. PT

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.