An unexpected twist one inning into the Padres' 10-5 loss to the Phillies at PETCO Park had Geer, who turned 26 on Tuesday, on the mound facing a big deficit and the tall order of trying to tame Philadelphia's lineup after Jake Peavy left after one inning.
"I'm here to help the team," Geer said.
The Padres certainly needed it Tuesday.
Peavy, in the shortest start of his career, left the game after allowing four runs in the first inning with what the team termed as an viral upper respiratory infection. Peavy, who first showed signs of being ill Monday, was sent home during the game.
To make matters worse, as if losing the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner who had won his last three starts wasn't bad enough, the Padres also lost their second-hottest hitter in left fielder Scott Hairston, who departed the game with a strained left biceps.
Those two casualties and three home runs by the Phillies (30-20) were enough to derail the Padres (25-27), who couldn't hit their way out of the big hole that they faced out of the chute when Peavy was hit hard in the first inning.
"We knew that he wasn't 100 percent," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Jake said, 'I want to make a start. I'll give it everything I can.' It just didn't happen for him."
It's not known when Peavy (5-6) will pitch again. The Padres have an off-day Thursday which will give Black the chance to essentially reset his rotation for a four-game series against the D-backs starting Friday.
As for Hairston, who had homered in three consecutive games and is hitting .327, he will be reevaluated Wednesday.
"We will see how it sets up [Wednesday]. It's too early to call. We're hoping it's mild and that he might not miss time."
"Second at-bat, first swing -- I felt something in my bicep," Hairston said. "It felt like it wanted to tear, honestly. With each swing, it just got worse. It's one of those things that, as a player, you really get nervous when something like that happens. I just felt that I couldn't continue on."
San Diego couldn't get much going in the way of offense against Philadelphia pitcher Antonio Bastardo (1-0), who held the Padres to one run over six innings in his first game in the Major Leagues.
The lone run Bastardo allowed came in the sixth when Adrian Gonzalez drilled a home run to right field, his Major League-leading 22nd of the season. That homer also marked his fourth in as many days.
Gonzalez is on pace to hit 69 home runs this season.
The Padres certainly fared better against the Phils' bullpen, as they scored four runs in the seventh, two coming when Hairston's replacement, Chase Headley, hit a single to left field.
Meanwhile, without Peavy around, the Padres had to cover the final eight innings with their bullpen, which meant pressing Geer into service for one inning. Geer said before Tuesday's game that he had pitched previously on his last two birthdays in the Minor Leagues and was hoping to avoid a similar fate because, for whatever reason, he had pitched poorly on his birthday.
Geer allowed two runs in his one inning against the Phillies, though that was no different than the pitchers who followed him, as Luis Perdomo allowed a pair of runs over his four innings. Joe Thatcher also allowed two runs.
Geer and Thatcher each allowed home runs to Phils left fielder Raul Ibanez. None of the homers came in the first inning, though Peavy's velocity was down some in that inning as he allowed four runs, three hits and two walks.
"We had no idea. We didn't find out until he came out [of the game]," Hairston said of Peavy. "Knowing Jake, he's a competitor. He probably didn't want anybody to know, but obviously the way it turned out, it affected him. We actually respect his decision to come out and at least try to play.
"When you have the flu like that, it's hard enough to get through the day. When you're asked to go out and pitch, it's very difficult to do."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less