Padres see playoffs in future

Despite losing the last two games, the San Diego Padres are looking towards the NL West crown. Sure there are a lot of games to play between now and then but should they falter - there will be a clubhouse full of new leaders that will amp them up to play at a higher level than anyone thought possible.

Jake Peavy quieted the Mariners on Friday night in Seattle -- then spoke out strongly on behalf of his San Diego Padres.

"Anything short of the playoffs would be a disappointment to everyone in this clubhouse," Peavy said after holding the Mariners scoreless on three scratch hits over seven innings.

The victory was the Padres' eighth straight and ran their record to 17-3 over the last 20 games. "We expect to win ... absolutely," continued Peavy, who struck out 10 Mariners while issuing only one walk.

"We have 25 guys who now know that with the brand of baseball we play, we can beat anyone on any given day. What we're doing now is what Boston did at the end of last year. We expect to win every night. This is a different time than I have ever experienced before."

Peavy retired the first 12 Mariners he faced before Richie Sexson bounced a single over the pitcher's head leading off the fifth.

Not that blanking the Mariners is anything new for Peavy, who doesn't turn 24 until May 31.

Peavy has faced Seattle three times. The Mariners have yet to score in 21 2/3 innings. They have all of 10 hits against Peavy -- for a .132 batting average.

"He was outstanding," said Padres manager Bruce Bochy. "He had all his pitches working. Jake was on top of his game. And when he's on top, he's one of the best pitchers in the game."

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