Padres shut out Cubs to keep playoff hopes alive

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In addition to being manager of the San Diego Padres, Bud Black has a college degree in finance. So he knows a little something about math.

And the numbers he’ll see in Thursday morning’s newspaper won’t be encouraging.

Even though Chris Young and four relievers combined to beat the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, on Wednesday, the Padres still trail San Francisco in the National League West by two games because the Giants also won, beating Arizona, 3-1, behind an 11-strikeout performance by Tim Lincecum (16-10) and a three-run home run by Pat Burrell.

The Padres also remain 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the wild-card race after the Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins with a 5-1 win.

And time is running out on the Padres’ flickering postseason hopes since San Diego has only four games to play.

Black also knows enough about chemistry to believe his team can overcome the odds.

“There is an esprit de corps among certain teams,” Black said. “Our group is a group that has a lot of team chemistry. They just care about each other and care about playing.”

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