With the Padres on pace to lose 110 games, I asked a bottom-line question of Giants manager Bruce Bochy three weeks ago. Which Padres players, if any, should give Padres fans hope of better days ahead?
Andrew Cashner is the first player Bochy mentioned.
"Ohhhhh, what an arm," said Bochy. "I can see why they're excited about him here."
Cashner, in Bochy's view, has a chance to become either a dominant reliever or a frontline starter.
Bochy's praise echoed on Thursday night while Cashner was overpowering the Astros for the better part of seven innings. In a Padres season remarkably short of highlight performances and interesting storylines, Cashner's outing provided a glimmer of possibility.