Labor Day or not, the Padres used the holiday to take another workman-like step toward putting away the NL West as soon as possible.

Last week was full of challenges, and the Friars handled them all beautifully, dispatching the Dbacks three out of four, following up with a similar punishing of the Dodgers. Monday they went to Arizona and started on another series victory, with a winning effort by Greg Maddux.

The club gets that their chore is simply to win series. Take two of three, wherever you go, and you’re going to win the division. Period; end of discussion.

Tonight’s game is significant, more because it features another comeback attempt by Chris Young than because of how the result affects the standings. If Young can toss six or seven strong, allowing a run or two, it’ll be a huge lift for team. Huge. If he struggles and loses, the Padres are in a predicament.

Jake Peavy, Courtesy San Diego Padres

The Arizona Republic reports that the team is considering going with Jake Peavy on three-days rest tomorrow. Bad idea. Short-resting an ace backfires more often than not (L.A.’s Brad Penny is the latest example); it’s just not worth doing. In a postseason series, fine, roll the dice, maybe, but it’s much too early to risk messing with Jake. Leave the guy alone.

Jack Cassel is capable of handling the assignment. Clay Hensley probably isn’t. Brett Tomko, who’s rumored to be close to becoming a Padre, definitely isn’t. But we’ll cross that limestone-stained bridge when we get to it.

San Diego’s goal is two out of three at Chase Field, then another two of out three in Colorado. A game at a time, a series at a time. Let’s see how Young fares tonight, and go from there.

— HOWARD COLE

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