“A large, heavy object belted the Padres upside the head last night,” writes the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tom Krasovic, employing the tired rhetoric of those who’d have you believe Dodgers starter David Wells is anything but a finely tuned physical specimen.

Wells had a 14.04 ERA in his final four starts with the Padres. His revival, fueled perhaps by a three-week respite that came after his release, is making the Padres look like failed evaluators. Or tightwads. The club owed Wells a bonus of $176,470 per start when it released him.

Wells has said he told the Padres he would go on the disabled list to restore his left shoulder, which had required a cortisone shot. That doesn’t quite square with what the Padres brass recalls from the lefty, who to them seemed eager to stay in the rotation.

As Wells’ would-be replacements have flopped, the Padres have reprised their critical mistake of 2004, when they failed to produce an adequate replacement for No. 5 starter Ismael Valdez after trading him in July.

To Greg Maddux, the outcome last night was all about Wells, who blasted a double to right-center and looped a Gwynn-like single to left field.

œThose might have been the two best at-bats against me of the night, Maddux said. œI’m just glad he hit ’em and it wasn’t a real hitter, or they would have gone 20 rows into the seats.

There’s no shortage of things to gripe about in Baltimore (of the baseball variety, anyway), but it’s kind goofy for The Sun to publish ticket-holder complaints about Miggy, Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora and Ramon Hernandez taking Thursday night off when the result was a 3-0 win for the Orioles over John Lackey and the Angels.