Both clubs enter play Tuesday six games out of first place, with Philadelphia trailing Atlanta in the NL East and Los Angeles chasing San Diego in the NL West. The Phillies are also in the thick of the wild-card hunt, 2 1/2 games back of Houston.
In the past three weeks, the Dodgers have had a pair of 3-3 road trips around a 3-4 homestand.
”.500 road trips, .500 home stands, that won’t be good enough,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We all need to be very aware of that fact.”
A .500 team is exactly what the Phillies have been lately, splitting their last 18 games. They lost two of three to Milwaukee over the weekend, falling 3-1 in Friday’s opener and getting blanked for eight innings by Tomo Ohka in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat.
“There’s no way we’re going anywhere if we don’t win these kinds of games,” manager Charlie Manuel said after Philadelphia completed a 3-3 homestand.
Pat Burrell hit .211 (4-for-19) with no RBIs on the homestand. Once among the NL leaders in homers and RBIs, he hasn’t gone deep in 18 consecutive games, driving in just two runs during that stretch.
One of Los Angeles’ top hitters is also struggling. Jeff Kent is just 5-for-28 (.179) over the last eight games, though three of the hits were solo homers.
Despite Kent’s limited contribution, the Dodgers’ lineup had a solid weekend at Pittsburgh, scoring 22 runs to win two of three in the series, capped by Sunday’s 6-4 victory.