The Philadelphia Phillies’ offense seems to be coming around, but it still has a long way to go to get back to its normal prolific clip.
The Phillies try to bounce back from a tough loss and take three of four from the San Diego Padres in Monday night’s series finale at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia (30-25) entered this set with the Padres having lost nine of 11 with its offense in shambles, plating a mere 14 runs over that stretch. The Phillies scored nine runs in winning the first two games against San Diego, but the team’s formidable lineup is still not producing as expected.
In Saturday’s 6-5, 10-inning loss, Philadelphia squandered several scoring chances, leaving 15 men on base and going 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position. The Phillies also wasted a golden scoring opportunity in the 10th when Placido Polanco(notes) - the potential tying run - was thrown out at third for the second out with Ryan Howard(notes) and Jayson Werth(notes) due up.
“One out, you have to try,” Polanco said. “Base hit, I’ve got to make it to third somehow.
Although Philadelphia’s seven-game winning streak over San Diego ended Sunday, the Phillies seem to have a good chance of bouncing back with Cole Hamels(notes) (5-4, 4.20 ERA) set to pitch in the finale.
Hamels, 3-0 with a 3.49 ERA in four starts against the Padres since 2008, is taking the ball in his normal spot in the rotation despite having an abbreviated start last time out.
In Tuesday’s 7-3 loss in Atlanta, Hamels gave up a three-run homer to Braves cleanup hitter Troy Glaus(notes), but only got to face one more batter before heavy rains arrived. The left-hander threw just 24 pitches but his day was done after a 64-minute rain delay.
The Phillies opted not to move up Hamels’ next start because they like the way their rotation is set.
San Diego (33-23) won for the ninth time in 14 games Sunday, and can avoid losing its first series since being swept in a three-game set by the Los Angeles Dodgers from May 14-15 with a victory in the finale.
The top of the Padres’ lineup led the way Sunday with the 2-3-4 hitters - Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes), Adrian Gonzalez(notes) and Chase Headley(notes) - going a combined 10 for 15 with four runs. Gonzalez homered and drove in three, and is 9 for 19 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last four games.
LeBlanc, who has a 2.35 ERA in eight starts against NL opponents this season, hasn’t pitched badly in three games during the losing skid - recording a 3.50 ERA - but hasn’t received a single run of support in those outings. Against the New York Mets on Tuesday, LeBlanc allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss.
This will be LeBlanc’s first career appearance against the Phillies.