Despite a lineup ravaged by injuries, the Philadelphia Phillies keep rolling along. Facing the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Vicente Padilla(notes) could make it difficult for them to continue their winning ways.
In the teams’ first matchup since the 2009 NLCS, Philadelphia looks to continue its playoff push Tuesday night when it faces a Dodgers team that has dropped nine of 10 on the road.
Despite Chase Utley(notes) (fractured right hand), Shane Victorino(notes) (left abdominal strain) and Ryan Howard(notes) (sprained left ankle) being out the last six games, the Phillies (62-49) won five times. They are 14-3 since a 1-6 skid left them seven games behind NL East-leading Atlanta on July 21.
Thanks in large part to Raul Ibanez(notes), the Phillies are now within striking distance of the top spot. The left fielder is batting .407 with four home runs and 16 RBIs during a career-best 16-game hitting streak.
“This team has a mentality that I haven’t seen on other teams,” Ibanez said after hitting a three-run homer in a 6-5 win over New York on Sunday. “It’s a light-enough clubhouse where a lot isn’t said, and nobody presses to do more. You just try and contribute in any way that you can.”
The Phillies have batted .297 and averaged 5.3 runs in seven games this month. They have won 19 of 23 at home.
They’ll be facing a Dodgers club that is hitting .156 and averaging 1.8 runs during a five-game road losing streak. Padilla (5-3, 3.09 ERA) will be trying to help Los Angeles avoid tying its longest skid of the season away from home.
The right-hander faces the Phillies for the first time since allowing six runs in three-plus innings of a 10-4 loss in Game 5 at Citizens Bank Park on Oct. 21.
Padilla, though, returns to Philadelphia following the best outing of his career. He threw a two-hitter and struck out nine in a 9-0 victory over San Diego on Wednesday. He had a no-hitter through 6 1-3 innings.
“He’s been great,” manager Joe Torre said of Padilla, 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his last seven starts. “The thing about him is that he’s been so aggressive, going after the hitters.”
“I want to keep pitching that way,” he told the Phillies’ official website after giving up two runs in six innings of a 7-2 win at Florida on Wednesday. “It’s the way I should have been pitching from the start.”
The right-hander has gone 2-2 with a 7.29 ERA in four starts against Los Angeles (58-54).
Dodgers first baseman James Loney(notes), who hit .353 with two homers in last season’s NLCS, is 6 for 10 with a home run against Kendrick. Teammate Andre Ethier(notes) has two homers in eight career at-bats versus the Phillies starter.
The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp(notes) went 1 for 20 in the final six games of a homestand that ended Sunday with an 8-3 win over Washington. Kemp, however, has batted .375 in nine career games in Philadelphia.
Ibanez is 9 for 28 with two homers versus Padilla.
Los Angeles took four of seven regular-season matchups from Philadelphia in 2009, including two of three at Citizens Bank Park from May 12-14.