It was a tricky proposition because Padilla had worked on Wednesday and three days’ rest is not the recommended therapy for a pitcher who spent 2 1/2 months this summer on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow.
“He told Ramon, `If he wants to pitch me, I’m OK,” manager Larry Bowa said.
The manager shrugged, handed the ball to Padilla and got 6 2-3 shutout innings in a 4-2 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
“That was unbelievable,” Bowa said. “Padilla pitched great. We expected five or six innings. He was mad when I took him out. He was in a pretty good zone.”
Two weeks short of his 27th birthday, Padilla (6-7) retired the first 11 batters, allowed just four hits, struck out five and walked one. Padilla, who threw 67 of 97 pitches for strikes, came out in the seventh inning after giving up a two-out single to Todd Zeile.
“We knew he was toward the end,” Bowa said. “The last two times, he threw 90, 91 pitches. With three days, there was no sense pushing him.”
Bowa used four pitchers to get through the rest of the game, with Tim Worrell pitching the ninth for his 19th save.
“He just pounded the strike zone,” Mets manager Art Howe said of Padilla. “We just couldn’t get deep in the count.”
Hoping to climb back into postseason contention, Philadelphia won its sixth straight and ninth in 10 games. The Phillies remained 4 1/2 games behind in the NL wild-card race, but with five teams in front of them.
“It’s uphill,” Bowa said. “As long as the numbers are there, until you’re five out with four to go, you keep playing and try to win every game.”
It was the 19th in 21 games for the Mets, who also were swept in a three-game series at the Phillies last weekend. New York (61-81) ensured it will not have a winning season for the third straight year.
Tom Glavine (9-13) lost for the 10th time in 12 decisions, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. He left the game with a bruised left shin in the seventh after Placido Polanco’s shot bounced off his leg for a leadoff single.
“I thought I pitched pretty well,” said Glavine, who could miss his next turn. “It should have been better than the linescore. I had pretty good stuff and pretty good mechanics.”
Padilla did not allow a hit until Cliff Floyd singled with two outs in the fourth. Floyd’s hit deflected off the pitcher and bounced past Polanco at second and into right field.
Glavine grounded out in the fifth with two outs and runners on second and third. Philadelphia then doubled its lead in the sixth when Bell doubled for his third hit of the game and seventh in two days, Todd Pratt walked with two outs and Tomas Perez hit a two-run double to the wall in left-center.
RF Bobby Abreu made a sliding catch to rob Piazza of a hit in the second inning. … Jason Michaels struck out three times against Glavine. … Zeile’s three singles left him five hits short of 2,000 for his career. He intends to retire at the end of the season.