1. When and where
The Phillies (67-78) go for the series win in the rubbe match with San Diego (66-78) tonight at 7:05 p.m. on CSN. The Phillies are 28-12 against the Padres since their last series loss to them in 2007.
2. Which Doc will show?
Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.19) will make his fourth start since returning from the disabled list and should face a favorable matchup against a weak Padres lineup that ranks 11th in the league in batting, 12th in slugging and 13th in OPS.
Doc has turned in two solid starts so far and one clunker, a five-inning, five-run showing against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In his other two outings, he limited the Diamondbacks and Nationals to three runs and seven hits in 12 innings.
But control has been a huge issue for the 36-year-old. His five walks in his last start were the most he issued in a game since 2007, when he walked six (and incredibly pitched nine innings) in Oakland. He also hit two batters for the second straight game.
Halladay has had the most trouble with his sinker and cutter, which he's thrown 162 times since his return and induced just one swing-and-miss (see story).
3. Longer look at Ross
The Phillies saw Tyson Ross (3-7, 2.79) twice during the West Coast trip in June, when the right-hander held the Phils scoreless in 2 1/3 innings.
Thursday will be the first time seeing him in the starter's role, in which Ross has excelled. He's 3-3 with a 2.16 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation full-time on July 23 and tossed one of his best games his last time out (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K vs. COL).
Ross is a bit easier to hit on the road (3.26 ERA) than at pitcher-friendly Petco Park (2.18 ERA), and current Phillies haven't seen him much. Only John Mayberry Jr. (1 for 2) has a hit. The rest are a combined 0 for 7.
4. Freddy! Freddy!
Since his callup on Sept. 3, Freddy Galvis has been proving his bat belongs in the lineup. In six games, he's gone 8 for 23 with two homers, a double and four RBIs. And he continues to play good defense whether the Phillies plug him in at shortstop or second base or left field.
His game last night (3 for 3, 2B, HR, 2 RBIs) earned him a spot in Thursday's lineup. The switch-hitting utilityman has more hits in his last four games (eight) than he had in his previous 19 (six).
5. Asche keeps smashing
Cody Asche has really made a case he deserves a shot at the starting spot at third base next season. Not counting his 1-for-17 start, Asche is batting .293/.346/.525 and has six doubles, a triple and five homers over 28 games. He's also committed just one error in that span after having three in his first four games.
Compare Asche's numbers to those of Utley (.276/.344/.478) and even Domonic Brown (.274/.320/.513) from this season. Sure, it's only been a small, one-month sample, but Asche is proving he can play.
1) Cesar Hernandez, CF
2) Jimmy Rollins, SS
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Carlos Ruiz, C
5) Darin Ruf, RF
6) Cody Asche, 3B
7) Kevin Frandsen, 1B
8) Freddy Galvis, LF
9) Roy Halladay, P