Phillies (6-7) at San Diego Padres (3-11)
10:05 p.m. -- CSN
The Phillies evened up their 10-game trip out west with a 2-0 win over the Padres on Wednesday. At 2-2 on the road trip, the Phils look to continue their dominance at PETCO Park over one of the few teams that has more pronounced offensive issues than them.
Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.65 ERA) makes his third start, after toying with the Mets last Sunday. In that game that you may have missed while watching the Flyers wild Game 3 with the Penguins, Hamels struck out 10 Mets on four different pitches, induced 16 swings-and-misses and allowed only one runner to reach scoring position.
Hamels has 19 strikeouts in 12 13 innings this season. Hed re-take the NL-lead with five more whiffs Friday.
Edinson Volquez (0-1, 4.24 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season against a sputtering Phillies offense. Volquezs ERA is fair, but he hasnt been sharp, walking 12 batters through 17 innings. The Phillies lack of plate discipline could play into his hands.
Volquez is a three-pitch pitcher he throws his low-to-mid 90s fastball 50 percent of the time, a mid-80s changeup 30 percent of the time and a curveball 20 percent of the time. The changeup is by far his most effective pitch.
Where, oh where would the Phillies be without their starting pitching? Cliff Lee and Vance Worley combined to pitch 17 scoreless innings Wednesday and Thursday, but the Phillies went just 1-1 in the series finale in San Francisco and opener in San Diego.
Worley had the best game of his young career on Thursday, striking out a career-high 11 Padres over seven scoreless innings. His two-seam fastball fooled a San Diego team that started four players batting .182 or lower.
The Phillies are 22-7 against the Padres since 2008 and have won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
The success is even more remarkable at PETCO Park, where the Phils are 13-1 since 2008 and have won 12 in a row.
The Phillies swept a four-game series with the Padres last April.
Hamels has staggering career numbers against his hometown team. In 11 starts, he is 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.83 WHIP against San Diego. He has struck out four times as many Padres (60) as hes walked (15), and limited them to a .179 batting average. Hamels has allowed one or no runs in six of those 11 starts.
The Phillies havent solved Volquez in two tries. As a Cincinnati Red Volquez was traded to San Diego this off-season as part of a package for Mat Latos the Dominican righty allowed one run in 12 13 innings, going 2-0.
Current Phillies are batting .204 off Volquez with six walks and 21 strikeouts. The only Phil who has had success against him is Ty Wigginton, who is 3 for 6 with two homers.
Juan Pierre went 2 for 3 on Thursday with a triple, walk and a run scored. He is 11 for 33 (.333) on the season and has reached base at least twice in a game four times.
There is no reason to think Pierre wont lead off Friday against Volquez.
John Mayberry went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Friday and is now batting .189 with one extra-base hit, no walks and 10 strikeouts. Hell need to produce and soon, unless he desires a similar fate to Ben Francisco. (Even Francisco produced in April before tailing off.)
Jimmy Rollins was off at the plate Thursday and hes been striking out a lot this season 21 percent of his plate appearances compared to a career average of 11 percent.
There is a difference between not walking and not having plate discipline. Rollins, who swung himself out of a 3-1 count against the Padres by going after two balls and is 1 for 7 when the count is 2-0, 3-1 or 3-2, is swinging too much.
Rollins likely wants to be aggressive batting third, but the Phillies need baserunners and aren't taking bases on balls. Hes not alone Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino have also been guilty of guessing on 2-0 and 3-1 counts and swinging no matter where the pitch ends up.
The Phillies have the second-fewest walks in baseball (22) and face the National League leader in walks in Volquez. Somethings got to give.
If the Phils approach at the plate Friday doesnt involve taking pitches and making Volquez figuratively and literally sweat, one wonders if it ever will.
Pierre, Polanco, Rollins, Pence, Victorino, Wigginton, Galvis, Schneider, Hamels.
Ruiz has started 11 of 13 games, a pace that would have him start 19 more games than he did last season. Schneider, who usually catches Worley but didn't on Thursday, likely won't start Saturday against Padres lefty Cory Luebke, so we're predicting he gets the nod.
Ever wonder what to do with an old computer or TV, or headphones that are laying around collecting dust? The Phillies are hosting an event at Citizens Bank Park Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect and recycle used electronics.
In the largely momentum-less sport of baseball, do you think the Phillies have gotten into the heads of Bud Black and the Padres?
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com