The NL West leading San Diego Padres will start a three game set against the struggling Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday.
In Roy Halladay’s last start on Saturday night against the Marlins, he joined the record books by becoming just the 20th pitcher to hurl a perfect game. He looks to continue his streak of 27 consecutive batters retired against a Padres team he has never faced in his 13-year career. When Halladay threw his perfect game, he was coming off his worst start of the year — giving up seven runs to the Red Sox in 5 2/3 innings.
The Phillies are among the best-hitting teams in baseball when things are going right. But with injuries to leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins amongst others, the hits and runs have been few and far between. They have been shutout in four of five games, averaging 1.3 runs per game in their past 11 contests and have gone 2-9 in that span. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth have combined to hit .195 (29-for-149) with four homers and 11 RBIs since May 18. Werth will try his luck in the leadoff spot in Rollins absence.
Mat Latos is having a breakthrough season for the Padres, as the 22-year-old right-hander goes into Friday’s start against Halladay coming off quality starts in each of his six May outings. Latos went 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA for the month. He has pitched less than six full innings only twice this season and has and through a shutout against the Giants on May 13. This will be the first time he has faced the Phillies.
The Padres finished a nine-game home stand with an Adrian Gonzalez walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning to lift San Diego to a 5-1 victory over the Mets. The nine games at home featured three extra-innings; walk-off wins, and saw San Diego score its season-high in runs (18). Hitting for the team has been strong as of late, and with Gonzales coming on, it will help make up for the slowing Chase Headley, who has a surprising 9 steals for the season. Injuries have cost them as well with Everth Cabrera and Kyle Blanks on the Dl.
The odds makers have the Phillies as –1-½ – favorites with a run total of 7.
With Hallady on the mound it’s hard to go against the Phillies. However, with the offensive struggles and the Padres currently hitting on all cylinders, I expect San Diego to continue their hot streak taking it to the Phillies at home in game one and the UNDER.
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