San Diego Padres (33-23) at Philadelphia Phillies (30-25)
7:05 PM EST ESPN
San Diego: Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 3.67)
Philadelphia: Cole Hamels (5-4, 4.20)
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The Padres and Phillies finish their four game set on Monday at Citi Field in Philadelphia. Having already faced Halladay and Moyer, San Diego will be tested once again by Cole Hamels, who is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and opposing average of .212 in seven starts against them lifetime.
On the year, Hamels has been his usual self, though he is striking out more than usual, with 64k’s in 64 innings. No one expects that rate to last given his career numbers, but his 1.46 WHIP is bound to fall. Hamels should be more than rested since he only pitched two-thirds of an inning against Atlanta in his last start. There was a rain delay and he did not return at the end of it.
If the Phillies hope to be more than a wildcard contender this year they need to show some offense. Saturday’s six-run outburst was the first time they scored more than five runs since May 17. The Phillies are 9-11 in day games this season and while they have played well enough not to panic, Shane Victorino has as many homeruns as Ryan Howard (9). Chase Utley leads the team with 10 homeruns, but looks like the injury, which put him on the DL, is still lingering.
Padre’s starter Wade LeBlanc has dropped four straight decisions. In his last start against the Mets he walked four batters and threw only 51 of 93 pitches for strikes. Obviously his control has become an issue. Through nine starts this year his numbers are nearly identical to last season, except for hits allowed. LeBlanc has given up 55 in 46 innings this year, versus 35 in 46 innings last year. Batters are laying off and making him throw around the plate, when he does they feast. On the road this season, he has a 1-1 record to go with a 6.59 ERA in three road starts. This will be LeBlanc’s first career appearance against the Phillies.
Nick Hundley has been on fire the last 13 games, going 18-for-41 (.439). His batting average has climbed from a mediocre .229 to a robust .306. Sunday he went 1-4 with a tying fifth inning homerun. While Everth Cabrera was supposed to pace the team in steals from the leadoff spot, Will Venable has taken charge and leads the team with 12.
The odds makers have the Phillies as –1-½ – favorites with a run total of 9.
This will be a close contest much like games one and three with the Phillies riding to a victory on a solid performance from Hamels to win the series and the UNDER.
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