The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t been under .500 this late in
the season since 2007, when they went on to win their first of five
consecutive NL East titles.
Though there’s plenty of time to recover, the Phillies still are
concerned with their uninspired play to begin 2012.
After being swept for the first time this season, Philadelphia
looks to bounce back when its hosts the opener of a three-game set
against the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
The Phillies’ bullpen struggled in a 10-6 loss to New York on
Wednesday, allowing eight runs over the final three innings. The
team’s relievers have the worst ERA in the majors at 5.47.
Philadelphia (14-18) was outscored 22-12 during the three-game
“We have to wake up and play better,” manager Charlie Manuel
said. “We don’t like what we’ve been doing. If we want to win, and
be able to go where we want to go, we better start playing
Philadelphia has left 36 men on base over its last four
“Things that we do need to change,” Manuel said. “We have to
The Phillies have played without injured stars Ryan Howard and
Chase Utley to this point, and the rest of the lineup has done
little to help make up for their absences.
Jimmy Rollins is hitting .230 with five extra-base hits in 126
“There definitely needs to be a change in intensity,” Rollins
said. “That comes with relaxing. When you win, everybody
Vance Worley (2-2, 2.84 ERA) will attempt to help lighten the
mood with another solid performance against San Diego.
Worley, though, is coming off his worst outing of the season
after allowing five runs and 11 hits in six innings of a 7-1 loss
to Washington on Saturday.
The right-hander was much better when he pitched seven stellar
innings while striking out a career-high 11 in a 2-0 win over the
Padres on April 19.
It marked the opener of a four-game set the teams split. Before
winning the final two games of the series, San Diego had lost 12 of
the previous 13 meetings.
The Padres (11-21) fell 6-2 at home to Colorado on Wednesday
after winning the first two games of the series. Their .220 batting
average ranks last in the NL, and they’ve scored two runs or less
The lack of offense hasn’t done much to help the pitching staff,
including Friday’s starter Clayton Richard (1-4, 4.89), who will
look to end a four-start losing streak.
Richard had a decent performance in his last outing, giving up
three runs and striking out a season-high seven in seven innings of
a 4-1 loss to Miami on Saturday.
“Well pitched by Clayton. He probably deserved better,” manager
Bud Black told the team’s official website.
The left-hander has received only two runs of support in 20 1-3
innings in his last three starts, and it may not get any better if
his history against the Phillies comes into play.
Richard has lost both of his career starts versus Philadelphia
despite a 2.40 ERA, receiving no run support in 15 innings.
The Phillies have won seven of the last 10 meetings at Citizens