The San Diego Padres are finishing up their road trip with a series against the Philadelphia Phillies starting on Friday, August 28. After suffering a series loss against the Washington Nationals the Padres aspirations of making the playoffs just got slimmer. As for the Phillies they have been out of the playoff race for sometime and now look to just play for pride.
The Padres want to win this series to re-establish momentum as they have a 11-game homestead hosting the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Colorado Rockies coming up. Perhaps with a strong performance, they can make another run at the playoffs. At this point, they are 11.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the final National League wild-card spot. It is unlikely they will claim it so the only other option is to win the division outright from the Dodgers.
Having said that, both teams are struggling on the mound and have inconsistent offense. So these matchups will be key.
Kennedy has been very up and down this season with a 4.01 ERA but the last three starts he’s been phenomenal, going (2-1) while posting a 1.05 ERA, allowing only 2 earned runs and throwing 22 strikeouts over 17.2 innings pitched.
Nola has played decent this season with a 3.59 ERA but despite the (2-0) record he has struggled. He has posted a 3.50 ERA while giving up 7 earned runs, one home run and struck out 13 batters over 18 innings pitched.
Out of the two pitchers Nola will have to be extra careful as he has not played well against the Padres this season.
Players to watch
During the last week Howard was hitting .400 with 8 hits, two home runs and seven RBIs. Blanco has been equally as impressive with a .393 average with 11 hits and nine RBIs.
Since facing Stephen Strasburg during the first game of the Nats series the Padres offense has cooled off considerably. It will be hard to determine who will step up in this series.
Gyorko had a .500 average and had one hit on the night. Norris had a .667 average recording two hits and 1 RBI. Lastly, Upton was a perfect 1-for-1 and recorded a hit and one RBI.
Also, on a side note the first two batters in the line up have a .364 and .368 average against Nola. Everybody else is hitting .250 or lower. It is just a small sample size but manager Pat Murphy may pay attention to how well these players did the last time and make adjustments to the line up.
The Padres look to be in a better position to win this game and maybe the series. They will have to dig deep and find ways to win in order to keep any last glimmer of hope for a playoff berth.
The Padres can pick up a few games by beating one of the league’s most underwhelming teams. Flights to Philadelphia booked through Hipmunk.com will have Padres fans from anywhere at Citizens Bank Park to watch their surge towards the postseason. Stay for multiple games by skimming through Philadelphia hotels too, starting from $75 per night.
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