Roy Halladay looks to improve to 4-0 in his start against the Padres on Sunday. (Philliedelphia/Kevin Durso)
When you woke up this morning, reality didn't change. The Phillies 5-7, 4.5 games back in the NL East and in last place. This is not the way we all scripted this season.
But a fresh series awaits the Phillies and it's one that they should handle with ease. Keyword: should.
Nothing has seemed to be easy for the Phillies this season so far, which leaves very little confidence that anything will go their way in the upcoming four-game series against the San Diego Padres.
The Padres are 3-10 and in last place in the NL West. There are probably few things worse than failing to win a series against this team but who knows what we should expect from the Phillies.
The Padres are led mainly by three players. Cameron Maybin is their top of the order guy capable of winning a game with his speed alone. Chris Denorfia leads in batting average with a .346 average. And leading the charge is Chase Headley who has a team-high four home runs and 12 RBIs.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
In the opener, Vance Worley (0-1, 3.75 ERA) takes on Joe Wieland (0-1, 10.80 ERA) – Worley pitched a very good first start in a no-decision. His start on Saturday wasn't as good. He fell into an early hole, giving up four runs and took the loss as the Phils were shut out. Worley has never faced the Padres in his career.
Wieland lost his major-league debut to the Dodgers his last time out. He allowed six runs over five innings. This is just his second career start and first appearance against the Phillies.
In the second game, Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.65 ERA) faces Edinson Volquez (0-1, 4.24 ERA) – Hamels finally picked up a win by beating the Mets with a solid afternoon on the mound, allowing two runs in seven innings. In his career against the Padres (11 starts), Hamels is 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA.
Volquez has yet to win this season after dealing with command issues. He walked five batters and allowed five runs in his last start against the Dodgers. In his career against the Phillies (two starts), Volquez is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA.
In the third game, Roy Halladay (3-0, 1.17 ERA) goes against Cory Luebke (1-1, 3.71 ERA) – Halladay has simply been brilliant in all three of his starts this season. He held the Giants to two runs in eight innings in getting his third win of the season. In his career against the Padres (three starts), Halladay is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA.
Luebke won his last start holding the Rockies to one run in seven innings. He recently developed a changeup which makes him even more versatile on the mound. In his career against the Phillies (3 games, 1 start), Luebke is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
In the finale, Joe Blanton (1-2, 4.26 ERA) gets the start against Anthony Bass (0-2, 3.38 ERA) – Blanton was much shakier in his most recent start to the Giants. He allowed four runs in five innings and suffered his second loss of the season. In his career against the Padres (five starts), Blanton is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA.
Bass allowed three runs in five innings in a loss to the Rockies. Early on this season, Bass has not been effective with his pitches on the mound and is working on improving his material. In his career against the Phillies (one game, no starts), Bass is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA.
Prediction:April 19 – Phillies 4, Padres 3April 20 – Phillies 2, Padres 3April 21 – Phillies 3, Padres 0April 22 – Phillies 1, Padres 5
The Phillies should be able to rebound against the Padres, but I can't see how this team with their anemic offense can pull through. You're facing a rookie pitcher and another who has made on relief appearance against. Instantly, the odds are stacked against them, just because it seems to be a tall task for the offense. History tells us that.
I'm calling for a split hoping that the negativity of this actually makes people less expectant of a successful weekend for the Phillies. But they are due for some luck to finally come their way. Maybe luck is coming in the form of the Padres because right now in baseball, it doesn't get lower than that.
Kevin Durso is a contributor to Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.