Padres Getting Wild

The Philadelphia Phillies entered this series with a chance to take over the NL wild-card lead. The San Diego Padres instead have opened up a greater cushion.

The frustrated Phillies look to halt their four-game slide and avoid falling further behind the wild card-leading Padres in the finale of a three-game set Sunday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Philadelphia -155 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 11 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 74% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -155 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Philadelphia (66-62) began this six-game homestand with a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to pull into a tie for the wild-card lead with San Diego. The Phillies haven't won since, thanks mostly to their bullpen, and the latest loss was the cause of a shouting match between closer Brett Myers and a reporter.

Four different Padres homered Saturday in a 4-3 victory, including solo shots in the ninth inning off Myers by Kevin Kouzmanoff and pinch-hitter Terrmel Sledge.

When Myers was asked about the two home runs, he said they were really "just pop ups." A reporter questioned whether the closer really thought they were pop ups, and Myers got angry.

"You're not even a beat reporter, you're a fill-in, you don't know anything about baseball," said Myers, who then called the reporter "retarded."

The reporter asked if Myers could spell retarded, and Myers stood up. Pat Burrell then restrained Myers, and the closer refused to speak any further.

Philadelphia's bullpen has a ghastly 15.15 ERA during its losing streak, allowing opponents to bat .485.

The Padres (70-58) started this six-game road trip trailing first-place Arizona by 3 1/2 games in the NL West, and leading Philadelphia and Atlanta by one game for the wild card. They have pulled within two games of the Diamondbacks, and now lead the Braves and Phillies by four games.

San Diego also had four homers Friday, marking the first time all season it has had that many in consecutive games. Milton Bradley is 4-for-8 in the series with three homers and seven RBIs, and Mike Cameron also connected on Saturday.

"This park is conducive to home runs and we've been able to capitalize on that," Cameron said. "We got guys that can swing the bats and we're showing it here."

The Padres can complete their first three-game sweep in Philadelphia since Aug. 25-27, 1998, at Veterans Stadium.

Tim Stauffer (0-0, 17.18 ERA) will make his second start of the season for San Diego as he replaces major league ERA leader Chris Young, who left Tuesday's outing against the New York Mets after just five innings due to back pain.

Stauffer's first start was a disaster. Staked to an 11-0 lead after the top of the first inning at Houston on July 29, he lasted 3 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs, three walks and four hits - including three homers.

The right-hander was the fourth pick of the 2003 draft by San Diego and went 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 15 appearances in 2005, also making one start in 2006. Stauffer was tagged for six runs over 5 1-3 innings of an 8-6, 11-inning loss at Philadelphia on July 22, 2005.

Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 4.06) looks to remain unbeaten at home. Kendrick improved to 5-0 with a 3.46 ERA in eight starts after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

The rookie allowed four runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-4 win, bouncing back after he put the Phillies into a 3-0 hole after two innings.

The right-hander, who has never faced the Padres, has pitched into the seventh inning in five of his last six home starts.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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