Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
San Diego at Philadelphia
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, July 20, 2018
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Phillies have surpassed expectations by entering the All-Star break with the top record in the National League East while the San Diego Padres reside at the other end of the spectrum with the worst mark in the Senior Circuit. The Phillies (53-42) look to add to their feel-good story on Friday when they begin a six-game homestand with the first of three contests against the Padres (40-59).

Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler is keeping positive after seeing his team answer a sterling 10-3 stretch by dropping two straight to Miami, including a 10-5 setback on Sunday that saw his club squander a five-run lead. "We've had a really, really spectacular first half. I'm really proud of our guys, and that's what I'm going to be thinking about, and that's what I think our clubhouse will think about," Kapler told reporters. San Diego manager Andy Green is thinking a bit differently after seeing his team drop five in a row and 21 of 27 to make itself comfortable in the cellar of the NL West. "Frustrating. Not where I thought we'd be. Not where I want to be," Green told the media. "I take ownership of that. It's my team. It's our team. We expect to play better than we've played."

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FS San Diego, NBCS Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Clayton Richard (7-8, 4.43 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.23)

Richard has answered a four-start winning streak with an 0-2 mark in his last four trips to the mound. The 34-year-old walked five batters for the second time in three outings and settled for a no-decision last Friday after allowing three runs in six innings versus the Chicago Cubs. The current crop of Phillies is 7-for-35 against Richard while Maikel Franco and Rhys Hoskins are a combined 0-for-10.

Arrieta answered an 0-4 mark in a six-start stretch by tossing seven innings in back-to-back wins, including a three-hit scoreless outing at Miami last Friday. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award has been tasked to put the team on his back by Kapler, and Arrieta has no qualms about it. "I'm comfortable in that position," the 32-year-old told reporters. "It's good for Vinnie (Vince Velasquez), (Nick) Pivetta, (Aaron) Nola, (Zach) Eflin to see that. We're trying to win this division. It's a next-man-up kind of thing."

WALK-OFFS

1. San Diego acquired C-OF Francisco Mejia from Cleveland on Thursday for two-time All-Star LHP Brad Hand and RHP Adam Cimber.

2. Philadelphia 2B Cesar Hernandez is 8-for-19 with three RBIs during his five-game hitting streak.

3. Padres RF Hunter Renfroe has homered in back-to-back contests after going 3-for-25 with eight strikeouts in his previous eight outings.

PREDICTION: Phillies 3, Padres 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
San Diego 40-59 L5 20-31 20-28 11-12 10-13 17-26 2-8
Philadelphia 53-42 L2 30-16 23-26 18-21 17-9 9-8 9-4
Last Meeting
San Diego Philadelphia
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/16/17 PHI 0 SD 3 .233 0 .636 .097 0 .286
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
San Diego N/A
Philadelphia N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
San Diego C. Asuaje 0 0 0
Philadelphia J. Alfaro 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
San Diego 0.00 .000 0
Philadelphia 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
San Diego J. Pirela .261 89 .666
Philadelphia O. Herrera .275 100 .787
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
San Diego C. Villanueva 19 34 43
Philadelphia O. Herrera 16 47 52
Pitching ERA Avg K
San Diego 4.30 .232 830
Philadelphia 3.86 .236 854