Apparently, Petco Park only suppresses offense in games that do not involve the Phillies. The Phils' offense continued their assault on the ballpark-once-regarded-as-"pitcher-friendly" with eleven hits, including three home runs, in their 10-5 victory over San Diego on Tuesday. Raul Ibanez celebrated his 37th birthday, by bashing a pair of homers, and knocking in five runs. Greg Dobbs, starting at 3B to give Pedro Feliz a day off, had the other homer. By the time the Phillies have completed the three-game series, Petco might not be last in Park Factor any longer.
Phillies rookie hurler Antonio Bastardo made his first MLB start, matching up with Padres ace Jake Peavy. The Phillies provided Bastardo with a 4-0 lead, before the young southpaw even took the mound. Peavy left the game after the first inning, with what was reported as a viral upper respiratory infection. The Phils pounded the Padres pen, while Bastardo overpowered the San Diego bats. Bastardo's mid-90's fastball was too much for the Pads, as he only permitted four hits and a run, in six superb innings. Bastardo's outstanding performance has likely earned him another start, which could come Sunday night, in the ESPN game against Randy Wolf and the Dodgers.
With a 10-1 lead in the seventh, the Phillies should have been able to get through the final three frames by choosing from among the weakest links of Fuqua and Dubee's Plus Eight. However, Manuel was reticent to use Jack Taschner and Sergio Escalona. (Maybe they were unavailable because they were filming scenes for "The Pen" in the Gaslamp District at the time? Perhaps an elimination challenge to determine who would be returning to AAA on Wednesday?)
Manuel opted to bring Chan Ho Park out of the pen, and Park had the same horrid results he had oft-displayed in the Terrible Days he spent in the rotation. Park ignited the Padres' offense in the bottom of the seventh, allowing four hits and two walks. Park was fortunate to escape the inning, after having surrendered "only" four runs. Chad Durbin loaded the bases in the ninth, and Ryan Madson was required to procure the final out.(Lidge had the day off, after four consecutive saves. Madson should have been able to get the day off, as well.) One of the weak links will need to be removed from the roster on Wednesday, to open a spot for J.C. Romero. The only thing, probably, keeping Park on the team right now is his $2.5 million salary. (That, and his continued success in immunity challenges.)
The Phillies go for the sweep on Wednesday, with J.A. Happ opposed by San Diego's Chris Young. At the Phils' current rate of improvement, they project to score twenty-five runs Wednesday night. That should be enough for a win, provided that they don't use Chan Ho Park for more than an inning.