A day after Billy Wagner told the Inquirer that "adding pieces isn't going to make us any better," the Phillies added a potentially huge piece from the farm, while dropping an unproductive one to the DL for the second time this season.
Earlier today, as reported to your right in a recent diary entry, Jim Thome was placed back on the 15-day disabled list with "elbow tendinitis," opening a roster spot for Ryan Howard to be recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he was hitting .371/.467/.630 with 16 HR in 210 ABs. Howard did not arrive in Philly in time, however, to start, and so Tomas Perez will "play" 1B tonight.
Vicente Padilla (3-7, 6.79) vs. John Smoltz (8-5, 2.74)
Pitching matchup, as usual, does not favor the Phillies. However, two of Smoltz's five losses this season have come against the Phillies; additionally, in 14 career starts against Atlanta, Padilla has pitched to a 3.19 ERA.
One final note, the Phillies finished June with a record of 15-12 in the month--their best so far this season built largely on the fact that 11 of a franchise-high 12 wins came on the opening homestand. For all you math wizards out there, yes, that means they finished 4-11. But the calendar has turned and the July slate is thus far unblemished. Play ball etc!