Another pitching matchup that doesn't offer much confidence today, as Dontrelle Willis looks for his major league-best 14th win while Vicente Padilla looks to save his job. One possible consolation for the Phils: through his brief career, Willis has been a noticeably worse performer after the all-star break. Over the last two years, he's gone 8-11 with a 4.30 ERA in the second half, with a lower strikeout rate and more HR allowed (19 in 172.2 IP, compared to 14 in 186 first-half IP). Breaking it down a bit further, most of the damage against him has been done in August, but considering how he's shredded the Phillies--5-1 career record, including 3-0 this season--we're hopefully excused in grasping at straws.
Then there's Padilla. His last start, against Pittsburgh on July 8, was probably his best of the season--but he still issued more walks than strikeouts, and danced through the raindrops in several innings. As the Phils have shown signs of life with four wins in their last five games, it's hard to imagine that Padilla has much margin for error if he is to stay in the rotation.