Game 18: Two teams made for Petco Park

SAN DIEGO -- The Phillies have not lost a game in this city since 2008, carrying a seven-game winning streak at Petco Park into tonight's series opener.

All time, the Phillies are 18-4 in this stadium. It's a bit counter-intuitive considering the Phillies of previous years were built for the long ball and fewer home runs are hit here than in any other park.

But this Phillies team? Well, they'd fit right in here.

"In this ballpark right here, I think we play small ball," Charlie Manuel said. "It gets back to pitching and defense. Our defense has to be good to make our pitching as good as it is.


Which team has the most rabid fans?

"In this ballpark here we've been very fortunate to play good defense and hit some doubles."

There may not be a lot of scoring the way these two offenses are going. The Padres enter this series hitting .222 and slugging a paltry .334, both figures the worst in the National League. (The .222 batting average is the worst in the majors.)

The Phillies haven't scored more than four runs in a game since April 9. They've scored three or fewer runs in six of their last nine.


Manuel said he will be watching Roy Oswalt closer than usual. Oswalt is making his first start since leaving last Friday's game with mid-back spasms. There is no pitch limit on Oswalt, the manager said, but they will be cognizant of the injury.


Brian Schneider and Pete Orr crack the lineup. No surprise about Schneider; Carlos Ruiz had started the previous nine games and caught nine innings Wednesday before boarding a six-hour flight to the West Coast.

1. Shane Victorino 8
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Raul Ibanez 7
6. Ben Francisco 9
7. Pete Orr 4
8. Brian Schneider 2
9. Roy Oswalt 1

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.