The Phillies' team batting average ranks among the best in the National League, but they've had trouble getting on base and even more trouble getting runners across home plate so far this season with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley still unable to play due to injuries.
It's been a constant struggle for the Phillies, so manager Charlie Manuel kept two of his regulars out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's 11-inning loss to the Giants, using his 10th lineup in 12 games. Manuel opted to give third baseman Placido Polanco and outfielder John Mayberry Jr. the day off, though Mayberry was eventually called upon as the game continued.
But Manuel has confidence that both will work through their struggles sooner rather than later.
"Sometimes when you get into a bad habit, sometimes it's hard to break. You really don't realize what you're doing. It takes you awhile," Manuel said of Polanco. "I think he's still got some bat speed. He needs to get consistent, of course. He always has been in his career."
As for Mayberry, the manager said, "He'll play more if he starts hitting like he did in the second half of the season last year. That's kind of where it's at. I didn't give up on him. When I see you do something, I know you can do it and I stay with you. I know it's there and we'll eventually get it back out of you."
The Padres, meanwhile, are hoping to get a longer outing out of Wieland. The rookie pitched five innings in Saturday's loss to the Dodgers, but San Diego could afford to have its starter throw more innings. Manager Bud Black admitted he would have liked to see Clayton Richard throw seven innings Wednesday night because the Padres' bullpen is simply taxed.
"Starting pitching is key, there's no doubt about it," Black said. "If you have five guys who keep you in games, more likely than not if you get a big hit here and there, you're going to win some games."
And what did he tell Wieland after his big-league debut, when he gave up six runs on six hits, two walks and three home runs -- two of them off the bat of Kemp?
"I told him this is one of many Major League starts. I thought nerve-wise, he was fine," Black said. "Joe will be fine moving forward. I saw a lot of good signs."
Phillies: Worley looking to bounce back
• Right-hander Vance Worley was a little shaky in his last outing, a loss to the Mets. He left a few too many pitches up in the strike zone, giving up four runs on eight hits, four walks and two homers while striking out five. He was far better in his first start of the season, when he tossed six innings and allowed only one run.
Worley will be looking to rebound from that outing against the Padres, a team he has never faced. In fact, Worley has only pitched to one San Diego hitter: Yonder Alonso, who has one hit in all of three career at-bats against Worley.
• The last Phillies pitcher to throw 10 innings in a game before Cliff Lee tossed 10 scoreless frames Wednesday night was Terry Mulholland, who accomplished the feat against St. Louis on May 8, 1993. The last hurler to throw 10 innings was Aaron Harang in 2007, the same year Roy Halladay tossed 10. Halladay also did so in 2003, as did Mark Mulder in 2005.
Padres: Maybin likely to make return to lineup
• Center fielder Cameron Maybin sat out of Wednesday's 8-4 loss to the Rockies, but should be back in the lineup Thursday night, Black said. Maybin had hit leadoff and played center in every game prior to that, but he went 2-for-19 over the first five games of the six-game road trip. So, it's not too surprising that Black might give Maybin a start somewhere else in the lineup.
"Just thought it was a good day to give him a blow," Black said. "And don't be surprised if he hits somewhere different in the lineup, just to give him a little different look."
• Carlos Quentin hit on the field Wednesday and should do so again Thursday. Quentin is coming back from right-knee surgery, which he underwent in March. Black said he is doing some "light jogging and running," but doesn't have a timetable set for his return.
• Infielder Logan Forsythe (fractured left foot) is rehabbing at extending Spring Training in Peoria, Ariz. Black said he is a week to 10 days from making a rehab appearance with Triple-A Tucson, though he is starting to do some agility work, hitting off a tee and taking batting practice. All that's left for Forsythe is to start fielding ground balls.
• The Phillies posted a 23-9 (.719) record against NL West competition in 2011, a franchise best and tied for the most wins by the club since the six-division format was introduced in 1994. Philadelphia was especially dominant against the NL West on the road last year, going 14-3 with only one losing series.
• This will be the Padres' first game this season playing outside of their division. San Diego opened the season with 13 games against the Dodgers, D-backs and Rockies -- all NL West rivals.