SAN DIEGO -- Placido Polanco and John Mayberry Jr. were back in the Phillies' lineup on Thursday for the series opener against the Padres. After they didn't start Wednesday in a 1-0 11-inning loss to the Giants, Polanco was batting second and Mayberry was hitting sixth. Both have been struggling at the plate -- Polanco was hitting .179 and Mayberry was hitting .212 entering Thursday's game. Mayberry got into Wednesday's game as a pinch-hitter, but Polanco didn't play. Wednesday's loss was the Phillies' second shutout defeat of the season -- they were shut out seven times last season.
Though Brian Schneider usually catches starting pitcher Vance Worley, manager Charlie Manuel decided to keep catcher Carlos Ruiz in the lineup, batting him seventh Thursday. Ruiz was hitting .306. "Chooch is playing good right now, hitting the ball good," Manuel said, indicating Schneider might play Saturday night's game or Sunday's day game. Manuel also had Juan Pierre leading off and starting in left field.
Manuel said he considered playing Jim Thome in the field Thursday, but he wants the veteran to hit against a pitcher he's faced. Rookie Joe Wieland was starting for the Padres.Manuel noted he's seen signs of progress for the struggling offense. The Phillies are batting .248. "Three games up until last night, I thought we swung the bat real good," Manuel said. "Last night was kind of a unique game as far as everything that happened. [Pitchers Matt] Cain and [Cliff] Lee, I can't tell who was better. Was Cain that good or was our hitting off? That might have been a combination of both. But at the same time, up until then, for the last three days, I felt like we definitely made some improvements swinging the bat."