The Phillies may be resting their regulars, but their play this weekend will shape the playoff picture, and have significant implications on finalizing their own postseason roster.
The Padres, Giants and Braves are in the mix for the final two playoff spots, and as it stands, the Giants lead the Pads by two games in the National League West and the Braves hold a 1.5-game edge over the Padres in the Wild Card. The Giants and Padres finish up with the Diamondbacks and Cubs respecitely before meeting head-to-head this weekend. Meanwhile, the Braves will face a Phillies team scheduled to pitch Kyle Kendrick on Friday followed by two open slots Saturday and Sunday. It's unlikely that Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt will appear this weekend, and Cole Hamels could make just a short cameo. Still, half of the Phillies' players will be trying to cement their place on the postseason roster.Notes: Ben Francisco homered twice and benchmates Mike Sweeney and John Mayberry also left the park in the Phillies' 7-1 win over the Nationals. Joe Blanton (9-6, 4.74) allowed one unearned run to stay unbeaten over his last 13 starts. In addition, Greg Dobbs added a pair of hits and played very well at third as the postseason roster picture appears to be getting muddier. Phils improved to 95-64 on the season, and as you might have heard, have already secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. ... Placido Polanco is expected to rejoin the team in Atlanta after getting a cortisone shot in his left elbow yesterday in Philadelphia.