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SD@PHI: Halladay strikes out six Padres in start

With the regular season winding down, Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg is uncertain what the future holds for him beyond September.

He knows his team won't be in the postseason, but he doesn't know if he'll have a job next season as the full-time manager in Philadelphia. So rather than worry about anything out of his control, Sandberg is focused on making the best out of the next two weeks, including Tuesday's game against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

"There hasn't been any indication or word or anything," Sandberg said of his future with the Phillies. "No, I'm just focused on what I'm doing here and the games to be played, getting the players in there as much as I can, making up a lineup to win a baseball game. I want to win as many games as we can, finish strong, finish on a positive note, a good note, all those things."

The Phillies have done their best to end the season the right way, going 17-13 since Sandberg took over for Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16. They continued that in the series opener against the Marlins on Monday, walking away with a 12-2 win.

Meanwhile, Miami enters Tuesday's contest having lost three in a row and 10 of its last 13. Manager Mike Redmond and the Marlins will turn to a pitcher looking for his first Major League win to end the slide.

Called up in early September, Brian Flynn will make his third career start Tuesday. The 23-year-old left-hander went just four innings and gave up six hits in each of the previous two outings. Although he allowed only three runs on Sept. 4 against the Cubs, the Braves tagged him for six runs on Thursday.

Command will likely be a primary focus for Flynn against the Phillies, as he's walked nine batters in his eight big league innings. He tied Miami's season high for free passes in a game with six his last time out.

"It's extremely frustrating for me, hurting yourself more than the other team is hurting you," Flynn said. "That will just grind your gears and make you lose sleep."

Phillies: Halladay set for fifth start since DL stint
Roy Halladay hasn't been his usual self since returning from shoulder surgery on Aug. 25. In a stretch that covers four starts, he is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA, giving up 18 hits in 21 1/3 innings.

Perhaps the most glaring indication that Halladay still is working his way back into form is that he enters Tuesday's game against the Marlins having walked five batters in each of his last two starts. The last time he walked five in a game before that was in 2007, and Halladay admitted after going just 4 1/3 against the Padres on Thursday that it will take time for him to get back to the top of his game.

But the 36-year-old right-hander is determined to get there and is happy to be pitching again after almost four months on the disabled list.

"In all honesty, I'm proud of the fact that I've made it back," Halladay said after his last start. "A lot of guys my age could be at home, not pitching, could never pitch again. I feel like I beat some of those odds, and that's what I'm looking at and am trying to take the positives.

"I woke up this morning and it was like Christmas morning, getting a chance to pitch again. After sitting out and watching the team and not being a part of it, it's a completely different thrill to be able to go out there and pitch now. I want to do a better job for us."

Marlins: Mathis returns to lineup
Altough Jeff Mathis went hitless Monday against the Phillies, manager Mike Redmond and the Marlins were happy to welcome their catcher back from a week off with a right thumb contusion.

In action for the first time since Sept. 9, the biggest thing Mathis brought back, according to Redmond, was his contribution behind the plate where he helps guide the young Miami pitchers.

He was on the wrong end of a collision at the plate with Domonic Brown in the third inning, but caught four more frames before exiting, and Redmond said he was OK.

"I think [the thumb] will be sore, but at this time, there isn't a catcher who isn't banged up," Redmond said. "It's been a long season after a long spring. It's been a physical grind and an emotional grind. Guys are tired, but it's part of playing in the big leagues and you have to finish. You have to keep fighting through it. With so many young guys, this is big for us to get through."

Worth noting
• The Marlins are 1-4 five games into their 10-day, 11-game road trip. They started with four games against the Mets and finish with three in Washington.

• The Phillies own a 10-4 record in the season series against the Marlins and have won the last six meetings between the clubs.

• Philadelphia has won 22 of its last 29 games against Miami at Citizens Bank Park. Comments