The Phillies won that playoff series in five games to advance to the World Series before falling to the Houston Astros
Philadelphia (48-41) returns from the All-Star break in a similar spot as last season's club.
The Phillies trail the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East by a sizable margin, however they reside just a half-game back for the final wild-card spot after winning 23 of their final 32 games
Last year's club enjoyed a 28-14 run over its final 42 games before the break to gain a percentage-point advantage on the final playoff spot.
"I feel really good about this club," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. "I love the rotation, the bullpen's been great and I think there's more offense there. We haven't peaked there and we will.
Bryce Harper is far from peaking, albeit an understandable situation considering he returned two months earlier than expected following Tommy John surgery. He is mired in a homerless drought that spans 160 consecutive plate appearances and has gone deep just three times all season.
"I'm not where I want to be. I'm not hitting the homers that I want or anything like that," Harper said. "I'm getting the hits when I need them. I still feel like I'm having good at-bats. I still feel like I'm going out there and plugging along. We have a long way to go."
The Padres also have a long way to go after a much-publicized offseason spending spree provided little in terms of bang for the buck. They were able to generate a positive spin on the proceedings, however, by winning five of their final six games heading into the All-Star break
Xander Bogaerts admitted to a bit of frustration after failing to meet his own expectations to begin his first season in San Diego. He is batting .253 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs this season.
"I normally wake up and feel like I've got two hits, easy. Now it's grinding for it, just trying to get on base and help the team win," Bogaerts said, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's been very frustrating. Hopefully, I benefit from the break."
Darvish, 36, admitted to feeling "close to 100 percent now" after he returned to the lineup last Friday following a bout with a viral illness that kept him sidelined since June 21. He saw his winless stretch extend to three games, however, despite allowing three runs in five innings of a no-decision against the New York Mets.
Darvish is 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA in seven career starts against Philadelphia.
Like Darvish, Sanchez followed two straight losses with a no-decision in his last trip to the mound. Sanchez permitted one run on four hits in six innings at Tampa Bay.
Sanchez, 26, has yet to face the Padres in his career
--Field Level Media