The Phillies go for the sweep tonight in San Francisco. After an abysmal home split against the Marlins no one could have pictured the Phils taking it to the Giants like they have.
And has anyone noticed that Kyle Kendrick is our best starting pitcher!?!
Thanks to Kendrick, Cliff Lee, and the resurgent power stroke of Utley and Howard the Phils can accomplish a rare feat tonight by sweeping the Giants in San Fran. The last time the they swept the G-men in their home park was back in 2011. The Phillies had a great season that year, but of course the Giants had the last laugh. Sweeping them in the month of May doesn’t mean much, but starting off a west coast trip 3-0 is always a good thing.
Jonathan Pettibone (2-0, 3.24 ERA)
Pettibone has been solid in his first three starts. Since filling in for John Lannan, Pettibone has gone 2-0, but more importantly has gotten better with each start. His stuff won’t overpower anybody, but you can see why he’s had so much success making his way through the Phillies system.
He’s only walked two batters in three starts, and has had great command of his pitches. The Giants are in the middle of the pack in getting on base, so as long as he keeps doing what he’s been doing he shouldn’t have much trouble against this lineup. When Pettibone has gotten hit it was the result of leaving his fastball up in the zone. As long as his stuff is down expect another solid outing from the rookie.
Barry Zito (3-1, 3.06 ERA)
Barry Zito’s career arc has seen the highest of highs the lowest of lows. He’s been a Cy Young winner, an overrated bust with an inflated contract, and a World Series winner. Until last season it was perfectly reasonable to call Zito’s career with the Giants a total failure. He signed a 7-year deal for $126 million in 07′, but never had an ERA below 4.00, or won more than 11 games. Last year Zito was finally serviceable, but it seemed a little too late. However, the fates would finally shine on the long haired lefty, as he took a hot 2nd half through to the World Series, where he won Game 1 on the way to a world championship. It’s too late for Zito to fully live up to all those dollars the Giants paid him, but his late career renaissance is happy ending for one of the most likeable players in baseball.
Pettibone will face the Giants for the first time, as he continues his first tour around the league. Most of the lineup consists of hitters who sit dead-red, so he’ll have to make sure to avoid the middle of the plate with his fastball.
No one has faced Zito more than Michael Young. His numbers aren’t stellar (.235/.286/.318), but he does have Zito in his book. Chase Utley on the other hand has owned Zito in his career. He’s taken him yard, while hitting at a .412 clip. Don’t expect to see Utley cool off tonight.
Charlie will find a way to get John Mayberry Jr. in the lineup tonight. He’s only faced Zito six times, but has taken him deep in three of those at bats! Small sample size or not, Mayberry is definitely looking forward to seeing him on the mount.