Philadelphia Phillies look to split series behind Kyle Kendrick


Aug 22, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick (38) throws a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies can usually count on Cole Hamels to get the job done and following him up is no easy task, but Kyle Kendrick has had his moments in recent starts.

Kendrick turned in a gem a day after Hamels and three others completed the first combined no-hitter in Philadelphia Phillies history.  He stymied the Atlanta Braves, giving up just three hits over seven shutout innings.  The righty has won four of his last five starts, putting him at 9-12 in what has been a rather shaky 2014 campaign.

During his seven years in the big leagues Kendrick has won 10 games in five of them.  He may have done it six years, but was held to just nine games in 2009 as he finished that season 3-1.  Notching a double-digit record in the win column and finishing the season strong could be a huge factor in whether or not the Phillies will keep Kendrick.  The 30-year-old has spent all of his career in a Philadelphia uniform and will become a free agent after this season.

The Padres’ Seth Smith, one of their top offensive performers, has proven tough for Kendrick in his career.  The leftfielder is 8-for-17 with four extra-base hits, one a triple, and a walk.  Smith, however, has been limited to pinch-hitting in the past two games with a hamstring injury.

Like Smith, Ben Revere is leading his team in batting average and is fifth in the National League in said category.  The Phillies’ centerfielder has cooled off at the plate, going from .313 down to .306 in his last ten games.  He’s collected just eight hits in his last 41 at bats, making it tough for him to get back in the race for the NL batting title.

On the injury front, Jimmy Rollins is still day-to-day with a hamstring tweak.  Rollins was taking ground balls and hitting during Wednesday’s warm up.

Still without closer Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies called on Ken Giles to pitch the ninth in Wednesday’s 5-2 win although it was not a save situation.  Giles finished the inning while striking out a pair, though he did allow an earned run.  The right-hander has given up just six earned runs in 42.2 innings of work this season, he’s complimented that with 62 strikeouts.