Philadelphia Phillies (48-43) at St. Louis Cardinals (51-41)
Kyle Kendrick, RHP (5-3, 4.44 ERA) vs. Blake Hawksworth, RHP (3-5, 4.73 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m., Busch Stadium
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 86
TV: ESPN/Comcast Sports Net
What promised to be a beautiful weekend in Chicago for many of the Phillies faithful who took the ride west, it turned to an ugly reminder of just how weird this season has been. All parties will have to forget quickly as the Phillies head to St. Louis for four tough games against the Cardinals.
Tonight, they’ll see Blake Hawksworth. After that, they won’t be so lucky. Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Jamie Garcia are all on the docket for the rest of the week, so the Phillies will get to see three guys who sport a combined record of 32-12. For this evening, Hawksworth is clearly the easiest of the bunch, but that hasn’t meant much to the Phillies.
The career reliever has been shifted to the rotation, which hasn’t been pretty. In his five starts this season, Hawksworth hasn’t lasted more than six innings. It looks to be another Dave Duncan-type project, so the wheels could start spinning in the right direction at any moment. Let’s pray that moment isn’t now.
Kyle Kendrick pitched an inning of relief himself over the weekend as the Phillies pitchers were battered by the Cubs. In his latest start, KK was relatively solid, posting a six inning, one earned run performance against the Reds. They’ll need him to carry the momentum from his last two outings, one of which was a complete game. It’s crucial as the Phils look to keep up with the Mets and Braves in the East. This will no doubt be a very, very tough series.
Offensive notes: Ryan Howard won the NL Player of the Week award by swatting four homers in the weekend series against Chiacgo.
Phillies Lineup: Rollins (SS), Polanco (3B), Ibanez (LF), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Victorino (LF), Ruiz (C), Valdez (2B), Kendrick (P)
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