Much has been made of the Phillies’ futility against teams that are not the Mets or Marlins. They are 9-4 against that NL East duo and 6-14 against everyone else. After last night’s series opening victory against the Giants, the Phils have a chance over the next two nights to win a series on the road against one of the baseball’s best teams.
On the mound on Tuesday night for the Phillies is Kyle Kendrick, who has undoubtedly been their best pitcher this year. Since a shaky 2013 debut against the Royals, Kendrick has been a revelation. In those five starts, the right-hander has allowed only six runs in 35 innings en route to a 3-0 record. His strikeout rate in those outings is 7.43 K/9, which is even better than the career best 6.55 he established last year (his career K/9 is 4.74). Those numbers are perhaps the best evidence that Kendrick’s emergence as an effective starter is legitimate.
The Phillies lineup will face two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, whose struggles last season have followed him into 2013. While his ERA isn’t terrible, Lincecum has struggled with his command through six starts. He has walked 17 in 34.2 innings and opposing hitters are batting .252 against him (up from .229 for his career). Lincecum has enjoyed plenty of success against the Phils in his career, going 5-2 in 11 starts with an ERA of exactly 3.00.
Michael Young and Domonic Brown were the offensive heroes last night, but the Phils need some other players – namely Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz or any OF other than Brown – to pick it up if they’re going to survive this West Coast swing. Last night was a picturesque win for the way this team is built; great starting pitching, solid hitting and a shutdown back-end of the bullpen. Now let’s see if they can do it again.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Young 3B, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Nix LF, Revere CF, Kendrick P
GAMEDAY BEER: Lagunitas IPA
Now a year-round option, the IPA was Lagunitas’ first seasonal beer way back in 1995. Brewed about 40 miles north of San Francisco, this hoppy-sweet IPA was created with an intent to allow its consumers to enjoy many more than just one.