Injury update: Placido Polanco sits out tonight with a cut on his left index finger, which he suffered tagging out Matt Treanor at third last night. The cut did not require stitches, but Polly is unable to hit and could miss a few days.
It’s been a familiar theme for the Phillies this season. They’ll win a handful of games (five of seven, or something along those lines), start to gain some momentum, and then quickly lose it all, caught in the teeth of a three or four game losing streak. It’s the reason they’ve hovered around .500 all season and the reason they’ve been unable to make any real headway in the standings. This latest four-game losing streak is just another installment in an ongoing tale of mediocrity the likes of which Phillies fans haven’t seen since the early 2000s.
So, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
I’m feeling like a downer right now, so let’s divvy out the good news first. The Phillies haven’t lost five games in a row yet this season. While they been unable to piece together a long winning streak, they’ve also managed to avoid any really long losing streaks. That bodes well. But, wait, there’s more! Chris Capuano is pitching way above his head this season, as his .236 BABIP indicates. His 2.50 ERA is nearly two runs lower than his career mark of 4.26. He has to come back to earth eventually, and tonight is as good a night as any for that to happen.
Time for the bad news: Kyle Kendrick has, shall we say, struggled against the Dodgers in his career. In the 30.1 innings he’s faced them, he’s allowed a whopping 27 earned runs (That’s an 8.01 ERA for those of you too lazy to do the math). But KK has pitched well lately. He’s sporting a 1.65 ERA over his last four starts, including the complete-game masterpiece he spun against the Cardinals on May 26th. Plus, the last time he was on the mound is the last time the Phils got a win.
Can KK be the stopper? We shall find out.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Ruiz C, Victorino CF, Wigginton 3B, Mayberry 1B, Galvis 2B, Kendrick P
It’s another IPA recommendation. This time it’s the rye edition by Saranac. This beer has a gorgeous amber color with a healthy white head. Taste-wise, it’s a standard hoppy IPA, but with a tinge of sweetness followed by a slight bitterness from the rye. Have it with a roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich. Make sure the provolone is extra sharp. –Ryan Dinger