The Phillies enjoyed a much-deserved off-day Thursday. Well, most of them did as Chase Utley awaited MRI results.
The team is back in action Friday night in D.C. against the rival Nationals. The Phillies will throw out surprising star right-hander Kyle Kendrick in the opener of a three-game set. Kendrick has been a revelation this season going 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA. He has 41 strikeouts against just 14 walks.
Kendrick, long known for his inconsistency, seems to have found his groove after seven seasons in Philadelphia. He was tied for the team-lead in victories before Cliff Lee picked up his fifth win Wednesday night.
So, what’s been the biggest change?
“People have gotten on me about being inconsistent,” Kendrick told reporters earlier this season. “I’ve had five good games and then three bad, so I’m trying to just be consistent every time out. Be me, be different.”
Consistency — and adding a dangerous changeup as his secondary pitch.
“[Earlier in my career], I didn’t want to throw it,” Kendrick said. “Now I’ll throw it [changeup] any count.”
If Kendrick can provide another consistent outing for the Phils, they’ll have a great shot at getting to the .500 mark, at 24-24. A win would tie them with the Nationals for second place in the NL East.
“I think we can beat them [Washington],” Lee said after Wednesday’s win. “If we execute and do what we can do, we can beat anyone.”
The Phillies made a minor roster move and provided an update on their newest pitcher on their off-day.
» Michael Stutes is back in the bullpen, some 13 months after recording his last out. The Phils recalled the reliever from the minors and optioned the struggling Phillippe Aumont.
» Carlos Zambrano threw an extended spring training game in Florida. He allowed one run (unearned) in four innings, while striking out four.
» The Phillies have partnered with the city’s tourism board for “Celebrate Tourism Event” on May 28. The Phanatic will dress in colonial garb and march around Old City. Phillies tickets will be on sale to visitors at the Independence