Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Monday, July 02, 2007

3 Rookies & a Bad Prediction 

The week that wasn’t … So much for my confident prediction that the Phillies would emerge from the weekend in first place in the NL East. Far from it, the Phillies emerged from the weekend in third, five games behind the Mets. They lost ground badly and saw the Mets victimize the starting rotation for three losses in four games. Only Kyle Kenrick’s gutsy performance on Sunday afternoon saved the Phillies from a humiliating four-game sweep.

In retrospect, the Phillies were set up for a difficult weekend: they were sending three rookie pitchers to the mound, a recipe for disaster. Kendrick didn’t pitch that well on Sunday – not a single strikeout, allowed three walks and six hits in six and two-thirds of an inning – but he got the W. J.A. Happ’s performance on Saturday – four innings, three home runs, but five strikeouts and two walks – I actually thought was pretty decent. He shows a lot of promise and ought to be the one in the Phillies rotation, not Kendrick.

The road to the All-Star Break isn’t too onerous for the Phillies. Tonight they start a three game series with the Houston Astros, and then they wrap up the first half with a three game set against the Colorado Rockies. Not too shabby. It is a pretty nice way to get back into the NL East race. The Mets, coincidentally, play the Rockies tonight and then close out with four games against the Astros.

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Have to disagree with you on Kendrick vs Happ, Mike. Whilst Kendrick is not getting the K's right now, he is a groundball pitcher - indeed, his percentage of groundballs seems to be increasing with every outing. When I've seen him, I've noted that he also avoids nibbling the strikezone. His minor league numbers show a good homerun per nine innings total, and I think for the moment he's the correct one to stay with the rotation.

Having said that, looking forward into next season he doesn't look solid unless he starts getting his k's up to league average.
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