Turns out it was wise to wait for at least another start from Kyle Kendrick before drawing any conclusions about his readiness to fill one of the five spots in the starting rotation. Yesterday, he started off reasonably well, flirting with danger a few times but getting out of trouble. Then the wheels came off in the fifth inning and the Phillies' 3-0 lead disappeared beneath a barrage of home runs as the Diamondbacks took two of three in the weekend series, winning the finale 8-6.
While Kendrick was struggling, the Phils' bats more or less came alive but they failed to produce in a number of key scoring situations that would have broken the game wide open. The lineup yesterday featured a number of bit players in starting roles as Charlie Manuel decided to give struggling Shane Victorino a break and hurting Placido Polanco and Juan Castro the day off. Despite the presence of so many second and third stringers, the Phils could have won this game with a little bit of timely hitting and maybe a call or two in the bottom of the eighth inning.
So, after taking two of three from division rival Atlanta, which figured to be tough, they dropped two of three to Arizona, which figured to be easier. San Francisco and Tim Linsecum loom but the Phils apparently will not face either Matt Kane or Barry Zito.