Be grateful for Kyle Kendricks. And be mindful that is a potentially troubling development.
Kendricks is a seasoned veteran now. His development and maturation has sneaked up on us. A perennial back-end-of-the-rotation guy, he has been the most steady performer thus far this season.
Meanwhile, the Phils' bats have awakened versus the Mets. Too bad they cannot play lousy teams all the time. It's hard to feel confidence about a team that bashes lousy pitching.
The biggest surprises among the position players have to be Michael Young, who is hitting well, and Chase Utley, who is hitting well and holding up well. The biggest worry remains a gimpy Ryan Howard and an underachieving Domonic Brown. The biggest flop has been Ben Revere, who has already been given a few days off to clear his head.
Cole Hamels gets the start this afternoon and tries to avoid going 0 for April.
MLB released attendance figures for the season to date and to no one's surprise including the Phillies alleged brain trust, the locals lead the league in drop-off from the previous year. Those turnstiles are not turning fast enough to fund the huge payroll in place. The alleged brain trust will be in the unenviable but predictable position of having to raise ticket prices for a diminished product.
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Meanwhile, across the street, the Flyers finished their disappointing season with a flourish to finish over .500. Better things were expected of them, but serious injuries out of the gate, especially on defense, wrecked their chances. In the end, a lot of newcomers and sophomores from 2012 underperformed. The other huge problem was the overuse of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov because the coach didn't trust his backup until a late season trade brought in Steve Mason.
No single person, GM Paul Holmgren, or coach Peter Laviolette, is to blame for the dismal season, but on the other hand, they assemble the team and schemes, so it is reasonable to hold them accountable.
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Meanwhile, next door to across the street, the Eagles surprised a lot of people by drafting Matt Barkley in the 4th round. Nearly everyone around here who bleeds green is in the process of convincing himself the Eagles stole one and Barkley will turn out to be a franchise quarterback. Thirty-one other GM's were not convinced. Those are long odds.