In the past week, the Phillies got a complete game from their ace, finally didn’t have to bat first, and the majority of the team got their 2009 National League Champion Rings. Last Sunday, the Phillies finished off the sweep of possible number one overall pick in the 2011 draft Houston Astros. Halladay finished off the Astros with his 150th career win and 50th career complete game.
The Home Opening Series featured the Washington Nationals. The Phillies won 2 of 3 yet again, outscoring them 26-18. Kyle Kendrick struggled mightily against the Nationals in his second outing surrendering 6 earned runs in just 1.2 innings. Kendrick is scheduled to make his next start, but it could be his last unless he has a Spring Training-esque performance.
The second series of the home season was the first series that the Phillies lost this season. The Marlins played tough and you just have to tip their hat to them. The high powered Red Zone Offense fumbled the last two games of the series, scoring only one, yes one, run in the last two games.
The thing I took away from the homestand was simple, the bullpen is getting used way too much. In the past week, outside of Halladay’s complete game and Hamel’s eight inning outing to close out the homestand, the bullpen was relied upon more than necessary. So far this season, the Phillies have called upon a total of 12 pitchers.
The top four in innings pitched are Halladay, Hamels, Moyer, and Happ. You would think that Kendrick, as a starter, should have been fifth, yet he ranks eighth. Durbin, Madson, and Figueroa have all logged more innings than Kendrick.
Next week, the Phillies start a nine game road trip that includes their first West Coast swing. Included in this weeks schedule are three game sets against the division rival Braves, and NL West’s resident cellar dwellars, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Braves will be the Phillies first real test on the road this year. The Phillies ,Braves, and Marlins are most likely in it for the whole season, so hopefully the Phillies can smack the Braves around in Turner Field like they did in 2008. As of time of entry, the Phillies will have Kendrick, Happ, and Halladay going against the Braves. Happ may or may not make his start after concerns of forearm stiffness. The Braves will likely counter with Hanson, Hudson, and Lowe.
The Diamondbacks have a lowly 5-7 record, BUT they are 4-2 at home. Depending on how Kendrick’s outing against the Braves goes and how Blanton’s rehab start goes, it is possible that Blanton may possibly make his 2010 debut against the D-backs. I doubt it, but it is possible. My fair estimation of Blanton’s debut is probably the end of the first week or beginning of the second week of May. The Phillies will likely send Moyer, Hamels, and Kendrick againts Arizona. They most likely will be countered by Kennedy, Lopez, and Haren.
- Reasonable Prediction: 3-3
Based on recent outings Kendrick has a lot to prove. Even if he were to no-hit the Braves, I wouldn’t have a lot of faith. Kendrick goes twice this week, while Halladay and Hamels go once each.