Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kendrick vs Marlins; Phillies soon to enter 'do or die' part of schedule

The Phillies take the field tonight at 7:05 looking to sweep the Marlins and move to eight games above .500 for the first time since the final day of the 2006 season. Kyle Kendrick takes the hill for the Phils and I must say I'm happy about that. Kendrick has been, to say the least, a pleasant surprise this season since his first start on June 13. Kendrick is 5-2 and his last start was strong: 7 innings, 8 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 strikeouts...but a usually strong Phillies offense floundered and Kyle got the L. Kendrick's ERA is a respectable 3.88 and he has 25 Ks compared to 16 BBs. The Phillies offense is on a tear and they're facing Sergio Mitre who's ERA has been steadily rising since mid-June (2.29 on June 15 -> 3.67 August 8).

Prediction: Phillies 7, Marlins 3

It's important the the Phillies sweep the Marlins because they are about to enter an extremely important 3 weeks. The Braves come to Citizens Bank Park tomorrow and the 3-game series will play a crucial role in the NL East and Wild Card races. The Phillies get lucky and do not have to face John Smoltz. In contrast, the Phils send out their ace, Cole Hamels, in the first game. I think the Phillies will take 2 of 3 from the Braves, with Philadelphia losing the 2nd game (Adam Eaton gets the start...we're doomed). After the Braves series the Phillies head to Washington (when Shane Victorino returns) and then to Pittsburgh (when Michael Bourn may return). They should return to Philadelphia going AT LEST 4-2 on that mediocre road trip. Then comes 10 games that the Phillies must bring their A game: Dodgers (3 games), Padres (3), Mets (4). All at Citizens Bank Park. From the first game of the Braves series to the end of the Mets series I have the Phils amassing a 12-7 record, which wouldn't be too bad. If they finish off Florida tonight, take game 1 of their next series with Florida (last day of August), and go my predicted 12-7 in between the Phillies finish with a 18-10 mark in August and would be 74-60 heading into October...when Chase Utley returns! Wow, wouldn't that be something? I have faith.

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