Phillies starting rotation becoming reliable

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Kyle Kendrick pitched seven shutout innings at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night. But when he went to sleep, he still didn't know if it was good enough for the Phillies to win the game.

"That's a first," Kendrick laughed on Wednesday.

Tuesday's game was suspended by rain before the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at 0-0. Play will pick up at 5:30 p.m., with the originally scheduled game following a half hour after the conclusion of the first game.

While the Phils hope to score some runs (they have all of eight runs since leaving Philadelphia a week ago), they'll also hope their rotation continues to churn out effective starts. 

Kendrick's seven shutout innings provided the Phils with their seventh straight quality start. A quality start, a somewhat flawed stat, is reached when a starter pitches at least 6 innings and allows three runs or less.

(A pitcher allowing three runs in six innings translates to a 4.50 ERA. It says here the stat should be changed to 7 innings: a pitcher who allows three in seven: 3.86 ERA).

In any event, the Phils have received strong starting pitching lately. In fact, it's been even better than "quality."

Begining with Cliff Lee flirting with a complete game on April 9, the rotation has a 1.66 ERA in the Phillies last seven games (including the current suspended game).

In the previous seven games, the rotation had a 7.68 ERA.

"I think we’re getting in a good rhythm," Kendrick said. "As starters we’re just trying to pitch deep into the game and give the team a chance to win. We’ve been doing a pretty good job of that lately. Now we have to keep it going, win some games. That’s all that matters, really."