Perhaps it's time to give Kyle Kendrick his due. . .

I will fully admit to being skeptical of Kyle Kendrick prior to the start of this season, and I know I wasn't the only one. He'd pitched just a half a season in the big leagues, and his numbers were hardly dominant. But a third of the way through this season, perhaps it is time to re-examine that skepticism.

So here we go:

-Opponents are hitting .299 against him.

-His 4.84 ERA is nearly a run higher than it was last season.

-He is allowing 1.53 walks/hits per inning pitched, tied with Jamie Moyer for the worst figure among Phillies starters, and 48th among 66 NL starters with at least 40 innings pitched.

But. . .

-The Phillies have won seven of his last eight starts and are 8-3 in games he pitches this season.

-Since allowing 11 runs in 7 1/3 innings in his first two starts of the season, Kendrick is 3-1 with a 4.65 ERA and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.6-to-1.

-He hasn't recorded a loss since April 16.

-He's allowed fewer than four runs in five of his last six starts.

Kendrick has said repeatedly this season that his main goal is to put his team in a position to win. And, for the most part, he has done that. With 11 starts under his belt, he's essentially a third of the way through the season. Combined with 20 starts last year, he has close to a full major league season under his belt.

Is it time to put the worries about Kendrick to rest?

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Chris Coste will likely start tonight at catcher, Charlie Manuel said yesterday.

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Pat Burrell's neck condition was simply a stiff neck, something like you'd experience after sleeping on it wrong. It's easy to see how something like that would affect a major league hitter. I'd guess he'll be back in the line-up tonight, though Greg Dobbs had a solid performance in his stead last night.

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