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