How the rotation turns
The Phillies starting rotation has been a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre first half of the season. They'd like to keep it that way when the second half resumes next weekend in New York.
How the rotation turns
The Phillies have won 5 of the first 7 games on their current homestand.
Although the offense has averaged 3.9 runs per game - an uptick in their production for the majority of the season's first three-plus months - the starting pitching has been instrumental in the success. From John Lannan to Cole Hamels to Kyle Kendrick, the starting five has been consistent and has either kept the team in games or gone out and won the Phils games.
The Phils rank first in the NL in innings pitched (582 innings) and fifth in wins (33). Take away Roy Halladay's numbers and the rotation has a 3.65 ERA, which would rank 7th best in the league.
The Phillies would obviously hope for the success to carry over after the All-Star break. In an effort to make sure they maximize the talent in their rotation while also giving guys adequate rest over the break, this is the way the rotation will very likely set up when the Phils start the second half next weekend at Citi Field in New York (and then at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, too):
Friday, July 19 at Mets: Kyle Kendrick
Saturday, July 20 at Mets: Cole Hamels
Sunday, July 21 at Mets: Cliff Lee
Tuesday, July 23 at Cardinals: Jonathan Pettibone
Wednesday, July 24 at Cardinals: John Lannan
Thursday, July 25 at Cardinals: Kyle Kendrick
If you keep turning the rotation in order, that would set up Hamels and Lee to start the first two games at Comerica Park against the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers on July 26 and 27.
After Pettibone and Lannan pitch tonight and Saturday, respectively, Hamels is on tap to start the final game of the first half on Sunday against the White Sox. The Phils could bring Hamels back on regular rest to start on Friday in New York, but nearly every pitcher in baseball gets extra rest thanks to the break, and the Phils saw how Hamels already benefited from extra rest this month.
Lee hasn't pitched since Wednesday, but he will very likely pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game. Since he's on full rest, he's probably a lock to pitch for the NL at some point.
Since the Phils have three lefties in the rotation, they can't split all of them up. And so: Kendrick, Hamels, Lee, Pettibone and Lannan.