Game 79: Utley rests; no Thursday starter yet

Will Kyle Kendrick get the start on Thursday? (Laurence Kesterson/Staff Photographer)

It's Sunday and a day off for Chase Utley after playing eight games in a row. Since Utley returned, he has played in 29 of the team's 32 games, starting 28 of those games. So much for regular rest.

But Utley has proven -- at least to the naked eye -- that he can manage the pain. He is still off pace from last year's rate stats, which were the lowest of his career, but a .269/.375/.435 in his first 128 plate appearances is nothing to sneeze at. That .810 OPS would be third-best among Phillies regulars.

Another piece of news: The Phillies apparently have not decided on a starter for Thursday's game against Boston. It could be Cole Hamels, pitching on regular rest, or Kyle Kendrick.

When asked about who it would be, pitching coach Rich Dubee said, "I don't know yet." There were unprintable words used, as well.


Which 10-game winner would you rather have?

The upshot of using Hamels: It would let the lefthander make an additional start before the All-Star Break on the final Sunday against Atlanta. (It also would prevent him from pitching in the All-Star Game, something the Phillies would quite like, I'm sure.)

Why could it still be Kendrick? He threw a bullpen session this morning. He said he had not been informed of the team's plans.

"It's a secret," Kendrick said.

And apparently the Phillies have decided playing coy is a fun activity (e.g. Oswalt, Madson) these days.


The full lineup:

1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Shane Victorino 8
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Ben Francisco 9
6. Carlos Ruiz 2
7. Raul Ibanez 7
8. Wilson Valdez 4
9. Roy Halladay 1

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