Let's play two

Kyle Kendrick will start for the Phillies in one game of Wednesday's doubleheader. (Laurence Kesterson/Staff Photographer)

Good morning from Citizens Bank Park, where it promises to be a long day of baseball. But the weather is gorgeous and there should be no threat of rain like Tuesday night's opener.

The Phillies are hoping Kyle Kendrick can give them some innings in Game 1. Obviously, the bullpen may not be needed a whole lot for Game 2 with Roy Halladay on the mound, but if Kendrick is roughed up early, it could really complicate things.

Rich Dubee expects Kendrick to be able to go around 90 pitches. He is going on an extra day after throwing just 44 pitches in a rain-shortened start last week.

The Marlins will start Elih Villanueva, who is making his major-league debut. The 24-year-old had a 5.23 ERA in 12 triple-A starts this season, but is apparently a decent prospect.

Charlie Manuel will rest a few of his regulars for Game 1. The lineup:

1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Shane Victorino 8
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Domonic Brown 9
6. Ben Francisco 7
7. Wilson Valdez 5
8. Dane Sardinha 2
9. Kyle Kendrick 1


Brian Gordon is a Yankee, and it's about as cool of a baseball story possible. Bob Brookover was there in Allentown Tuesday night when Gordon received the news.

A few people have asked me, "Why would the Phillies just let him go?" The short of it: They simply believe they have better options. Gordon is 32. He's having an incredible season, but it is totally off the charts in comparison to his full career. Consider the sample size of 55 1/3 innings. While that may seem like a lot, it hardly is.

Does that mean Gordon will fail at the big-league level? Who knows?

Gordon's minor-league contract had a written-in clause that called for a six-day period in which another major-league team could sign him -- conditional only on them immediately adding Gordon to their 25-man roster and the Phillies granting his release. The Yankees needed a starter and will take a shot with Gordon. The Phillies did Gordon a favor by releasing him, and don't think others will notice that.

"I don't think I've ever been happier to be released," Gordon told The Inquirer. "This release had a happy ending to it."

Perhaps of more concern to the Phillies: Their pitching depth took a massive hit Tuesday. Not only did Gordon depart, but Nate Bump was forced to leave his IronPigs start early with a strained hamstring. And Eddie Bonine is exploring Tommy John surgery. Not that any of these players will be major contributors (if at all) to the Phillies, but it just thins things down on the farm.

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