Kyle Kendrick did better than most expected. I was hoping for 6 innings and 4 runs surrendered, but he only allowed 3 and probably could have gone a 7th inning if it weren't for his spot in the order due up in the bottom of the 6th. It's only 1 start and it was only his MLB debut, but I'm hoping he can continue with performances like this in the future. All we really need from him is to give us 6 to 7 innings every 5th day while keeping his era around 4.50-5.00. Added bonus- the 22 year old pitcher got a hit in his first MLB at bat. Congrats on an all-around fine performance.
Aaron Rowand has been simply awesome this season. I never expected him to hit this well. Of course we all know he's a fan favorite in Philly because of his gritty and ballsy style of play, but the man is keeping this offense afloat too with the help of NL MVP candidate Chase Utley. Rowand is having an All-Star type season, still batting over .300 (.318), his on base percentage is near .400 (.389), and his OPS is .881. I was all for trading him during the offseason for relief help, but he's far more valuable than a setup man now. Latest rumor I've heard, Rowand to ChiSox, Phils get lefty starter Mark Buehrle in return. Nice offer, but this team needs its Fence-Face right now. As mentioned above, Kyle Kendrick was lifted in the 6th for a pinch hitter, which happened to be Rowand who had an rbi groundout. Later in the game he hit a beautiful game-sealing grand slam. That's 5 rbi in a game where he didn't even start. *Notice Rowand's eyes are shut on this swing...interesting, maybe Pat Burrell should try that.
Much Maligned 3rd Basemen:
In yesterday's post I blasted Abe Nunez and Wes Helms. No-Hit Nunez got this verbal jab, "Have no fear, the flail-and-bail fruitless hack is back, with a measly 3 hits in his last 35 at bats dropping his season's line to a .252 average and .627 OPS. His mitt remains his only draw, but his bat is too much of a drawback." I still believe Nuni sucks at hitting, as he's only 4 for his last 36 now, but his pinch hit go-ahead rbi single was nice yesterday. I wouldn't mind seeing Dobbs start against righties and flip-flopping Helms and Nunez against the lefties, and of course have Nunez come into the game as a defensive replacement too.
Helms got a tongue lashing yesterday as well, "Helms has played his way out of playing time with horrendous defense and an anemic bat (.245 average and .606 OPS). Wes has been a huge disappointment in my eyes because I was hoping for 15-20 homeruns from him (currently zero) and adequate defense, but he has supplied neither." Once again, I still think Helms sucks this season, but it was nice to see him hit a homerun yesterday...about damn time! Of course his dazzling defense came shining through with his 7th error at 3rd later in the game.