Kyle Kendrick takes the mound for the Phillies tonight as they look to take two of three from the Braves. Kendrick has only faced the Braves once in his career, and though he should have had the win, he took a no-decision. Kendrick was the starting pitcher on September 5th, when the Phillies blew an 8-2 lead losing in the bottom of the ninth 9-8.
Former manger Jim Fregosi referred to some of his players as Red Light Players, meaning when the big game arrives they step up. Jimmy Rollins is someone Fregosi would consider a Red Light Player. Currently having the finest season of his professional career, Rollins will have his eye on John Smoltz tonight as the playoff push continues. In his career, Rollins is hitting .353 with three home runs and twelve RBI’s off Smoltz.
Last night Chase Utley snapped his nineteen-game hitting streak as he went 0 for 3. While snapping a hitting streak is never good, Utley has a lot of success the following day. On days after Utley goes hitless, his season average the following game is .403.
Aaron Rowand is in a mini-slump, going 2 for his last 12, including 1 for 8 against the Braves. Tonight might be the game he breaks out to start a tear to finish the season. This season, Rowand has hit the Braves well (.316, 1 HR 7RBI’s), and in his career against John Smoltz his career average is .333.
Well it’s almost game time. The Phillies are 10-3 over their last 13, and can smell the division lead. Expect Citizens Bank Park to be rocking tonight, as the regular season playoffs continue.
Let’s go Phillies!
In Chuck James’ short career he’s had some success against the Phillies. In five career starts, James is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA. Though he’s undefeated against the Phillies, the big bats of the Phillies have been able to hit James:
Jimmy Rollins – .500, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Pat Burrell – .400, 2HR, 4 RBI
Chase Utley – .308, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Aaron Rowand – .429, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Notably missing form this list is Ryan Howard. Howard has struggled against James, going a career 1 for 14. His only hit off James is a home run.
In Jamie Moyer’s twenty-one year career, the Braves have been a team he’s struggled against. In ten career starts, Moyer is 3-7 with a 5.01 ERA. This season he’s been more successful, going 2-1. The biggest Moyer killer in the Braves potent lineup isn’t who would come to mind. Backup second baseman Martin Prado is a career .500 hitter, with one home run and four RBI’s against Moyer.
The Phillies against the Braves at home usually means runs. The Phillies are hitting .291 with 19 HR and 78 runs scored in their last 15 games against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Well it’s almost time for the game to start, so it’s time to place my attention there. A win tonight, is one step closer to the post-season…