BIG Z UPDATE: Carlos Zambrano made his debut in extended Spring Training today, throwing two innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. A pretty good return to professional baseball for Big Z.
With last night’s win, this series is already going better for the Phillies than the one they played last month, when the Reds swept them out of Cincinnati. It’s been a struggle to get back to.500 for the Phils, but with ace Kyle Kendrick on the mound, they could actually pull to within one game of that mark for the first time since April 15 when they were 6-7.
Kendrick has pitched at least seven innings and allowed two runs or less in his last four starts, and five of his last six. In fact, since his rocky 2013 debut, he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start. Against the Reds, he has posted a career 4.19 ERA, but much of that came when he was a less seasoned pitcher. He hadn’t started against the Reds since July of 2010 before this season when he held them scoreless of seven innings on April 16 in a 1-0 loss. He’ll have his work cut out for him against a Reds lineup that is third in the NL in runs scored.
It’s the rock star, Bronson Arroyo, on the bump for Cincy. Hard to believe the 37-year old is still pitching the way he is, as he’s consistently given the Reds solid seasons over the course of his 30s. But even at 3.76, Arroyo has the highest ERA of any Reds starter. The Phils need to get to this guy. Over the course of his career, Arroyo’s had trouble when facing Philly, posting a 6.00 ERA. Surprisingly, much of that has been done is his home ballparks, as his ERA is a very respectable 3.33 when pitching at CBP.
John Mayberry gets the start in center for the fourth consecutive game, while Erik Kratz gets a look behind the plate.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, M. Young 3B, Howard 1B, D. Young RF, Brown LF, Mayberry CF, Kratz C, Kendrick P
GAMEDAY BEER: Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre
The box on this brew from Dogfish Head proclaims, “American beer of the year!” I’m too lazy to verify whether that’s actually true or not, but I can tell you the Raison D’Etre is one hell of a craft beer. It’s a mahogany ale, brewed with Belgian beer and green raisins. Like most Dogfish Head selections, it’s got a rich flavor and is quite heavy. At 8% alcohol by volume, it’s a great beer to get your night started. Enjoy! – RD