The Phillies hope to avoid digging an 0-2 hole at home when a pair of rookies toe the rubber in Game 2 of the National League Division Series this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Preview: Yesterday, the Phillies couldn’t solve Jeff Francis, who reversed his fortunes against a Philadelphia team that produced 14 runs in 8 1-3 innings when the two sides met earlier in the season. Today, the Phils hope for the same reversal of fortune when they send 23-year-old 10-game-winner Kyle Kendrick to the mound against the team that forced his shortest start of the season. Kendrick was knocked out of that Sept. 12 game when he was hit on the leg by a line drive, but not before giving up three hits on seven runs, including a three-run homer by Matt Holliday. Kendrick rebounded his next start, the first of three-consecutive quality starts to end the season. The sinkerball right-hander has earned high marks for his poise since his emergency call-up from Double-A Reading. Kendrick wasn’t even invited to Phillies spring training and was considered a borderline prospect by most insiders.
The opposite holds true for Rockies starter Franklin Morales, who was rated as the team’s No. 2 prospect before the season by Baseball America. Morales, 21, relies on a plus-curveball, rated as the best in the organization. A late-season call-up, the rookie southpaw went 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA in eight starts, posting a 26/14 K/BB ratio in 39 1-3 innings. He's holding left-handers to a paltry .129 batting average.
Patience would appear to be key for a Phillies lineup that managed just four hits yesterday, including an 0-for-15, nine-strikeout collar from the first four hitters in the lineup.
Beautiful, miserable weather: Crystal-clear skies, meaning shadows will become a factor for the second straight day.