We share final thoughts on the Boston series and discuss starting pitching.
Was it or wasn't it a measuring stick? Yes, it was. Even with key pieces missing from Boston’s lineup, it’s a formidable order that rivals any other club in baseball. The Phillies own no book on Jon Lester, Scott Masterson and hold only Cliffs Notes versions on the rest of their staff. It was an excellent test against an unfamiliar foe.
And how did Boston study up on Kyle Kendrick? They didn’t need to. They punished mistakes out over the plate. While Kendrick did not achieve his 16-7, 4.33 career mark by starting 35 games against the Toledo Mud Hens, doubts still linger whether he can hack it against this kind of team, without the kind of run support he’s used to getting. Kendrick isn’t blessed with the electric cheese; he relies on location, something that went missing yesterday. Six runs is the most he's allowed as a member of the Phillies.
While losing two-out-of-three to Boston, and winning the first game convincingly, shouldn’t cause riots in the streets, it should raise awareness over the strength of the pitching staff. They’ll happily go to war in a playoff series with Cole Hamels. Jamie Moyer has been a capable platoon leader in those conflicts, too, perhaps a little deeper into the jungle. But after that, it's a little uncertain, although Philadelphia is a different club than, say, the Dodgers or Angels in they can light up the scoreboard in a hurry and make up for the damage allowed by their starting pitcher. Nevertheless, the Phils feel they need more. According to yesterday's Inquirer, they sent a scout to watch C.C. Sabathia and Greg Maddux duel on Sunday.