Kyle Kendrick's streak of seven straight starts allowing two runs or fewer was snapped last weekened against the Reds, but he still managed to minimize the damage and keep the Phils in the game against a potent Cincinnati offense. Perhaps a new streak starts tonight?
Kendrick's success goes way deeper than his last seven starts. It reaches as far back as last August, and his work as a starter has been stellar since the beginning of 2011 (3.45 ERA). Still, a good night in D.C. would go a long way in proving this Kendrick is here to stay.
The three most important Nats -- Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond -- are a combined 26-for-68 (.382) off Kendrick with 12 doubles, four homers and a triple. Harper and Desmond hit him around last season, but Zimmerman struggled against the new Kendrick, going 0-for-11.
The Phillies face Jordan Zimmermann (7-2, 1.62), who leads the NL in wins and complete games, and is third in ERA and WHIP (0.87). Zimmermann has allowed three runs or fewer in 37 of 41 starts since 2012.
• They rank 29th in baseball in batting average (.225), OBP (.289) and OPS (.653). Only the Marlins are worse in each category.
• Left-handed Nats relievers not named Tyler Clippard have a .339 opponents' batting average vs. lefties. It was strange that the Nationals let Sean Burnett walk and never replaced him. They entered the spring with Zach Duke, J.C. Romero and Bill Bray as their LOOGY candidates, and Romero and Bray didn't make it. Lefties are hitting .440 off Duke, which caused Washington to bring up Fernando Abad, who throws left-handed but hasn't had much success to date.
Lefties are 1-for-31 this season against Clippard, thanks to a very good changeup. But he can't face every lefty late in the game, and Drew Storen has been especially bad against opposite-handed hitters.
• Adam LaRoche is hitting .314 in May but is still struggling with men on. He's driven in just 13 of 106 baserunners this season for a 12.3% RBI rate that ranks 211th among major-leaguers with at least 50 plate appearances. Considering Ryan Zimmerman is red-hot this month, it's probably wise to avoid him and pitch to LaRoche whenever possible.
1) Jimmy Rollins, SS (raised BA 30 points in last 13 games)
2) Ben Revere, CF ) Michael Young, 3B
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) Delmon Young, RF
6) Domonic Brown (XBH in 4 of last 5 games)
7) Freddy Galvis, 2B
8) Erik Kratz, C
9) Kyle Kendrick, P
And for the Nationals
1) Denard Span, CF (7th in NL in pitches per plate appearance)
2) Bryce Harper, RF
3) Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4) Adam LaRoche, 1B
5) Ian Desmond, SS
6) Kurt Suzuki, C
7) Tyler Moore, LF (hitting .121 this season)
8) Steve Lombardozzi, 2B
9) Jordan Zimmermann, P
1) Mike Adams will be activated from the DL on Sunday. He hasn't pitched since May 10 because of a mid-back strain.
2) Shane Victorino (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL this afternoon, retroactive to May 21. The Phillies play the Red Sox four times from May 27-30 and Victorino will be shelved for all four games. He's hitting .283/.343/.362 this season, but has already missed 14 games with nagging injuries.