Kendrick, the Phillies' best starter over the first month-and-a-half of the season, has a 5.70 ERA in his last six starts. He takes on Washington (34-36) after his worst start since Aug. 8 of last season. In his previous outing, Kendrick allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings against Colorado. He threw first-pitch strikes to just nine of his 24 batters faced, walked two and did not record a strikeout.
Tonight, if Kendrick attacks hitters and jumps ahead in counts, the Phillies (35-37) should have a solid chance to win their seventh straight home game and improve their division-best 18-9 record vs. the NL East.
The Phillies will try to do so against a left-hander who's tough to hit because of a dangerous repertoire, but will help the opposition if they let him. Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.40) has an opponents' batting average of .200, which is fourth-best in the NL to only Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey and Travis Wood.
However, Gonzalez ranks fourth among all of baseball in most pitches per plate appearance (4.11) and is tied for fifth with the most walks (39).
In four starts versus the Phillies last season, Gonzalez went 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA, while striking out 29 and walking nine.
If the Phillies can complete a sweep of the Nationals, they'll take over sole possession of second place in the NL East before welcoming the Mets (27-40) to Citizens Bank Park for three games.
Here are tonight's lineups:
1. Ben Revere, CF (8 runs in last 7 games)
2. Michael Young, 3B (17 for last 41, .415 avg.)
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Domonic Brown, LF
6. Delmon Young, RF
7. Kevin Frandsen, 2B (.381 avg. vs. lefties)
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Kyle Kendrick, P
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Anthony Rendon, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF (1 for 14, .071 avg. vs. Kendrick)
6. Ian Desmond, SS (10 for 25, .400 avg., 2 HR vs. Kendrick)
7. Roger Bernadina, LF
8. Kurt Suzuki, C
9. Gio Gonzalez, P