It's not an ideal time for Ryne Sandberg to be making his managerial debut. On Friday his Phillies faced Zack Greinke, who has a 1.45 ERA over his last eight starts. On Saturday, they face Clayton Kershaw (11-7, 1.88), who leads the NL in ERA for the third straight season and is on pace to have the lowest mark since Roger Clemens in 2005.
The Phillies were 3-for-30 in Sandberg's debut but did walk five times. Still, they've hit .216/.266/.367 in 14 August games, averaging 3.5 runs. They've lost 20 of their last 24.
Kyle Kendrick goes for the Phils. He's been ineffective over his last seven starts, posting a 7.25 ERA with an ugly 2.06 WHIP and .348 oppnents' batting average.
The Phils have lost four of five games to the red-hot Dodgers, who have won 41 of their last 49 games. Hanley Ramirez has crushed them, going 7 for 15 with two homers, six RBI and five runs.
The Phillies haven't beaten Kershaw since Sept. 1, 2010, in a game started by Roy Oswalt. In Kershaw's last two starts vs. the Phils he's allowed four runs on 12 hits over 15 innings.
One player he's struggled to retire is Carlos Ruiz, who has reached base in eight of 15 career plate appearances vs. the lefty.
Maybe Jimmy Rollins will do something today. He's hit .241/.279/.291 over his last 60 games, with as many GIDPs (9) as extra-base hits.
1.) Jimmy Rollins, ss
2.) Kevin Frandsen, 2b
3.) Michael Young, 3b
4.) Dom Brown, lf
5.) Darin Ruf, rf
6.) Casper Wells, cf
7.) John Mayberry, 1b
8.) Erik Kratz, c
9.) Kyle Kendrick, p