What a way to start off this series with the division-rival Marlins. Cole Hamels was spectacular for the second straight start last night as he tossed his second consecutive complete game shut out. Opposed from his five-hitter against the Braves last week, Hamels allowed just seven hits to the Marlins, who coincidentally, were shutout the game before by Chris Capuano and the Dodgers. It's going to be hard to follow up Hamels' start, but tonight Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.86 ERA) can try. The Phillies' righthander will take on Marlins ace Josh Johnson (7-8, 3.88 ERA) in an effort to take the second game of this series to seal a series win.
Kendrick was roughed up in his last start, against the Braves on Wednesday. Allowing six earned runs on seven hits through 3 1/3 innings, Kendrick was handed his ninth loss of the season. Kendrick walked three and struck out just one before being chased out early. KK has been back in the rotation since Joe Blanton was traded to the Dodgers on August 3rd. In two starts back, Kendrick is posting a 10.14 ERA. Before re-joining the rotation, Kendrick threw seven scoreless relief outings (8 innings). Kendrick has one start against the Marlins this season, back on June 1st. In that game, he threw 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball resulting in a win. In his career, Kendrick is 8-2 with a 4.31 ERA against the Marlins.
Josh Johnson is not having as good of a year as he wants, but of late he's been doing a good job. Johnson is coming off of a losing effort that came from six innings of three-run ball against the Mets. Johnson walked two and struck out four in the tough-luck loss. In his last four starts, Johnson is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA. While giving up five runs in 25 2/3 innings, he's also struck out 26 through that span. Despite his tough loss last week, he's still been successful. In two starts against the Phillies this season, Johnson is 1-1 with a 6.84 ERA. Most recently, on June 29th, Johnson threw six one-run frames against the Phils resulting in a win. In his career against them, JJ is 6-4 with a 3.53 ERA.
The Marlins will feature a rookie debut in tonight's game. Rookie catcher Rob Brantly will make his his major league debut tonight against the Phillies. The 23 year-old was acquired by the Marlins by the Tigers in the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. With John Buck struggling this season (.184/.321/.621), the Marlins are going to test out their new acquisition and will give him the liberty of catching the team's ace.
Tonight's lineup @ Miami:
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Juan Pierre, LF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Domonic Brown, RF
6. John Mayberry, CF
7. Kevin Frandsen, 3B
8. Brian Schneider, C
9. Kyle Kendrick, P
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.