OK, so no one really expects either Kyle Kendrick or Joe Blanton to make a post-season, if the Phillies are able cut down their M*A*S*H* list and get their starting eight in the lineup all at the same time.
And with the recent acquisition of Roy Oswalt, forming as CSN Philly’s Michael Barkann calls them… H2O (Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt), the starting rotation is pretty set.
That leaves just a few scraps on the plate for the other two. And this past week showed why the Phillies went out and traded for Oswalt.
You just can’t trust either Kendrick or Blanton in a big spot. Kendrick has earned that reputation. Blanton was important to the 2008 World Series team, but has been a .500 (or sub-.500) pitcher for the last two seasons and has a knack for loaded up on his pitch count as fast as loading up your plate at an Old Country Buffet.
For Kendrick, it is either “the penthouse or the outhouse”. He has made 22 starts this season, allowing two runs or less in ten of those games and allowing four runs or more in the other 12. Many people say his biggest problem is lack of a “put away” pitch… something which he can strike out the batter, instead of either running a deep count or seeing four or five balls fouled off.
Blanton is also well known for racking up 100 or 110 pitches over five or six innings. And unlike Kendrick who has seven starts in which he has allowed one earned run or less, Blanton has not had a start in which he has allowed fewer than two runs.
So, enjoy the bench, gentlemen.
Who knows, maybe Blanton can be used as a pinch-hitter in the World Series again.