Right-hander Freddy Garcia isn't setting the world on fire, but he's a damn sight better than his opponent, Byung-Hyun Kim. Game time is 7:05 p.m. as the Phillies resume their series in South Florida.
Last night: After two Jayson Werth homers provided an early lead, the Phillies allowed four runs to cross home in the sixth inning and lost 5-3. Cole Hamels (6-2) took the loss after allowing five runs in six frames, but he didn’t get much help from his defense. After the game, center fielder Aaron Rowand, who appeared to have misjudged Miguel Cabrera’s deep triple, shouldered the blame. "I should have taken a deeper route," Rowand said. "I misjudged it. I feel it was my fault we lost this game."
Not entirely. Without a quality start to support them, the ineffective offense was exposed. Collectively, the Phillies are hitting just .184 (28-152) in their last five games and are averaging just 3.4 runs/game in that span. Hot starters like Rowand have come down to earth, not to mention Jimmy Rollins, who’s plummeted like a meteorite. The shortstop has just eight hits in his last 55 at-bats (.145).
The 7-3 home stand was a bit of an offensive mirage as the team generated a fair share of garbage runs with a lot of dink-and-dunk hitting. Abraham Nunez is king of the slap hit and has the most hits (24) by a Phillies player this month. He's not the player you want leading the team in hits. Only four of those hits are for extra bases, all doubles. Between Nunez, Greg Dobbs and Carlos Ruiz, the home stand formula wasn’t built to last, and now that the rest of the lineup is sort of treading water, they could use a lift.
The lift: Ryan Howard, who’s expected back in the lineup Friday, went 2-for-3 with a double, homerun and a walk in his first rehab start at Lakewood.
Preview: Freddy Garcia (1-3, 4.86 ERA) vs. Byung-Hyun Kim (2-2, 7.15 ERA)
A betting man would avoid any game involving the Phillies against an Asian pitcher. Kim has faced the Phillies 16 times (two starts) in his career, recording a 4-2 mark with three saves and a 3.18 earned run average. Pat Burrell is only 1-for-11 against him, so tonight would be an ideal time for a defensive replacement such as Michael Bourn to get his first career start. Garcia takes the hill winless in his last five appearances (0-2) and was handed the loss the last time out on May 17 against Milwaukee, allowing a pair of runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.