Chase Utley and Ryan Howard combined for four of the Phillies' seven hits, as a big second inning for the Philadelphia bats and excellent performances by both Cole Hamels and Jonathan Paplebon secured a 4-3 win against Milwaukee in Miller Park yesterday.
Today, at 2:10 p.m. Eastern, Philadelphia (55-65) looks to split the series against the Brewers (54-65) before returning to Citizens Bank Park for a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Taking the mound for the Phillies is Kyle Kendrick (5-9, 4.53 ERA), who is coming off of an incredible seven inning shutout performance against the Miami Marlins this past Tuesday.
He will face former Philly and lefty Randy Wolf (3-9, 5.65 ERA), who is currently enduring the worst ERA of his career. The ten-year veteran spent his first eight major league seasons with the Phillies before becoming a free agent in 2006. Since then, he has seen time in Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston and eventually his current home in Milwaukee, beginning in 2009.
Since leaving Philadelphia, Wolf has eight career starts against the Phillies, where he is 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA. His last outing against Philadelphia was at Citizens Bank Park on July 23, where he was issued a no decision after a Francisco Rodriguez blown save in the ninth.
Offensively, the Phillies have performed well against Milwaukee during this series. Over the past three days, Philadelphia has amassed 25 total base hits and scored 10 runs. Ryan Howard has even hit safely over his past 12 starts at Miller Park. The key to this series then, as was demonstrated last night by Cole Hamels' 10 strikeout performance over 7.2 innings of work, has been limiting the Milwaukee offense -- a seemingly tall task for Kendrick, whose approach to this challenge is simple.
I'm going to go out there and try to pitch well, keep us in games and go as long as I can in the game, go deep as I can.