No team is off to a better start at the plate than the Philadelphia Phillies. However, a big chunk of that offense won’t be available Wednesday night.
Kyle Kendrick(notes) (0-0, 11.25 ERA) takes on Craig Stammen(notes) (0-0, 7.20) in a rematch from the only game Philadelphia (6-1) has lost. Neither pitched well the first time - Washington won 6-5 on Thursday - but Stammen will have the added edge of not facing one of the Phillies’ best bats.
Rollins was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, two days after straining his right calf during warmups before Monday’s home opener - a 7-4 victory over the Nationals.
“I think a calf takes a while to heal,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “He seemed in pretty good spirits.”
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said an MRI revealed a mild to moderate strain of Rollins’ right calf, and he hopes the recovery period will be two to four weeks.
The Phillies’ No. 2 hitter has keyed their hot start. Offseason acquisition Placido Polanco(notes) is among the league leaders with a .484 average, driving in 10 runs, and he had the go-ahead RBI single Monday.
Chase Utley(notes) had a two-run homer and Ryan Howard(notes) had two hits for the sixth time with his team-leading 11th RBI, helping Philadelphia maintain the major league lead in runs (50) and batting average (.307).
The Phillies are off to their best start since opening 8-1 in their 1993 pennant-winning season.
Washington (3-4) has not had nearly as much success offensively, averaging 3.7 runs while batting .218.
Ryan Zimmerman(notes), coming off a career season in which he hit .292 with 33 homers and 106 RBIs, is batting .211 without a homer. He’s missed the last two games with a hamstring problem but should return Wednesday, and he’s hit .538 against Kendrick with an RBI double last week.
“Looking back, I see what I did wrong and what I did right,” Kendrick told MLB’s official Web site. “Obviously the numbers didn’t show.”
In his last six starts, dating to September 2008, Kendrick is 1-2 with a 9.12 ERA and has lasted past the fourth inning once. He’s 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA in seven starts against the Nationals.
Stammen didn’t fare much better Thursday, allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings, though he did not walk a batter.
“My goal was not to put any extra people on base as far as walks, hit batters and stuff like that,” Stammen said. “My game plan is pretty much simple: Go right at them and not be afraid.”
Stammen is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in his last eight outings.