Phillies-Brewers: 5 things you need to know

Phillies-Brewers: 5 things you need to know
July 8, 2014, 11:00 am
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Phillies at Brewers
8:10 p.m. on CSN

The Phillies are back! OK, maybe not, but it was certainly fun to see early run support for Cole Hamels and terrific relief behind him by Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon on Monday night.

The Phils beat the NL-leading Brewers, 3-2 in the series opener, and look to make it two in a row on Tuesday night.

Here are five things you need to know about Game 2 at Miller Park:

Giles on fire
Giles did not have his best stuff Monday night. He was unable to throw his slider for a strike, which forced him to repeat fastballs to Ryan Braun, who doubled to begin the eighth inning.

But Giles was still able to navigate his way through the heart of the Brewers' order -- Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez -- to preserve Hamels' lead.

Since allowing a home run to the first batter he faced in the majors, Giles has pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed three hits and three walks and struck out 17. He's dominated in every role, and the next one will likely be closer if Papelbon is moved this month.

Kendrick's turn
Kyle Kendrick (3-8, 4.12) makes his 18th start of the year Tuesday night in Milwaukee. He's coming off an impressive seven-inning, two-run effort in Miami that resulted in the Phillies' third win in his last five starts. (In a sign of just how sad things have gotten, that is an impressive stat.)

Kendrick has averaged 6.4 innings per start this year and is on pace for a career-high 212 frames.

He's been worse on the road with a 4.53 ERA, and when Kendrick faced the Brewers earlier this season he allowed six runs (four earned) on nine hits over five innings.

These Brewers have teed off on Kendrick, hitting a combined .352 with 10 extra-base hits in 88 at-bats. Braun is 9 for 19 (.474) with a double, two homers and seven RBIs. Lucroy is 4 for 8 with a pair of doubles and two walks.

Peralta's journey back to the middle
Brewers 25-year-old right-hander Wily Peralta was unhittable early in the season but has struggled of late.

Through his first 10 starts, Peralta had a 2.12 ERA. Over his last seven, his ERA is 5.15.

The Phillies have faced Peralta twice -- both meetings were in 2013 -- and put 20 men on base against him while plating seven runs in 12 innings.

Peralta has a heavy fastball that averages 96 mph in both four-seam and two-seam fashion, a slider and a changeup.

Utley breaks out
Chase Utley had two extra-base hits in his last 28 games before his first-inning, two-run blast off Marco Estrada Monday night. It was Utley's seventh homer of the year and just his third in his last 177 plate appearances.

Utley saw the ball well overall on Monday with two hits and a walk. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come, because the Phils' 3-4 of Utley and Ryan Howard has been ice-cold while Marlon Byrd has continued to mash extra-base hits out of the five-hole.

Revere's quiet roll
Quietly, Ben Revere is 21 for 52 (.404) over his last 12 games with six steals. It's been quiet because the Phillies are 3-9 in those games and Revere has scored just five runs.

But the All-Star break is right around the corner and Revere is hitting .292 with a .314 on-base percentage. That .314 OBP is actually three points higher than the National League average, which speaks to how far NL offense has fallen.

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