Right-hander John Ennis was as surprised as anybody Friday when pitching coach Rich Dubee told him he'd be starting Saturday against the Florida Marlins.
"I still don't know what happened in our rotation to put me in this position to start," Ennis said, "but I'll take it."
With 22 games left, manager Charlie Manuel and Dubee decided to arrange the rotation according to how pitchers fare against specific teams. For instance, they wanted struggling right-hander Adam Eaton to face the New York Mets and Washington Nationals at Shea and RFK stadiums, pitcher-friendly ballparks. Eaton is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four career starts at Shea.
But the rotation shuffle also will delay surprising rookie right-hander Kyle Kendrick's next start until Wednesday, two days later than scheduled, and eliminate him from facing the Mets next weekend. Lefty Jamie Moyer, right-hander Kyle Lohse and Eaton will start against New York.
Kendrick insists he isn't fatigued, although he has thrown a career-high 181 innings between Class AA Reading and the Phillies. His previous career-high was 176 innings last season.
"This will give me a little rest," said Kendrick, 8-3 with a 3.76 ERA. "This is the most I've thrown. But I feel good. I'm still doing my stuff and taking care of my arm."
Ennis, recalled last week once the minor-league season ended, was 4-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 37 games (seven starts) for Class AAA Ottawa. In his only other major-league start, he allowed two runs in four innings for the Atlanta Braves against the Phillies on April 10, 2002, at Veterans Stadium.
Phillies News & Notes:
Cole Hamels had hoped to play catch Friday. Instead, he saw the doctor. But, after a positive examination by team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti, Hamels will begin a throwing program Saturday. The ace left-hander hasn't pitched since August 16 because of what the Phillies are calling a "mild medial tendon strain" in his elbow. Hamels intends to throw two bullpen sessions next week before he makes his next start. Barring any setbacks, he likely won't pitch for the Phillies until at least a three-game series in St. Louis that begins September 17.
Ryan Howard charged to field a bunt by Marlins pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim in the second inning Friday night, but threw the ball high and wide of third base. Howard was charged with an error that allowed one run to score in the Marlins' four-run inning. It was Howard's 11th error, second-most among major-league first basemen behind Milwaukee's Prince Fielder (13). "The ball started to slip out of my hands," Howard said. "I tried to overcompensate, and it got away."
Aaron Rowand left Friday night's game after the fourth inning with a strained left hip. Rowand said he suffered the injury in the fourth inning when he chased down pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim's drive to right-center field and re-aggravated it a half-inning later when he legged out a single. Manager Charlie Manuel said Rowand likely won't play Saturday.
Pat Burrell's three-run homer in the third inning Friday night was the 214th of his career, leaving him three homers shy of fifth place on the franchise list behind Cy Williams (217).
J.D. Durbin took some ribbing from his teammates when he got through the first inning Friday night. Durbin allowed seven runs without recording an out in the first inning last Saturday night in Florida. "A couple of guys were joking that I got my first out against them as a starter," Durbin said. The Marlins got to Durbin in the second inning, though, building a 4-0 lead.