MIAMI -- Cliff Lee may no longer be a member of Charlie Manuel's rotation, but the Phillies' skipper would like it if one of his current starters, Kyle Kendrick, were a bit more Lee-like.
Manuel talked after Saturday's game about how he wants Kendrick to "pick it up" in terms of the "flow of the game." The manager said Kendrick was taking too long to throw early in his outing -- making him seem "kind of timid" -- before settling in. Then he brought up Lee.
"You know Cliff Lee, one of his biggest things is? He gets the ball and throws it and he keeps you on your toes and the defense is always ready, and he keeps the game at his flow, his tempo and his speed," Manuel said. "[Jamie] Moyer can speed the game up and slow it down. But with Kyle, he's got to get more rhythm and stuff going. ... He likes to pitch, and he's got a chance to be a good pitcher, but he has to be a pitcher."
In the Phillies' 3-2 win on Friday, Kendrick needed 67 pitches to get through the first three innings -- and he made an errant throw to first base in the third that allowed both Marlins runs to score -- but he retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after getting a talk from Manuel in the dugout about tempo.
Kendrick said he wouldn't feel comfortable working as quickly as Lee, but establishing his own rhythm is something he's always trying to get a grasp of in his starts.
"Every game, you try to get in a rhythm," said Kendrick, who's 3-2 with a 5.04 ERA in 10 starts. "It might come in the first, it might come -- like last night -- in the third. It's getting better, but you just try to get in a rhythm as early as you can."