JEROME WILLIAMS has two arms and can throw a ball 60 feet, 6 inches, which makes him a perfect fit for the Phillies rotation.
As to his efficacy, well, the team isn't in a position to be picky, which is why they claimed the 32-year-old righthander off waivers yesterday and are planning on pitching him against the Angels tomorrow.
"We needed another arm, and he's a guy who has pitched in the big leagues, so we want to take a look at him," manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Williams already has been released by two teams this season. He appeared in 26 games for the Astros with a 6.04 ERA and allowed 11 runs in 10 innings of two starts for the Rangers. In 2012 and 2013, Williams posted numbers similar to those that Kyle Kendrick has given the Phillies over the last couple of seasons, with a 4.57 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 307 innings.
Yesterday, Kendrick allowed six runs in five innings in the Phillies' come-from-behind, 7-6 victory over the Mets. He walked three batters, struck out only one, and allowed two home runs as his ERA swelled to 4.88.
"I fell behind, didn't have command of my off-speed pitches, so when I fell behind, I had to throw something hard," Kendrick said.
"He was coming off a good game where he established a strike zone, was down in the zone and pitched ahead in the count," Sandberg said. "So that's what he has to get back to."
The Phillies got a couple of big hits from two young players who have endured some struggles this season. Domonic Brown entered the day hitting .226/.277/.331, while Cody Asche entered hitting .247/.299/.375. Brown's two-run double in the sixth inning cut the Phillies' deficit to 6-3, and Asche's leadoff double in the ninth sparked their game-winning rally. For the second straight night, Brown had a fielding miscue. This one came in the third inning, when Travis D'Arnaud hit a line drive that the leftfielder pulled up on instead of attempting to make a sliding catch.
"This was a ball that if he could've kept coming and made a sliding catch or an effort to catch that one; it was a catchable ball," Sandberg said.
Mario Hollands, Jake Diekman and Ken Giles combined to log four scoreless innings to keep the Phillies in position for the come-from-behind victory. Hollands is off to a good start in August after a July in which he allowed 13 earned runs with seven walks and six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. In his last four outings, he has allowed just three hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six scoreless innings.
"Hollands has made some adjustments and is back throwing the ball aggressively in the zone," Sandberg said. "The two innings he gave us were big, because overall in the bullpen we were a little short. He has to be ahead of the hitters and mixing his pitches, and he's back doing that again."