Kendrick Struggles, Phils’ Late Surge cut Short

By STEVE WILDMAN
Staff Writer — swildman@highhopesblog.com
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Photo: Yong Kim/ Daily News

Kyle Kendrick got his wish and began the season as a starter.  That’s pretty much where the good news ends for K-squared.

Kendrick lasted just four innings, while giving up five earned runs on six hits.  He didn’t look good from the get-go, after giving up a triple to the Nats’ leadoff hitter, Nyjer Morgan.  A Guzman single, Zimmerman Double, a Dunn groundout, and a Willingham sac-fly later, and the Phils were down 3-0 after the first frame.  After settling down a bit the next two innings, in which the offense was able to make it a one run game, Kendrick gave up two more runs in the fourth.

Just like that, Kyle’s dream return to the starting rotation turned into a nightmare.

It’s been said that Kendrick has been Halladay’s shadow all spring.  If there ever was a time he needs Roy so far this season, that time is now.  Halladay needs to talk to Kendrick about this one.  Get him to shake it off and get ready for the next one, and the next one, and the next one….

One start out of 30-35 does not make a major league starter’s season.  Unfortunately, Kendrick’s starts will be scattered throughout the year, spot-starting for the injured and ineffective.  This means that once Big Joe Blanton is back from the DL, and by all accounts he’s well on his way, it’s back to the bullpen for Kendrick.  That’s the life of a 6th starter on a major league squad.  Hopefully Kyle can shake this one off, as one get’s the feeling that the Phillies will need him this year.

On a brighter note, the offense and the bullpen continue to look strong.  Polanco is fitting in nicely batting second, going 2-5 and giving him 7 hits during the first series of the year.  Batters one through five went 11-23 today collectively, providing all of the hits and the vast majority of the team’s offense.  The Phils threatened late, continuing the trend from last season in which they led the league in come-back victories.  However, the Nats’ closer Matt Capps was able to slam the door shut after allowing an Utley double and intentionally walking Howard

The bullpen, albeit newcomer Figueroa giving up the go-ahead run in the 7th inning, performed well again after Kendrick’s early exit.

All in all, coming out of Washington with a .667 winning percentage to start the season ain’t too shabby.  Now, it’s on to Houston to face the Phillies B-Squad, er the Astros.

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