Kendrick powers Phils to win… Wait, what?

By STEVE WILDMAN
Staff Writer — swildman@highhopesblog.com
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Kendrick's eight scoreless weren't enough, but certainly a huge positive in this ten-inning loss. (Photo: AP)

Here’s a lesson for you kids out there:  when writing an article about a baseball game, don’t finish it until the game is over.  Talk about your all-time backfires.

Before  10:09 tonight, all was looking bright in Phillies land.  Until Ryan Madson played the part of ‘Rain’ on the proverbial parade.  After Kendrick pitched a magnificent eight inning gem, Madson allowed homeruns to Troy Glaus and Jason Heyward in the bottom of the 9th which tied the game at 3-3.

In the bottom half of the 10th, Jose Contreras gave up a solo bomb to Nate Mclouth (of all people) to lose it for the Phillies.  Suddenly, just when it looks like the starting staff is getting it’s act together, the bullpen is starting to implode.

This game was enough to make a fan vomit.  What, too soon?

It was certainly quite a turn of events.  If you would like to read this article as it was originally written, see below…

One game after Cole Hamels looked like the 2008 version, Kyle Kendrick reminded us what he’s capable of as well.

Kendrick’s sinker ball was dipping and diving all night, coxing the Braves into ground-out after ground-out.  His biggest hiccup came in the bottom of the 4th, which with one out, after loading the bases on a Prado single, a Chipper Jones double, and an intentional walk to Brian McCann, Kendrick got Troy Glaus to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.

Kendrick’s final line:  8 innings pitched, 4 hits allowed, 2 walks,  and 2 strikeouts on 108 pitches.

After Halladay began the season as the only Phillies’ starter to go past 6 innings through his first three starts, both Hamels’ and Kendricks’ latest outings are positive signs for the staff.  There is still little chance that Kendrick would stay in the rotation after Blanton comes back from the DL only because he is more suited for the bullpen than Moyer.  However, this is certainly an outing to build on, and when (not if) Kyle gets his second chance to make the starting rotation due to injury or ineffectiveness, hopefully he can find confidence as a result.

Other positives from tonight include Ibanez reaching base 3 times after going 1-2 with two walks.  Ibanez has had a dismal first two weeks of the season so far, batting only .186 with 0 homeruns (he had 5 HRs at this point last season).  Polanco and Utley continue to produce atop the lineup despite Rollins on the DL, with both going 2-4 and Chase getting two RBIs.

Speaking of Rollins, it was reported during the telecast that he some practice swings from the left side of the plate today, and that he’s walking with much less of a noticeable limp than last week.  Rollins has been out since the Phillies home opener with a moderately-strained calf muscle.

Let’s hope Halladay feels like pitching a complete game tomorrow night, because right now there’s not one person in the ‘pen Charlie can trust.

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Filed under game recap, Steve Wildman

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