One of the best parts about the game tonight, besides the Phillies getting the win, is that at least the game wasn’t over after the Fish scored in the top of the 1st inning off of starter Kyle Kendrick. Because, as Phils fans can attest, if this game were two weeks ago, you could flip the channel to the newest episode of ‘Glee’ after Florida’s Gaby Sanchez hit a solo homerun five minutes into the game and be rest assured they would have lost 1-0.
Tonight wasn’t the best of nights, however, for one Kyle Kendrick. There have been some rumblings that the High Hopes site was on the Kyle Kendrick payroll, and that game recaps are only written after he has a good start. Well, here we are on a night where K-squared wasn’t at his best. Kendrick lasted only five innings tonight, giving 6 runs (5 earned) on six hits and one walk. Coming into tonight’s game, Kyle had lowered his ERA to 4.62 after going 3-1 in his previous 6 starts.
However, on a night which will hopefully provide the Phillies’ batters with warm and fuzzy feelings for more games to come, it was the bats that bailed out the pitching. After the Marlins took a 4-0 lead after the top of the third inning, Ryan Howard blasted an opposite field, two-run homerun and Raul Ibanez singled in Ben Francisco to make it a 4-3 game. The Phillies were finally able to tie the game with a couple of small-ball runs in the bottom of the 5th inning to make it a 6-6 ballgame. Florida starter Chris Volstad was pulled in the bottom of the 6th inning, and the Phillies took advantage by scoring another run in the frame off of a Chase Utley sacrifice fly to take a 7-6 lead.
Then, after a fingernail-pullingly frustrating two innings, Florida took an 8-7 lead after scoring a run in both the top of the 7th and 8th innings off of Chad Durin and Jose Contreras, respectively.
But this is the new and improved, June 8th version of the Philadelphia Phillies, folks, and the team responded accordingly by scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning with a walk, an HBP, and a couple of singles.
Brad Lidge came into the game to close it out in the top of the 9th, and was able to escape a bases loaded jam to earn his 2nd save since coming back from the disabled list in May, and 3rd overall for the season. Tonight was also the first time the Phillies scored double-digit runs since May 17th versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Let’s all hope that the game tonight, while not the prettiest, is a step in the right direction for a Phillies squad who lost 11 of their last 15 games coming into tonight, while scoring 1.9 runs per game during that span. After all, it’s amazing what a couple crooked numbers on a scoreboard can do for a team’s confidence.