The Phillies dropped the first game of this 3 game series against the Nationals today, losing 7-4. Kyle Kendrick, who took the loss, has become a real problem for this Phillies team. Today, he gave up 6 earned runs in only 4 innings; Kendrick was wild his entire outing as he also walked 3 with one hit batter. Out of his last 11 starts, Kendrick has had only 4 Quality Starts (min. 6 innings, no more than 3 runs allowed). He is averaging less than 5 1/3 innings per start in those 11 games since 7/6/08 and his ERA has ballooned to 5.06. Among his issues have been the lack of control, inability to spot his pitches and his sinker has seemingly stopped sinking. He is constantly leaving pitches up in the zone and has way too many base runners. I really don’t think this team can afford to start Kendrick again. With the roster expanded today, I’d start getting JA Happ ready to replace Kyle in his next start. Whether Charlie Manuel decides to do this or not, I do not know, but at the very least, I think if Kendrick goes out there again and has a bad game, at that point, I believe he will be done.
And what is it about Tim Redding, an average pitcher with a 4.55 ERA, that makes his pitches invisible to Phillies hitters? Was he exposed to some kind of cosmic radiation and now has super-invisibility powers? Because every time the Phils face this guy, they look like little leaguers up there at the plate. It took until the 6th inning for the Phillies to get a hit off this guy and then luckily, the radioactive hit by Shane Victorino must have knocked off Redding’s magical invisibility cape. Because after that, Ryan Howard hit a double to score Victorino and then Redding walked Jayson Werth. 2 more walks after that by the relief pitcher, Charlie Manning, gave the Phillies 2 more runs in the inning.
Sadly, those 3 runs were not enough to overcome the giant crater-sized hole the Phillies dug for themselves against this last place team. Once again, they left way too many runners on base, stranded men in scoring position and did not hit in clutch situations. The defense also looked sloppy; even the usually solid Jimmy Rollins committed a throwing error which led to a Nationals run. The Mets won today and this loss puts the Phillies a full 2 games behind in the standings. We are either about to witness a very slow and painful death of the Phillies season or, somebody better start knocking heads together in that locker room and get them back on track. 4 hits against a last place team is disgusting. If the Phillies don’t win the next 2 games in this series, they are in serious trouble.
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