The second game in the series against the Nationals tonight did not start out well. It was Kyle Kendrick’s second start this year; both starts have been against these Nats. In his first start, he got beat up pretty good. Tonight, the Nats completely destroyed him.
Kendrick gave up 3 runs right away in the 1st inning but in the bottom of that same inning, the Phillies bats bailed him out with 4 runs to take the lead. So what does Kendrick do in the 2nd inning? He gave up 3 more runs and handed the lead right back. Kendrick was pulled after only 1 2/3 innings and his ERA soared to a shocking 17.47.
The most disturbing part of Kendrick’s start to the season is that both outings were against the Nationals, probably the worst team in the league. So I have to ask, where is the Kendrick from February and March who gave up only 2 runs in all of spring training? You may have an easier time finding that pesky Waldo then finding the Kendrick of spring. Oh wait, I see him…he is being charcoaled on the grill…
But the Nationals could not keep this team down; the Phils took that 2nd inning lead right back from the Nats in their half of the inning, scoring 3 more runs to make it a 7-6 game. Nelson Figueroa did a great job filling in as the long man, allowing just 1 run in his 3 1/3 innings. The Phillies bats scored a bunch more runs for him too, lining Figueroa up to be the winning pitcher. Figueroa went 2 for 2 at the plate as well, with a single and a double. Chad Durbin pitched 2 scoreless innings after that and Antonio Bastardo took over in the 8th. David Herndon finished off the 9th; in all, the pen allowed just the one run.
A few of the offensive highlight tonight included 4 hits and 5 RBI from Shane Victorino, who had been struggling at the plate until tonight. His 7th inning bases clearing, 3-run triple was just what everyone had been waiting to see. Victorino is batting lead-off now that Jimmy Rollins is on the DL with a calf strain. J-Roll’s recovery time may be anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
While J-Roll will be sorely missed, the offense did not skip a beat without him tonight. Wilson Valdez was called up to fill the bench spot. Juan Castro should do a fine job filling in at shortstop in the meantime, even if his bat is not very impressive; he went 0-4 tonight at the plate.
But the rest of the team is hitting, so all is well. Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard had 2 hits each and Chase Utley hit 2 home runs in the game; one was a 3-run homer in the 2nd to give the lead back to the Phils and the other was a solo shot into the second deck of right field. Utley looked more like he was wielding a sledgehammer than a bat.
So the Phillies walk away with a 14-7 win and still have only had one game this year where they scored fewer than 5 runs in a game. Tomorrow at 3:05pm, JA Happ will start. Roy Halladay’s first home start has been moved up to Friday to keep him on his normal rest schedule after Tuesday’s day off. Jamie Moyer will pitch on Saturday.
Photos by Jenn