In tonight’s start against the Cardinals, Kyle Kendrick went from zero to hero. Kendrick pitched well in Spring Training, but since the season began he has had just one good start. After a clean 7 innings today with no runs, 6 hits and 2 walks, can this Superhero hold onto his cape? Or will Kendrick morph into an evil villain for his next start?
Consistency is the key. Right now, Kendrick is a one-hit wonder. He is going to need to repeat this success next time out if the Phillies are going to buy into the Superhero façade.
The offense gave Kendrick some runs to work with, but they did not start churning them out until the 4th inning. Placido Polanco smashed a 2-run homer and Shane Victorino hit a solo shot in the 6th. Their 4th run came after Juan Castro singled and Greg Dobbs drove in Wilson Valdez, the pinch runner, with a long double. The bad news is, Castro limped off the field and that is why Valdez was put in. No word yet on how serious the injury may be, but it appears to be a hamstring strain.
After the 7th inning, the game was left to the Phillies bullpen. The pen has not been good so far this year. Danys Baez pitched a clean 8th and Jose Contreras was handed the 9th. With his mother in the stands whom he had not seen since 2003, Contreras had some inspiration. They had been separated since Contreras defected from Cuba and until this home stand, she had never seen her son play in person.
So it was a special night for Contreras, being able to close out the game, and he rose to the occasion. He sent the Cards down in order to hand the 4-0 shut-out victory to the Phillies. It was also Kendrick’s first win of the year.
It will be a quick turn-around for the Phillies as tomorrow’s 4-game finale starts at 1:05pm. Roy Halladay will face ex-Phillie Kyle Loshe. Halladay will be pitching for a series win and his 6th individual win of the season.
Head shot by Jenn Zambri Photography