Before tonight’s 7-1 loss to the Cardinals, Kyle Kendrick was sent back to the minors. Yesterday, he allowed 7 runs to the Cards in 5 innings and has been inconsistent all year.
Andrew Carpenter was called up to play the long-man role in the bullpen until a new starter is announced to take Kendrick’s place. It will likely be JA Happ, but an outside trade is not out of the question either.
In fact, the Phillies have now been forced to look even harder for starting pitching help as Jamie Moyer lasted only 1 inning tonight and left with a left elbow strain. Carpenter got into a game a lot quicker than he probably anticipated. He took over for Moyer in the second and pitched 3 innings, allowing 3 runs on a 2-run homer and a wild pitch that scored a runner from third.
Given the circumstance, Carpenter did a decent job. But now the Phils are in a very, very bad spot. They need pitching help and they need it now. It is unknown right now how serious Moyer’s injury may be, but the fact that it is his elbow does not bode well.
The need for pitching help was magnified in the 5th inning by another very bad outing from reliever, Danys Baez. Without recording an out, Baez walked two batters and then gave up a 3-run homer to dig a deeper hole for his team. Many people, including manager Charlie Manuel, have defended Baez throughout the year. But there is just no excuse anymore; he is clearly not the pitcher he once was and shows no signs of improving. By the way, Ruben Amaro Jr. signed this dud to a 2-year contract. Ugh.
As for the offense, it was non-existent again. Shane Victorino hit a double for the lone RBI of the game. Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco had 2 hits each, but that was basically all that happened that was positive. The Phillies did have runners on first and third with one out on the 3rd inning, thanks to great base running from Wilson Valdez. But Jimmy Rollins blew it and hit into a double play. When the guy that makes your team “go” is now making them “stop,” things are very bad.
Before tonight’s game, Rollins expressed his displeasure with the recent media coverage of the Phillies to Todd Zolecki of the Zo Zone. He said, “It’s not over. You can write it like it’s over. But the guys with the bats and the balls they control what the pen says.” Really? Well then Jimmy, show us a different result and we will show you some more positive media coverage.
Because right now, this team looks like a sunken ship. I would not even mind the losses so much if the Phils acted like they were putting up a fight.
Instead, they look like zombies out there; the spark is gone. It is like watching the colorful fall leaves turn brown, wither and die. It is a slow, painful and depressing process. Watching the life being slowly sucked out of this once great team is about as much fun as a root canal.
The Phillies still have time, but as each day passes and they fall further behind in the standings, the less likely it becomes that they will snap out of this funk before it is too late. In short, the Phillies may wind up skipping right past Fall and move straight into Winter.
Carpenter photo by Jenn Zambri Photography