With Roy Oswalt sent to the DL, the Phillies needed a spot starter tonight against the Braves. They went with Kyle Kendrick and the move paid off.
Kendrick has been in the bullpen all year, so his pitch count was limited. But he managed to get through five innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only two hits and striking out two.
The Phillies offense came up with a few key hits to give the team a 3-0 lead through those five innings. Pete Orr played second and had an RBI-fielder’s choice in the second for the first run of the game. The second run was a historic one.
Ryan Howard smashed his career 260th home run in the fourth, passing Del Ennis for 2nd place in Phillies career home runs. Mike Schmidt is in first place with 548 homers. Howard has a long way to go to match Schmidt, but 2nd place is very impressive.
Ennis’ widow Liz, an avid baseball fan, called the Phillies after the historic homer and had them leave a note of congratulations for Howard. It was a very classy move. During the game broadcast, announcer Tom McCarthy noted that Liz made the call after realizing the telegram was no longer being used. :O)
Anyway, run #3 in the game came from a Shane Victorino triple in the fifth. Earlier in the day, Victorino was in the Majestic Clubhouse Store at the stadium signing copies of his new book, “Shane Victorino: The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” He must have been really pumped up after the turnout. I heard from a source outside the ballpark that fans who showed up an hour early for the signing were told the line was already cut-off and they were turned away.
I am totally off topic here, but I have one last note about the book. In the next week or so, I plan on writing a review of the book. I will also reveal some personal conversations I had with Shane’s parents and also his wife, Melissa, many years back about one of the main talking points of the book, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I was very glad to hear Shane shared this in the book as I am sure it will help many people suffering from the disorder. So, stayed tuned for that…
Back to the game…by the sixth inning, this turned into a battle of the bullpens and a 3-0 Phillies lead. Coming out of the pen for the Phillies was J.C. Romero, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson. Each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the Phillies win.
With so many questions surrounding the Phillies bullpen this year, it is very good to see everyone stepping up. Especially for young pitchers like Stutes and Bastardo, their performances so far this year have been outstanding.
The series is now split 1-1. Tomorrow the Phillies will send Cole Hamels to the mound as they try to win the series with the Braves. It is another dreadful ESPN 8pm start on a Sunday; the second Sunday in a row. I will be there and return with photos.
FYI – The MLBlogs conversion to WordPress has been postponed until next weekend, 5/13-5/16…shocking, I know. Anyway, just keep stopping by and if there is yet another delay, I will let you know. Thanks!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography