The Phillies 5-0 win over the Rockies Tuesday night marked their 5th straight win. They also became the first team in baseball to reach 70 wins and continue to hold the best record in the game. As a Phillies fan, life is good.
And the wins keep coming in unexpected ways. Monday night was a late inning rally and extra inning victory. Tuesday night, the Phillies watched their spot starter, Kyle Kendrick, absolutely baffle the Rockies hitters.
The word “baffle” is usually not used in the same sentence as the name “Kendrick,” unless it is Kendrick who looks confused, not the opposition. Kendrick has been an up and down pitcher throughout his career in Philly. It is that inconsistency that is partly the reason he has not earned a solid spot in the rotation. The other part is, of course, the rest of the Phillies starting pitchers, who are outstanding.
But in this game, Kendrick looked like he could keep pace with the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Over eight innings, Kendrick allowed only four hits as he shut-out the Rockies. Kendrick will go back to his home in the bullpen as a long-man once Roy Oswalt returns, but the value of a guy like Kendrick cannot be overlooked.
While Kendrick has pitched well, he has also benefitted from good run support. Ryan Howard smacked two solo homers tonight. Hunter Pence went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Brian Schneider drove in another run on a sac fly.
Back-up catcher Schneider is another example of how important it is to have a solid bench and players who are versatile. He is not setting the world on fire with his bat by any means, but he calls a good game behind the plate and contributes on offense where he can.
The Phillies have a shot at sweeping this series tomorrow afternoon before what is sure to be a difficult series against the Giants. Six straight wins would be very nice momentum going into San Francisco.
Game time Wednesday is 3:10pm; Roy Halladay will pitch in his hometown of Denver.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography