With a series win on the line, the Phillies sent Kyle Kendrick to the mound against the Pirates yesterday afternoon. The results were not what they hoped for.
The 5-4 loss ended the home stand with a 5-5 record and a 2-2 split series with the Bucos. Of the 2 games in the series they lost, the bullpen accounted for one and most everyone had a hand in the second loss.
If you have read my posts before, you may already be aware that I am not a big Kendrick fan. He gave up 5 runs last night during the first 6 batters he faced, putting the team into a big hole they could not climb out of. But I was all prepared to spread the blame around and try not to pick on Kendrick. Because he did wind up pitching 6 scoreless innings after that 1st inning disaster. And certainly, the offense going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position was out of his control.
But then I read what Kendrick had to say after the game and my mood soured once again. “I gave us a chance to win,” Kendrick said. “I pitched deep into the game. They needed me to pitch deep into the game. I did that. We were in the game. We had a chance to win the game. Yeah, you never want to give up runs, but I was happy with myself to go deep like that and give us a chance.”
Happy? He was happy after that? O…M…G… Excuse me while I vomit…
Once in a post-game interview after pitcher Vance Worley had a rough game, he declared, “I sucked.” No excuses, just the simple truth. It is hard to get mad at a guy who admits his failings without hesitation and takes full responsibility. My reaction to that is, “Ok, kid. Go get ‘em the next time!”
But Kendrick’s complete denial of how badly he screwed up is tough to stomach. Especially when, based on the 6 scoreless innings after the bad inning, it is obvious he is capable of better. It is that exact attitude/vibe that I have always felt coming from him which has led to my slight lack of respect for the guy. And now, it appears that gut feeling was absolutely correct.
If I know I can do better and I fail to live up to my capabilities in any aspect of life, I am certainly not happy with my effort. I would be very disappointed and upset with myself, whether it was all my fault or not. Because I owe it to myself to be the best I can be. If you do not respect yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to.
And the idea that Kendrick is either too immature or too delusional to see this is very, very sad. If he finds this effort to be sufficient, I really do feel sorry for the guy. He is not only denying his teammates of the best he has to offer, he is denying himself.
So no, this loss was not all Kendrick’s fault. But he is certainly doing himself no favors by settling for a mediocre performance.