There was an awful lot going on in last night’s 1-0 Phillies win over the Marlins. And it all began with just the second pitch of the game which Jimmy Rollins sent screaming over the right field wall for the 41st lead-off homer of his career.
That turned out to be the only run of the game, which was also a record-setting game for Rollins. He picked up his 1,731st game at shortstop, making him the leader in games played at that position for the Phillies. J-Roll passed friend and former manager Larry Bowa to snag the record.
It was also a record setting night for manager Charlie Manuel. With the victory, he notched his 700th win as the Phillies skipper. And that win was punctuated by the decision he made to give Kyle Kendrick one more shot at a starting role. Everyone, including Manuel, has been frustrated by the way Kendrick has pitched lately, so this moved seemed chancy.
The gamble paid off though. Manuel had a heart-to-heart with Kendrick before the game that seems to have motivated him. We all know Kendrick can pitch; the problem is he is never consistent. One day he is great, the next start, he is awful. But as is Manuel’s style, he sticks with his players.
Kendrick rewarded Manuel’s loyalty with 7 strong, scoreless innings against the Fish. He gave up only 5 hits and did not walk anyone. The real question now is, can he repeat this in his next start. We shall see…
So the Phillies went on to win with only the Rollins solo homer supporting them. This win ensures another series victory for the Phils who are slowly rounding back into non-last place form.
They could sweep the series with another win today in Miami.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography