It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s Super-KK! What a relief for the Phillies after dropping 3 straight games to the Pirates, to see Kyle Kendrick pitch a gem against the Mets. The 4-0 win came just in the nick of time, before this team spiraled way out of control.
In the complete game shut-out, Kendrick allowed only 3 hits and a walk. He kept his cool, even after the home plate umpire suddenly ran off the field in the first inning. Umpire Brian O’Nora apparently took ill and Kendrick was left standing around on the mound around 9-10 minutes waiting for Adrian Johnson to get his home plate gear on.
The delay did not deter the mighty Kendrick. And by some small miracle, the offense actually scored some runs for him. The Phillies had been leaving runners all over the base paths lately. But tonight, they finally came through in the clutch.
In the 6th inning, Michael Young took a break from hitting into double plays for a change and actually singled to score Jimmy Rollins. Then Ryan Howard did what we have been waiting for him to do for weeks and broke the game open with a 3-run bomb to center. Whew!
With Kendrick firing bullets at the Mets, those 4 runs held up. But can the winning continue with a rookie on the mound tomorrow? Jonathan Pettibone takes the mound at 1:05pm tomorrow for his second major league start. Good luck!
“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography
While the big news of the day was the trade of Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, there was still a game to be played amidst all the hoopla. And tonight, the Phillies were looking for a 7-game home stand sweep.
Kyle Kendrick started against the D-Backs and did very well through 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run. Kendrick did walk one batter in each of the first 3 innings, but settled in after that. With JA Happ gone in the trade today, the rotation spot belongs to Kendrick and he will need to keep up the solid pitching.
The Phillies offense, which has been on fire this entire home stand, finally sputtered a bit tonight. Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double in the 5th to score Cody Ransom. The next inning, Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. But the offense ended there. They did have 9 hits off Joe Saunders, but could not score. Saunders had a very bad year with the Angels and was just traded to the D-Backs. He looked ripe for the picking, but the Phillies let him off the hook.
Chad Durbin finished pitching the 7th and Ryan Madson had a very good 8th inning. But manager Charlie Manuel left Madson in for the 9th. One can only assume this is because his confidence in Brad Lidge with a slim 1-run lead is just not there. And who could blame him. But Madson has not pitched more than an inning since coming off the DL and he quickly got into trouble, giving up a lead-off double to start the 9th.
JC Romero took over and allowed a single; a ground out then scored the runner from third, which was charged to Madson. With the game then tied, the drama continued. After an intentional walk and an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Romero. Gerardo Para stepped to the plate and grounded into his second double play of the night. Para was so upset, he slammed his helmet to the ground and was ejected by the first base umpire, Adrian Johnson.
The bad luck for Para seemed like good luck for the Phillies who entered the bottom of the 9th with a chance to win the game. But Jayson Werth, Ransom and Ruiz went down in order and the game headed into extra innings. In the 10th, Lidge was “Light’s Out” finally, sending the D-Backs down in order. So if they had put him in for the 9th, this game may have been over already. Go figure. But you just don’t know what you are going to get out of Lidge these days.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with 2 outs. Ryan Howard, who was 0 for 4 on the night to that point, had a chance to redeem himself. But in the past few games, Howard has started to look very, very confused at the plate. And that translated into a strike out in the 10th to end the inning. During this home stand, Howard is hitting only .185 including the 0 for 5 tonight.
But more bottom of the order heroics were on the way. Ransom, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez, the 6, 7 and 8-hole hitters accounted for 7 of the Phillies 12 hits tonight. So it was only fitting that in the 11th, the same three guys would finally win the game for their team. Ransom walked, Ruiz singled and Valdez knocked in the winning run with a liner to centerfield. The final score was 3-2 which completed a 7-game home stand sweep.
By the way, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies picked up one more game in the standings. They are now 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East.
Tomorrow there will more high drama surrounding the Phillies as Roy Oswalt takes the mound in pinstripes for the first time. He will face the Nationals in DC; game time is 7:05pm. That game marks the first in a 6-game, 7 day road trip; 3 with the Nats and 3 with the Marlins in Miami after the off day on Monday.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
All I could think about as I watched that horrible throw sail past Ryan Howard in the 10th inning on what should have been an inning ending double play was having to sit in traffic with all those angry fans on the way home… UGH! That scored what turned out to be the game winning run for the Cubs. Of course, the game never should have headed in this direction to begin with…
Did you all see the lovely DeRosa home run in the 6th that was actually a foul ball? In fact, every game analyst, radio show host, TV host and pretty much every person in the stadium agreed that it was a foul ball. Even the home plate umpire must have thought it was foul as he gathered the umpires to confer (why else do you call a conference??), but since apparently no one else would grow a backbone and dispute the third base umpire Adrian Johnson, a foul ball miraculously became a homerun! He then proceeds to throw Charlie out of the game (see my photo below). Incidentally, Adrian Johnson is a MINOR league umpire who happens to be on the majors “call-up list” for use only when needed (see here – http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/roster_aaa.jsp). So, the Phillies appear to have gotten totally screwed today by an inexperienced minor leaguer and even worse, Bill Welke, the Home Plate Umpire allowed it to happen. Disgusting.
So as usual, nothing you can do but move on and try to win the game from there. That brings us to the 10th inning disaster. What is going on with Chase Utley? That throw? All the errors of late? Well, let me give a fun theory on this…apparently, he needs a new seamstress and is just too kind to say so. You see, in pre-game warm-ups, he spent a great deal of time fussing over the tightness of his pants. He pulled and yanked and stretched the fabric and grimaced over the obvious discomfort. Take a look:
So clearly, someone needs to either get him a new seamstress or buy the man a pair of pants that fit him! Because obviously he cannot play in this condition with certain body parts feeling so “crowded.” This is a fashion 911 people! Someone please help him or so help me, I will run onto the field and rip those pants right off of him myself! Oh, sorry, the inner voice sometimes escapes in print… :o)
At any rate, back to the horrible throw… Even so, shouldn’t Howard have at least been able to block that throw? As far as I am concerned, there were 2 errors on that play. He needed to at least keep the ball in front of him, even if it meant coming off the bag, to prevent the run from scoring. We have seen Ryan let WAY too many balls go flying past him this year (and last year…). And we are paying him how much? 10 million dollars? AND he’s batting a .191 with 17 strikeouts already. Well, I am still a big fan of Ryan’s and I think the bat will come around, but can we clean up the sloppy play here or what? I mean, dude, earn your pay!
Well, the Phillies did win the series, which is a good thing! Rumor has it we get Jimmy back for the next series. Sadly, Shane Victorino has been DL’d. …And in other news, I have added a video to the bottom of my “About Me” page. It is a Photo Tribute to the 2007 Phillies team I put together at the end of last year. Feel free to check that out. Talk to you all later!