JA Happ took over for Kyle Kendrick yesterday, which is the kind of thing that Phillies’ fans might want to get used to. Kendrick has been miserable over his last five starts and the Phils lost big on his watch again. With the loss the Phils fell two games behind the Mets with 24 games to play, so if Kendrick isn’t out of chances he’s pretty close.

The Phillies have lost four of Kendrick’s last five starts. In those outings he hasn’t gone six innings once and has allowed 22 earned runs in 21 2/23 innings (9.14 ERA) while allowing 34 hits and 14 walks. He’s getting behind virtually every hitter. Over his last five outings he’s thrown 438 pitches in his 21 2/3 innings, about 20.53 pitches per inning. At that rate he’d have to throw 123 pitches to get through six innings.

He has seven strikeouts in his last five starts combined. Lefties are hitting .340 against him for the season.

This article suggests that Hamels may take Kendick’s start against the Mets on Sunday night (the Phillies are off on Thursday).

The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals yesterday afternoon, falling 7-4 to drop to 75-63 on the year. The Phils are two games behind the Mets in the NL East.

The Phillies have called up seven players as rosters expand. Marson, Golson, Happ and Eaton prior to yesterday’s game and Walrond, Cevernak and Tracy after yesterday’s game.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out one.

Willie Harris led off the first with a single to right. Cristian Guzman was next and he grounded to short with Harris forced at second for the first out. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a walk that moved Guzman to second. With Lastings Milledge at the plate, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Milledge singled into center and both runners scored, putting the Nats up 2-0. Milledge stole second as Ronnie Belliard struck out for the second out. Kendrick hit Dukes with a 3-0 pitch, putting men on first and second. Jesus Flores grounded to second for the third out.

Pitcher Tim Redding singled with one out in the second. Harris and Guzman went down behind him.

Kendrick walked Zimmerman to start the third, but got Milledge to hit into a double-play behind him. Belliard followed with a walk, but Elijah Dukes grounded to short for the third out.

Jesus Flores led off the fourth with a single. Emilio Bonifacio was next and popped a ball up behind third. Rollins and Dobbs closed in on it and Dobbs tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch but didn’t come up with the ball. Bonifacio had a single and Flores went to second. Redding bunted back to the pitcher and Kendrick threw to third to force Flores for the second out. With one out and men on first and second, Bonifacio tried to steal third but left too early and was thrown out. It cost the Nats a run, cause Harris was next and blasted a ball to right. Stairs may have lost the ball in the sun. It hit high off the wall, but Stairs was in the wrong place when it did. It bounced over his head and Harris had a triple. Redding scored and it was 3-0. Guzman was next and he doubled to right. 4-0. Zimmerman was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch over the center field wall for a two-run homer. 6-0. Milledge grounded to third for the third out.

The triple by Harris was the first extra-base hit that Phillies’ pitchers had allowed since Soriano’s home run in game two of the series in Chicago.

Happ started the fifth after the Phillies hit for Happ in the top of the inning. Belliard led off with a single and Dukes again was hit by a pitch. It put men on first and second with nobody out, but Happ struck out Flores and Bonifacio and got Redding to ground to shortstop for the third out.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phillies down 6-3.

Condrey came back for the seventh. He got the first two before Dukes hit a ground ball to short. He had a hit anyway, but Rollins threw the ball away. Dukes had a single and went to second on the Rollins error. Flores followed with a double to left, scoring Dukes to make it 7-3. Condrey struck out Bonifacio to end the inning.

Rudy Seanez pitched the eighth. He got the first two before Guzman singled and stole second. Zimmerman grounded to short for the third out.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow one unearned run on four hits. Condrey threw 20 pitches, Happ 17 and Seanez 16.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Tim Redding went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Stairs (8) Coste. Slumping Burrell on the bench against the righty with Werth in left. Stairs makes his Phillies’ debut in right. Dobbs plays third and Coste catches.

Rollins led off the first with a walk. Victorino popped to third before Utley was hit by a pitch, moving Rollins to second. Redding tried to pick Rollins off of second but threw the ball into center field, moving the runners to second and third. Howard struck out for the second out. Werth flew to right.

Bad strikeout for Howard with men on second and third and one out. Not a shining example for the strikeouts-don’t-matter folks.

1-2-3 in the second.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the third, but was thrown out trying to steal second with Utley at the plate.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

Coste walked with two outs in the fifth. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and popped to short.

Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Utley flew to center for the second out before Victorino stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Flores. Howard doubled to right and Victorino scored, getting the Phils on the board at 6-1. Werth walked, putting men on first and second, and lefty Charlie Manning came in to pitch to Dobbs. Feliz hit for Dobbs and loaded the bases with a walk. Burrell hit for Stairs and righty Marco Estrada came in to pitch to him and walked Burrell to force in a run. 6-2. Estrada hit Coste and another run scored. 6-3. Ruiz hit for Happ and grounded to third.

Utley singled with two outs in the seventh. Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

1-2-3 in the eighth.

Rollins homered to right with two outs in the ninth, cutting the lead to 7-4. Victorino grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a steal and a caught stealing.

Utley 1-for-3.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two strikeouts.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs 0-for-2.

Stairs 0-for-2.

Coste 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.

The offense has scored 24 runs in the last six games.

Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.13) faces lefty John Lannan (8-12, 3.92) tonight. Lannan has made one good start in his last three times out, allowing 15 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings. He has a 5.06 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. He has made one start against the Phils this season and was charged with eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. In two starts against the Nats this season he’s allowed one run in 15 innings (0.60 ERA).