Much like his fellow starter Cole Hamels, the 2010 season didn’t start the way that Kyle Kendrick was hoping. After an impressive showing in 2009 and an awesome spring training, Kendrick came out flat to start 2010 and the Washington Nationals jumped all over him. Kendrick allowed one extra-base hit in 26 1/3 innings for the Phils in 2009. In 2010 he had allowed more than that before he got an out.

Kendrick bounced back a bit after the miserable start, setting down nine in a row before giving up another pair of runs in the fourth. He didn’t pitch in the fifth, though, and that’s a big problem given the unproven pitchers manning the bullpen and the injuries to key relievers. It was the second day in a row that the Phillies starter didn’t get an out in the sixth inning. That’s not going to work.

Despite getting behind early, the Phils battled back and made a game of it. What they didn’t do was hit when they needed to most, going 1-for-14 in the game with runners in scoring position. Raul Ibanez, who was so fantastic at the start of 2009, has started 2010 cold. Down a run with a runner on third and one out in the ninth, Ibanez couldn’t bring the run in as his average dipped to .091 on the very early season.

Despite yesterday’s frustrations, the offense is looking quite healthy. They lead all teams in either league in runs scored and have five regulars (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz and Polanco) with an OPS for the season that’s over 1.000 after three games.

The Phillies are 2-1 on the season after losing to the Washington Nationals 6-5 yesterday.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. It’s going to be a long year for him if he allows an extra-base hit an inning.

Nyjer Morgan led off the bottom of the first for Washington and drove a ball to the wall in right field that went for a triple. Cristian Guzman followed and singled into center, scoring Morgan to put the Nats up 1-0. Ryan Zimmerman was next and he doubled to left, sending Guzman to third. Adam Dunn was next and he hit a ground ball to first. Howard took it for the out, but both runners moved up a base with Guzman scoring to make it 2-0. It brought Josh Willingham to the plate with one down and Zimmerman on third. Willingham hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Zimmerman to tag and score. 3-0. Willie Harris lined to first to end the inning.


It got better after that. For a while anyway.

Adam Kennedy, Wil Nieves and the pitcher Craig Stammen went down in order in the second with the Washington lead cut to 3-1.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 third, too, getting two ground balls and striking out Zimmerman.

The bottom of the fourth started with the Phils down 3-2. Dunn led off and singled to right. Willingham lined to Polanco at third for the first out, but Harris was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center to put Washington ahead 5-2. Kennedy followed with a double, but Kendrick got the next two hitters to leave him stranded.

Jose Contreras pitched the fifth with the lead cut to 5-4. He got Morgan to start the inning, but Guzman followed doubled to right. A ground out by Zimmerman moved Guzman to third with two down, but Contreras got Dunn to ground out to Utley to end the inning.

Just added to the roster today, Nelson Figueroa started the bottom of the sixth with the game knotted at 5-5. He got the leadoff man Willingham before Harris drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Kennedy popped to short for the second out and Harris stole second with Nieves at the plate. Nieves grounded to short for the third out.

Right Alberto Gonzalez pinch hit for the pitcher Tyler Clippard to start the seventh. Figueroa, also a righty, walked him on five pitches. That’s not the way to start the inning. Figueroa almost got away with it, but not quite. Morgan bunted Gonzalez to second and a ground out by Guzman put him on third with two down. It sure looked like Figueroa had struck Zimmerman out on a 1-2 pitch, but it must have been low cause Figueroa didn’t get the call. Zimmerman popped a ball down the right field line that landed just fair for a double. Gonzalez scored and the Nats led 6-5. The lefty Dunn was walked intentionally and Figueroa got the righty Willingham to foul out to Polanco.

Nice outing for Figueroa. He sure look like he got Zimmerman and the fact that he didn’t had a big impact on the game. A lot of bad stuff can happen when you walk the leadoff man.

Bastardo pitched the eighth, having thrown one pitch in an appearance the day before. He got Harris swinging and Kennedy on a fly ball to right. Herndon came in to pitch to the righty Nieves and Nieves reached on an infield single. Righty Ian Desmond hit for the pitcher and hit a ball back up the middle, but Rollins made a great diving play and threw to second to force Nieves and end the inning.

Bastardo does the job against two lefties. Herndon emerges unscathed against a pair of righties despite allowing the infield hit. Bastardo can’t pitch to the righty Nieves with two outs and nobody on? Nieves is 32-years-old and has two career home runs.

Figueroa threw 41 pitches in the game, so don’t expect to see him any time soon. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Craig Stammen went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Schneider. Schneider gets his first start of the year. Everything else is the same as it was for the first two games.

Rollins swung at the first pitch of the game and flew to left. Polanco grounded to third for the second out before Utley singled into right. Howard grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Down 3-0, Werth started the second with a double and moved to third when Ibanez followed with a ground out to second. Victorino grounded to second, too, scoring Werth to make it 3-1. Schneider grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

Kendrick went down to start the third, but Rollins followed with a single and Polanco moved him to third with a double. Utley hit a ground ball to first and both runners moved up with Rollins scoring to cut the Washington lead to 3-2. Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Werth doubled to start the fourth and Ibanez struck out behind him. Victorino moved Werth to third with a ground out to second base, but Schneider grounded back to the pitcher to leave Werth stranded.

Tough day for Ibanez. His strikeout after the leadoff double hurt the Phils in that at-bat.

Down 5-2, Gload hit for Kendrick to start the fifth and delivered a single off of Stammen. Rollins flew to right for the first out, but Polanco was next and hit a ball into center that Morgan misplayed badly, letting it get by him. Polanco wound up at third and Gload scored to make it 5-3. Polanco was given a single and an error was charged to Morgan. Utley grounded back to the pitcher for the second out with Polanco holding third, but Howard picked him up with an RBI-single to center. Polanco scored and it was 5-4. Werth was next and he doubled to left. Howard should have held third, but he went too far around the base and the throw came in behind him. Howard was tagged out to end the inning and the threat.

Not good base-running from Howard. Unusual to see the Phillies give away outs on the basepaths. Utley didn’t deliver that time with one out and a man on third.

Ibanez and Victorino walked back-to-back to start the sixth. Schneider bunted, moving them to second and third. With lefty Sean Burnett on the mound, Francisco hit for Contreras. Righty Tyler Clippard came on to pitch for the Nats and Manuel let Francisco hit. Clippard hit him with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Rollins delivered a fly ball to right deep enough to score Ibanez and move Victorino to third with the score tied at 5-5. Polanco grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

Manuel had already used Gload, but he didn’t hit Dobbs for Francisco. He no doubt thought it was too early, but even though Francisco got on base I still would have rather seen Dobbs hit there. Phils get a run after putting men on first and second with no outs and loading the bases with one out, but scoring just one run there was huge in the game.

Howard singled with one out in the seventh, but Werth grounded out behind him and Ibanez struck out.

The Nats were up 6-5 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. Righty Brian Bruney got Victorino and Schneider to start the inning before Dobbs hit for Figueroa and drew a walk. Rollins lined a double to right, but Dobbs had to hold third. With two outs and men on second and third, Polanco grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Big at-bat for Polanco with two outs. Dobbs can’t score from first on the two-out double. It sure seems like Dobbs should be to blame, but I don’t think so. Rollins ripped the ball into the right field corner, but Harris was playing really deep and got to the ball quick. When it came off the wall it went right to him. Dobbs isn’t fast, but not many runners would have scored there.

Still down a run, Utley started the top of the ninth with a double off of Washington closer Matt Capps. Howard was walked intentionally and Werth hit a fly ball to center deep enough to move Utley to third. It brought up Ibanez with one out and men on first and third. Ibanez flew to left and the runners had to hold. Victorino popped to short and the game was over.

Ibanez can’t tie the game with a runner on third and one out. He also didn’t bring the runner home in the ninth inning of game two of the series with one out and a man on third in a much less critical situation.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double and another run scored. Still on pace for more than 150, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. He was 5-for-11 in the series with two doubles, a triple and four walks. His 1.381 OPS leads the team.

Polanco had a great series. 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. 7-for-14 with two doubles and a home run in the set.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI yesterday. 5-for-12 with a double and four walks in the series.

Howard didn’t homer yesterday for the first time this season. 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-15 with a walk, a double and two home runs in the series.

Werth was 3-for-5 with three doubles yesterday after going 1-for-9 in the first two games. 4-for-13 with two walks and three doubles in the series.

Ibanez had a miserable start to the season. 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday. 1-for-11 with three walks in the series.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI yesterday. 2-for-13 with two walks and two RBI in the series.

Ruiz did not play yesterday but was 3-for-6 with four walks in the series.

Schneider was 0-for-3 yesterday in his only action of the series.

JA Happ makes his first start of the season tonight as the Phils face righty Bud Norris and the Astros in Houston. Norris, a 25-year-old righty, pitching in 11 games for the Astros in ’09, throwing to a 4.53 ERA and a 1.51 ratio.

Andrew Carpenter was sent down to make room on the roster for Figueroa.

Next post to Philliesflow will be after the weekend. Monday probably.

The Start Log for 2010 is up. You can access it using the START LOG and START LOG HISTORY links at the top of the page.