I hear they use so-called “text” messages and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to organize.
Did you hear the one about the Phillies game last night? Here goes.
Kyle Kendrick pitched great. Not good or better than he has so far this year or better than you would expect. Great. Sixteen ground outs in eight shutout innings. The Phillies were up 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a man on first. Then three of the next four Atlanta hitters homered and the Phillies lost. Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer off of Madson. 3-2. Jason Heyward followed with a solo shot that tied the game at 3-3. Madson got the final out of the ninth on a ground ball and Nate McLouth led off the tenth with a walkoff homer off of Contreras.
It was a hoot.
All the homering when you’re about to win the game is hard to ignore, but you don’t want to forget that the Phillies have stopped scoring runs all of the sudden. They have scored four runs in their last three games, which makes things tough even when you’re not allowing homers to three out of four hitters with the game on the line.
The Phillies are 8-5 on the year after a 4-3 loss to the Braves in ten innings in Atlanta last night. They have lost three in a row for the first time this season. They’re 1-3 against teams that aren’t the Nationals or Astros.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two.
Just outstanding work from Kendrick, who looked like a totally different pitcher than he had in his first two starts. I think it’s probably the second best start of his career, behind this effort against the A’s on June 25, 2008.
He struck out Matt Diaz to start the bottom of the first. Martin Prado was next and he singled, but Kendrick got Chipper Jones to hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Brian McCann grounded to first for the first out of the second. Troy Glaus was next and smashed a 3-2 pitch on the ground, but Castro handled it nicely and threw to first for the second out. Kendrick struck Jason Heyward out looking 3-2 for the third out.
Kendrick got Yunel Escobar, Nate McLouth and the pitcher Tommy Hanson on three ground balls in the third.
He started the fourth with a 1-0 lead and got Diaz for the first out. Prado was next and singled into center. Chipper followed and lined a double to right, sending Prado to third. Kendrick walked the lefty McCann intentionally, loading the bases and setting up the double-play. He got it, too. Glaus grounded to third and the Phillies turned it to end the inning.
Big double-play ball for Kendrick.
Up 2-0, Kendrick set down Heyward, Escobar and McLouth in a 1-2-3 fifth.
Switch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit for the pitcher Peter Moylan to start the sixth and popped to Utley. Kendrick got Diaz and Prado both on balls lined to Victorino.
It was 3-0 when Kendrick started the bottom of the seventh. Chipper lined to Victorino in left center for the first out. McCann blasted a single to left, but Glaus followed and flew to right for the second out. Heyward grounded to Castro to end the inning.
Kendrick was back to start the eighth and got Escobar on a ground ball to third. McLouth was next and he walked on five pitches. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher Kris Medlan. Hinske ripped a ball down the first base line that was called foul but was very close. McLouth was on the move as Hinske hit what would have been a double-play ball to Utley. Utley got the second out at first with McLouth safe at second. Ruiz just didn’t catch Kendrick’s 1-2 pitch to Diaz. The ball went through his legs for a rare passed ball that allowed McLouth to go to third. Diaz hit a slow ground ball to third. Polanco made a nice play, moving to his left, fielding and throwing Diaz out to end the inning.
Madson came in to pitch the ninth after the Phillies hit for Kendrick in the top of the inning. Prado grounded to short for the first out before Madson walked Chipper. McCann lined to left for the second out. Glaus was next and he blasted a 1-1 pitch out to left center. 3-2. Madson got ahead of Heyward 0-1 and Heyward homered to center to tie the game at 3-3. Escobar grounded to short for the third out.
Contreras started the tenth. He got ahead of McLouth 0-2 before McLouth hit a 2-2 pitch out to right to end the game.
First run charged to Contreras on the season in his fifth appearance. He still hasn’t thrown more than 14 pitches in a game.
Madson threw 18 pitches in the game. Contreras five.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Nothing new there with Rollins on the DL and Castro at short.
Victorino flew to right on the tenth pitch of his at-bat to start the game. Polanco struck out looking and Utley flew to center.
Werth doubled softly to right with one out in the second and Ibanez followed with a walk. Castro struck out looking, though, and Ruiz grounded to second.
Kendrick, Victorino and Polanco went in order in the third.
Utley led off the fourth. He tried to check his swing 3-2 and made contact. The ball rolled down the third base line for a double. Howard was next and pulled the ball on the ground between first and second. Glaus deflected the ball but didn’t handle it. Utley scored and the Phillies led 1-0. Werth followed and hit a ball hard to third and Atlanta turned the double-play. Ibanez delivered a solid single up the middle. Castro was next and he delivered a solid base hit, too, lining a 2-2 pitch into left and sending Ibanez to second. Ruiz swung and missed at a 3-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.
Gift run for the Phils on a check swing double and a ball that Glaus should have fielded gives them the early lead. The Phillies did have two solid hits in the inning, so you shouldn’t feel too bad.
Kendrick and Victorino went down to start the fifth, but Polanco hit a ball down near the left field line and hustled it into a double. With the big lefties due to hit for the Phils, the Braves pulled Hanson and brought in lefty Eric O’Flaherty to pitch to them. Utley lined a single into center, scoring Polanco to make it 2-0. Howard lined to first for the third out.
Big hit for Polanco gets Hanson out of the game, but Hanson had thrown 102 pitches already and wasn’t going to be around to pitch to the lefties whether it was in the fourth or the fifth. Polanco will have to be content with just starting the two-out rally.
Werth struck out on a wild pitch by new Atlanta pitcher righty Moylan to start the sixth and was safe at first. He was thrown out trying to steal second, though, before Ibanez drew a walk. Castro flew to center and Ruiz struck out swinging to leave Ibanez stranded.
Righty Kris Medlan started the seventh for Atlanta. Kendrick hit for himself with a shutout through six innings and grounded to short. He was pitching great and had thrown just 75 pitches in the game. Victorino was next and he hit a ground ball to short. The ball wasn’t hit very hard and Escobar bare-handed it and threw to first but Victorino beat it out for a single. Polanco was next and he ripped a single into right, moving Victorino to third. Medlan stayed in to pitch to Utley. Utley hit a ground ball back up the middle. Escobar made a diving stop to keep the ball in the infield, flipping to second to force Polanco as Victorino scored to make it 3-0. Howard flew to Heyward on the track in right to leave Utley stranded.
Glad to see Utley and Howard get to hit against the righty there. Howard almost hit the ball out of the yard, which would have broken the game open. Utley should have had a single but Escobar made a great play. The other lefties in the pen for the Braves were Billy Wagner and the 25-year-old Jonny Venters, who has made one career appearance.
Medlan came back and set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.
Righty Jesse Chavez set them down in order in the ninth. Dobbs hit for Kendrick with one out and flew to right.
Kendrick had thrown 108 pitches in the game.
Billy Wagner set down Polanco, Utley and Howard in order in the top of the tenth. Utley hit the ball well, but Heyward took it in deep right.
Victorino was 1-for-5 to drop his average to .228.
Polanco 2-for-5 with a double.
Utley 2-for-5 with a double.
Howard 1-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts. He has two walks through 13 games, putting him on pace to walk 25 times this season.
Werth 1-for-4 with a double and struck out twice.
Ibanez was 1-for-2 with two walks to raise his average for the season to .186. He’s 2-for-his-last-19.
Ruiz was 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five men on base.
Halladay (3-0, 1.13) faces righty Tim Hudson (1-0, 2.84) tonight in game two of the set. Halladay has been fantastic in three starts for the Phils. He’ll be pitching on normal rest tonight, taking Happ’s turn in the rotation as Happ sits it out with a sore elbow. Hudson has made two starts on the year. He was very good against the Giants in his first start of the year. He walked five Padres in 5 2/3 innings in his start last Thursday.
JC Romero says he’s ready to join the team.
This suggests May 1 is a good target date for Blanton’s return.
Lidge’s velocity is not good enough yet and Amaro is hoping that adrenaline will help him get there at the higher levels of the minors. I keep checking to see if I read that wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it says. Lidge has a 9.64 ERA in five minor league appearances, but has thrown three scoreless innings his last three times out, striking out four while allowing one walk and no hits.