The Phillies have won four of five to start the month of May and they have their pitching to thank. In three of the five games the Phils have held their opponent to a run or less. There’s every reason to expect the excellence to continue as they send Roy Halladay to the mound this afternoon.
Kyle Kendrick was the latest Phillies pitcher to twirl a gem. He went seven shutout innings last night as the Phils banked the Cards.
The Phillies are 16-11 after a 4-0 win against the St Louis Cardinals last night. The Phils have won two of three so far in the four-game set.
Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three. Fantastic outing for Kendrick. Lefties are still pounding him for the year overall, though, to the tune of 333/415/614. Righties are hitting just .250 and on-basing .300, but with a .531 slugging percentage as four of the 70 righties he has faced have homered. He’s made two great starts in which he’s thrown 15 scoreless innings. In his other four starts he’s allowed 20 runs in 15 2/3 innings.
He walked Albert Pujols with two outs in the first, but Matt Holliday lined to Victorino behind him.
Colby Rasmus doubled to right to start the second. David Freese followed with a ground out to Castro for the first out with Rasmus holding second. With Yadier Molina batting, Rasmus was caught stealing third on a close play for the second out. It cost the Cards a run, too, cause Molina doubled to left and was left stranded when the pitcher Brad Penny grounded to short for the third out.
Rasmus was probably safe.
Kendrick set the Cards down in order in the third. Brendan Ryan led off with a ground ball to second. Utley made a very nice play and got the call as Ryan slid into first head first.
Ryan was definitely safe.
Pujols started the fourth with a single. Kendrick struck Holliday out swinging for the first out. Rasmus followed and he grounded out to second with Pujols moving to second. A balk by Kendrick moved Pujols to third before David Freese drew a walk. It put men on first and third for Molina and Molina lined to Werth in right to leave both men stranded.
Schumaker singled with two outs in the fifth, but Rasmus grounded to third for the third out.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth.
Freese started the seventh with a single. Molina flew out to right behind him. Lefty Jon Jay hit for Penny and hit a ball out in front of the plate. Schneider got to it, but threw the ball away for an error that put men on first and third with one out for Ryan. Kendrick got Ryan to hit into a double-play to turn St Louis away.
Ryan is having a rather brutal series, called out when he was safe in the second and hitting into a key double-play in the seventh after Lidge struck him out in a key spot late in game two.
Baez threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phillies up 4-0 after Dobbs hit for Kendrick in the bottom of the seventh and drove in a run with a double.
That’s two good outings in a row for Baez over which he hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk in two innings.
Contreras pitched the ninth and looked fantastic yet again, setting Holliday, Rasmus and Freese down in order. He has a 1.04 ERA through ten appearances and still hasn’t walked a batter this season. He’s struck out 14 in 8 2/3 innings.
Contreras was pitching for the second day in a row. He threw 17 pitches after throwing 16 on Tuesday. Baez threw 15 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Brad Penny went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Schneider. The lefty Schneider gets a start behind the plate with a righty on the mound for St Louis.
The Phillies didn’t have a base runner in the first three innings. Polanco hit the ball well in the first, but Schumaker made the play at second to turn him away.
Victorino had the first hit of the game for the Phils, a soft line drive into center to start the fourth. Polanco was next and after Penny made a couple of throws to first he hit Penny’s first pitch to him out to left center to put the Phillies up 2-0. After Utley flew to right for the first out, Howard reached on an infield single. He was left stranded when Werth struck out and Ibanez flew to right.
You have to wonder how much Penny was worried about Victorino on first when Polanco hit his ball out. It was Polanco’s fourth home run of the season, putting him on pace to hit 24. He has hit 15 home runs or more in a season only once — in 2004 he hit 17 for the Phillies.
The Phillies went in order in the fifth.
Victorino led off the sixth with a home run to left, putting the Phils up 3-0. Utley singled with one out, but Howard and Werth struck out behind him.
Victorino is on pace to hit 36 home runs this year. He has more home runs than Howard (5) and more than Werth (4) and Ibanez (1) combined.
With one out in the seventh, Castro hit a ground ball to short and hurt his left hamstring running to first. He was safe with a single, but had to leave the game. Wilson Valdez ran for him at first. Schneider flew to left for the second out and with the righty Mitchell Boggs on the mound for St Louis, Dobbs hit for Kendrick. Dobbs delivered a RBI-double with Valdez scoring to put the Phillies on top 4-0. Victorino lined to right to end the inning.
Utley walked with one out in the eighth, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him.
Victorino was 2-for-4 with a home run.
Polanco 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Top two in the order drive in three of the four Phillies runs.
Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Werth 0-for-3 and struck out three times, dropping his average on the year to .337.
Castro was 1-for-3 and replaced by Valdez at short.
Schneider 0-for-3 with an error. He’s 2-for-17 on the season.
Halladay (5-1, 1.47) and former Phil Kyle Lohse (0-1, 5.28) this afternoon in the final game of the four-game set.
Phillies Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts died this morning at age 83. Roberts was an All-Star for the Phillies seven years in a row from 1950 to 1956. He allowed two runs in 11 innings in the 1950 World Series as the Yanks topped the Phils four games to none. In 1952 he finished second in voting for NL MVP, nipped by Cubs outfielder Hank Sauer. Roberts went 28-7 with a 2.59 ERA that year, which was the third best ERA mark in the league.
The Phillies have reviewed their approach to dealing with fans running on the field in the wake of the use of a taser on a fan earlier this week.