At least in Groundhog Day they had cake. And Andie MacDowell.
The Phillies games are apparently stuck in a loop. They lost again yesterday. No terrible defense this time and Kendrick pitched well, but the Phils scored one run and it wasn’t enough. In the very limited good news category, Werth hit the ball well and looks like he’s either back or just about back. We’ve already got Ruiz, so that makes two with eleven hitters left to go.
It should leave us plenty of time to learn to ice sculpt.
The Phillies are 28-24 on the year after a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves sweep the three-game set despite scoring four runs in the last two games and lead the Phils in the NL East by 2 1/2 games. The Phillies have won two of their last 11 and have scored 14 runs in those 11 games.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four. That’s two good starts in a row for Kendrick, who has allowed one earned run in 13 innings his last two times out and dropped his ERA from 5.66 to 4.62.
Martin Prado and Jayson Heyward singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first. It put men on first and third with nobody out for Chipper Jones and Kendrick got Chipper to bounce into a double-play with Prado scoring to put Atlanta up 1-0. Brian McCann flew to center for the third out.
Troy Glaus doubled to left to start the second. Kendrick struck lefty Eric Hinske out for the first out. Yunel Escobar was next and he lined a ball back to the mound that Kendrick caught. Kendrick threw to second and Glaus was doubled-up to end the inning.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Kendrick started the third. He walked the pitcher Derek Lowe on five pitches with one man out. He struck Prado out and got Heyward on a fly ball to right to end the inning and leave Lowe stranded.
He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
In the fifth he walked Nate McLouth with two men out, but got Lowe to fly to right for the third out.
Prado reached on an infield singled to start the sixth, but Kendrick got Heyward to hit into a double-play behind him. Infante singled to center before McCann flew to right to end the inning.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
Contreras started the eighth with the score still knotted at 1-1 and walked McLouth on five pitches. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera hit for Lowe and bunted McLouth to second. Contreras struck out the righty Prado and then walked the lefty Heyward intentionally. He got ahead of Infante 0-2, but Infante singled to right on a 3-2 pitch and McLouth scored to put Atlanta ahead 2-1. With two outs and men on first and third, Romero came in to pitch to the lefty McCann and got him to fly to right to end the inning.
Contreras has now allowed two runs on the year and both of them have been scored by McLouth. That’s just weird.
Contreras threw 23 pitches in the game and Romero three. Contreras was pitching back-to-back days after six pitches on Tuesday.
The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Werth (2) Valdez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Dobbs (8) Schneider. Victorino on the bench with Werth in center and Francisco in right. Dobbs at third against the righty with Castro on the bench. Werth leads off and Valdez hits second, which is way too high for him. Schneider behind the plate in day game after a night game, which is unfortunate given Ruiz’s nice game on Tuesday night.
The Phils went in order in the first.
Down 1-0, they went in order in the second.
Schneider singled with one out in the third. Kendrick bunted one foul and then, with the infielders in looking for a bunt, swung away and singled to left. It put men on first and third for Werth and Werth singled to center, scoring Schneider to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Kendrick to second. Valdez bunted for a single to load the bases for Utley, but Utley grounded into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting any more.
Big hit for Werth is nice to see. Double-play by Utley is more of the same. Nice job by Manuel to let Kendrick swing away and get a big hit.
Howard started the fourth with a single. Francisco popped to second for the first out before Ibanez hit into a double-play.
Dobbs, Schneider and Kendrick went down quietly in the fifth.
Werth hit the ball hard to start the sixth, but it went off of Lowe and right to Prado at second. Prado took it and threw to first to get Werth for the first out. Valdez and Utley went down behind him, with Utley hitting the ball hard on the ground to third for the third out.
Again Werth hits the ball well, but no hit this time.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
Dobbs singled to start the eighth and Schneider bunted him to second. With Lowe still on the mound, Gload hit for Kendrick and grounded to short. Dobbs moved to third with two down. Lowe walked Werth intentionally to put men on first and third. Valdez flew to center to end the frame.
Score one for not hitting Valdez second. No reason to pitch to Werth there and it works out great for Atlanta.
Francisco walked with two outs in the ninth and the Phils down 2-1. With lefty Billy Wagner on the mound for Atlanta, Victorino hit for Ibanez and struck out swinging to end the game.
Werth was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and hit the ball well. He’s 2-for-his-last-23 and hitting 296/374/575 for the season.
Valdez was 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-13 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 259/268/370 for the year.
Utley was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He was 2-for-12 with a double and no walks in the series. He’s 3-for-his-last-19 and hitting 270/387/503 for the year.
Howard was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 with a home run and no walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/336/450.
Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 2-for-6 with a double and a walk in the series. 214/283/286 for the year. Victorino didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-1 in the game. He was 0-for-9 with a walk and three strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 251/308/442 for the year.
Ibanez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-10 with a double in the series. 242/340/394.
Dobbs was 1-for-3 yesterday and 2-for-8 in the series. 148/220/259. Castro was 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 244/271/300 for the year.
Schneider 1-for-2 yesterday in his only action for the series. 5-for-25 with five singles for the year. Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 311/443/412 for the season.
Roy Halladay (5-1, 1.99) faces righty Mat Latos (5-3, 3.08) tomorrow. Halladay has been just about perfect all season long and literally perfect in his last start against the Marlins. Opponents are hitting .207 against Latos for the year. He’s 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA over his last six starts — over those six appearances he has allowed 23 hits in 41 innings and struck out 37.