The Phillie rotation includes Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay these days, but Kyle Kendrick has clearly been the best starter of the group. Kendrick went seven strong innings last night as the Phils topped the Marlins 7-2.
Just about everybody thought it was a fluke when a 22-year-old Kendrick went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 2007 and helped to pitch the Phillies into the playoffs. We might all want to reconsider. Kendrick is 28 now and he’s thrown to a 3.44 ERA over his last 46 starts going back to the start of 2011.
The Phillies, meanwhile, are having a lot of success against the Fish and the Mets and a whole lot less against everyone else. 8-2 against the Marlins and Mets and 5-14 against everyone else.
The Phillies are 13-16 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 7-2 last night. The Phillies have won four of their last six.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out five.
Kendrick was charged with five runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first start of the season. Since then he’s made five starts in which he’s thrown to a 1.54 ERA with a 1.03 ratio. Opponents have hit .219 against him in those starts and the Phils have gone 4-1. Lefties are hitting 233/291/370 against him for the season.
Juan Pierre was the first batter of the game. He drew a walk and moved up to second when Donovan Solano singled to center. Pierre stole third before Placido Polanco hit into a double-play, scoring Pierre to make it 1-0 with the bases empty. Dobbs singled into left, but Kendrick retired Justin Ruggiano on a ground ball to short to end the frame.
Marcell Ozuna doubled with one out in the second, but Kendrick got the next two hitters to leave him stranded.
It was 1-1 when Kendrick started the third. Solano and Polanco singled back-to-back with one out, but Kendrick got Dobbs swinging for the second out. Ruggiano walked to load the bases, but Kendrick got Rob Brantley looking to leave them loaded.
Through three innings, Kendrick had allowed four singles, two walks, a double and a stolen base, but held Miami to a single run.
Adeiny Hechavarria tripled with one out in the fourth. The pitcher Alex Sanabia was next, though, and Kendrick got him on a ground ball to first with Hechavarria holding third for the second out. Pierre popped to Rollins to end the inning.
No run for the Fish after putting a man on third with one out.
The Phils led 2-1 when Kendrick set Miami down in order in the fifth. Solano smashed a ball back up the middle and off of Kendrick’s leg to start the frame, but Kendrick went after the ball quickly and threw to first to get the out.
Nice play by Kendrick. Solano hit the ball hard.
The Phils led 4-1 Ruggiano homered to center to start the sixth. 4-2. Kendrick retired the next three.
He set the Marlins down in order in the seventh. Lefty Chris Coghlan hit for the pitcher Jon Rauch and struck out looking for the first out.
Adams set Polanco, Dobbs and Ruggiano down in order in the eighth with the Phils still up by two.
Adams drops his ERA to 3.27 with the outing. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk over two innings in his last two appearances.
Papelbon started the ninth with a 7-2 lead after the Phils scored three in the bottom of the eighth and set the Marlins down in order.
Ideally, Papelbon wouldn’t be pitching in the ninth with a five-run lead no matter how many runs you score in the bottom of the eighth. The Phillies play ten more days in a row before their next off-day, which is on May 13.
Papelbon allowed two runs in an inning in his first appearance of the year. Since then he’s thrown nine scoreless innings in nine appearances.
Overall the pen went two scoreless innings in the game in which they struck out two and did not allow a hit or a walk. Adams threw 14 pitches and Papelbon eight. Neither of them has thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillie lineup against righty Alex Sanabia went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Michael Young (4) Howard (5) Delmon Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Revere on the bench with a swollen finger, so Mayberry plays center against the righty. Delmon Young makes his first appearance in right as a Phillie. Kratz catches.
Michael Young doubled to center with two outs in the bottom of the first and the Phils down 1-0. Howard struck out swinging to leave him stranded.
First extra-base hit for Young since April 10. He came into the game 19-for-his-last-63 (.302) with 19 singles.
Brown lined a homer out to right with one out in the second, tying the game at 1-1. Mayberry and Kratz went down behind him.
Kendrick dumped a soft single into center to start the third, but Rollins grounded into a double-play behind him and Utley struck out for the third out.
Howard homered to left with one out in the fourth, putting the Phils up 2-1. Brown delivered a two-out single later in the frame, but Mayberry flew to left to leave him at first.
Kratz walked to start the fifth and Kendrick bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins was next and hit a ball to second that Solano didn’t handle for an error, leaving the Phils with runners on the corners and one out for Utley. Utley flew to right, deep enough for Kratz to tag and score, putting the Phils up 3-1. Michael Young followed with a single, sending Rollins to third. With Howard at the plate, a passed ball scored Rollins (4-1) and moved Young up to second. Howard was walked intentionally and the righty Sanabia got the righty Delmon Young to ground to short to end the inning.
Marlins tally an error, a passed ball and an intentional walk in the frame and the Phillies gave them one out on a bunt. If they get an out on the ball booted by Solano they are out of the inning with no damage done.
Righty Jon Rauch walked Mayberry with one out in the sixth. Kratz struck out for the second out and Kendrick grounded to second to end the inning.
It was 4-2 when righty Tom Koehler set Rollins, Utley and Michael Young down in order in the seventh.
Koehler came back to start the eighth. He walked Howard and Nix back-to-back before Brown singled to left, scoring Howard to make it 5-2 with nobody out and runners on first and third. Mayberry was next and he went down on a ball handled by the pitcher for the first out with Brown moving up to second. With Kratz at the plate, a wild pitch scored Nix (6-2) and moved Brown up to third. Kratz singled into left and Brown scored. 7-2. Frandsen hit for Adams and grounded into a double-play to end the inning.
Not quite sure why the righty Koehler seemed like the right guy to use in a two-run game to face Howard, Nix and Brown to start the inning. Lefty Mike Dunn had thrown 17 pitches the day before. Whatever the reason, it didn’t work out well for Miami as all three of them reached to start the frame and the Phils went on to score three runs.
Rollins was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .243. 220/289/341 against righties.
Utley 0-for-3 with an RBI.
Michael Young 2-for-4 with a double. His UZR/150 at third base for the year is -0.3.
Howard 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run. One of the walks was intentional. He came into the game with three walks in 105 plate appearances for the season. He now has five, two of which are intentional.
Delmon Young 0-for-3. 2-for-9 with a home run on the season.
Brown 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 12-for-his-last-31 with a walk, two doubles and two home runs (387/394/645).
Mayberry 0-for-3 with a walk. He has a huge opportunity to work his way into an everyday role with the Phillies willing to sit Revere, but things went real bad for him when he has a similar chance in 2012. The Phillies damage his value as a player when they play him in center — the more he plays center the more his overall value will decrease, cause he’s not very good there. He’s 5-for-his-last-35 at the plate (.143). His dWAR for the year as calculated by Baseball-Reference is -0.6. The Phillies have played less than a fifth of the season.
Kratz 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 7-for-his-last-26 with four walks and a home run (269/367/385).
Pettibone (1-1, 4.35) faces righty Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 3.82) tonight. Pettibone’s made two starts for the Phils and both have been okay. Opponents have hit .333 against him, but he’s done well to limit the walks, walking just two in 10 1/3 innings. Nolasco has allowed more than three runs in just one of his six starts. He faced the Phils on April 12 and held them to a run over six innings. The Phils won the game 3-1 when they scored two runs charged to Jon Rauch in the top of the tenth.