Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kendrick Lasts Only Three Innings in Loss

Kyle Kendrick has had some great starts lately. This wasn't one of them. Kendrick gave up six runs in three innings before leaving the game. The three innings was long enough to earn him the loss, as the Phillies fell to the Red Sox 7-4.

Kendrick started off about as poorly as one can. He gave up a pair of singles and then a pair of home runs, giving Boston a 4-0 lead in the first inning with no outs. The Phillies responded with a run in the bottom of the first, off an RBI single from Ryan Howard, and one had to think there was a chance the Phillies would chip away and make a comeback, as they so often have this year.

But not this time. Kendrick made sure of it. In the third inning, Brandon Moss singled with the bases loaded to drive in two more runs, and the game appeared out of reach. That was Kendrick's final inning, though his replacement, Clay Condrey, didn't fare much better. Condrey gave up an RBI single in the fourth, making it a 7-1 game.

The Phillies made a dent in the lead in the fifth, when Jayson Werth scored Greg Dobbs on a fielder's choice. Then in the seventh, the Phillies made things interesting when Pedro Feliz singled in a pair of runs, bringing the Phillies within three. Jimmy Rollins then walked to put the tying run at the plate with no outs, but neither Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, or Howard were able to bring any more runs in, and that was effectively the game.

Feliz's single was the last Phillies hit of the game, as they would not threaten again. They lost 7-4 and have now lost three series in a row. All three series were against very good teams, but the Phillies are supposed to be a very good team themselves and they have to do better than 3-6 in such difficult stretches. A big part of the problem was Utley, who is in a hideous slump, going 0 for his last 20 at-bats. To Utley's credit, he hit several balls hard in the last few days, but right at fielders, so there's an element of luck in play. He'll turn it around...hopefully sooner than later.

The Phillies now get a much-needed day off before they square off against the Angels. The Angels are on a bit of a slide themselves, losing their last two series to the Mets and Braves, both at home. That should bode well for the Phillies, as the last thing they need is a red-hot team coming into town.

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