Kendrick’s Best Start Eases Phils Past Rockies

Judging by the first two innings last night, it seemed possible the Phillies would break a franchise record for runs scored in three games. But the offense cooled as the game progressed; no worries, Kyle Kendrick pitched maybe his best Major League game and the Phils won, 7-4.

Kendrick went a career-high 7.1 innings, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking one. And he looked dominant at times, effectively mixing a fastball (topping at 94 at one point) with his changeup and a breaking ball. He induced 10 ground outs and generally kept the Rockies off balance all night.

The offense got to work early, getting their runs by the second inning. It looked like another blowout — Greg Dobbs drove home two with a single, Pedro Feliz drove in two with a double, Chase Utley collected another RBI and continued his consecutive games on-base streak. (Victorino continued his hit streak, as well.) It was all clicking again, and off Ubaldo Jimenez, who had good-looking stuff. The Rockies bullpen was able to shut down the Phils (one hit in four innings).

The Phils bullpen, meanwhile, gave up some runs in garbage time. Tom Gordon, getting his first work in a few days, let an inherited runner score on a two-run Ryan Spilborghs home run. He’s been the only Rockie who’s hit the Phils in this series. Brad Lidge also surrendered a run, but he was up by four and had to deal with the hour-and-a-half rain delay, which probably didn’t need to happen. They could’ve called the game in the eighth.

But the game wasn’t as close as the final score, mainly because Kendrick was dealing. When you get starting pitching like that, you don’t need to score 20 runs.

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  1. Greg V.

    May 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I caught an interview on Comcast sportsnet the other night and Kendrick sounded like he wanted to pitch the game he pitched. The more he pitches like this, the better his confidence will get. I think he has a great future. Hey will probably never be an ace or anything but he’ll get the job done.

  2. Mike W.

    May 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Well, here’s what’s stopping us from being a great team…we have no chance of continuing winning streaks with Eaton on the hill. It’s really frustrating.

  3. Mike T.

    May 28, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Exactly, Mike – with Eaton as horrible as he is, and Myers getting ready to head to the DL, we need to make a move. We will have no chance of continuing to win like this with 2 huge holes in our rotation.

  4. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Yeah, usually hamels and kendrick keep you in a position to win every time out. usually. moyer is up in the air, but despite all of his problems, of which he has many, hes more reliable than myers and eaton at this point. myers is definitely dl-bound. eaton has to deal hard tonight or else hes pulled for apparently bastardo (youd think theyd HAVE to yank eaton is he sucks tonight, its basically june). if they dont pull eaton after tonight with full orders from the front office then the front office has no interest in winning.

    you need to improve over eaton. thats minimum. myers needs to go to the DL to get himself right. bastardo and happ look like theyre the guys getting calledup, and while one of them can work out itll be hard for the two of them to hold up over the long term. however, once theyre called up i hope they can buy us some time until pat gillick gets off his lazy fat ass and trades for a good and proven starting pitcher.

  5. Tim Malcolm

    May 28, 2008 at 10:24 am

    If Eaton goes six tonight I’ll take it. Romero has been used once in the last few days, Durbin is available and Gordon/Lidge can go another day. They have off Thursday. It’s a nice scenario for the Phils if they can score another couple runs tonight and take a two- or three-run lead into the seventh.

  6. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 10:50 am

    If he goes six and gives up 3 runs i guess thatll earn him another start. 4 runs through six might or might not be enough depending on what charlie/gillick think, 5 runs and hes outta here.

  7. Mike T.

    May 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Wow – I actually agree with every post today.

  8. Gavin

    May 28, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Mediocrity will continue to buy Eaton time. It drives me nuts. I dont give a rats ass if he is just a #5. Think of the roll we could go on if we had a #3 type pitcher pitching 5th in the rotation.

    Give a young a guy a string of starts until Benson comes. Plus, lets be serious here…….what are the chances that Benson doesnt have 2 or 3 more “setbacks” and when he does arrive the chances are 25/75 that he goes down with something else. He’s our version of Mike Hampton (albeit a lot cheaper).

    Tim……we should have a contest to see who guesses the DL date for Myers the closest.

  9. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 11:39 am

    myers gets one or two more starts before being sidelined is my guess. it is crazy that eaton has bought himself enough time as he already has, but i think he cant hide anymore or for much longer. one start if i were calling the shots. he has tonight to get himself right.

  10. Gavin

    May 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I think most of us would have sent him packing before he left Clearwater. Amazing what a huge…..bad contract will do for a guy’s chances of staying on a team.

  11. Gavin

    May 28, 2008 at 11:45 am

    BTW, my DL guess is June 15th.

  12. Don M

    May 28, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Like two weeks ago everyone was calling for Kendrick to be sent down to the Minors because he needs to work on an out pitch…

    He pitched very well last night…he also helped himself with his glove twice, and Feliz and Rollins made a few nice plays behind him too! He’s ok.. he’s never going to give you much more than he did last night, but with everyone else in the rotation struggling at times, he picked a good time to throw a gem.

    The offense keeps rolling.. nice production out of Dobbs, Jenkins, Feliz last night… Happ threw really well again his last start, you have to believe that he would get the call up over Bastardo… Is Myers def hurt, or everyone just assuming he is since his velocity is down??

  13. Gavin

    May 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Just assuming. At least I am. Any other info out there?

  14. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Im guessing myers strained something in his elbow or something like that. thats what it looks like anything because of his excessive control problems.

    i had said kendrick needed an out pitch, well it looks like hes getting one and im glad he did it on his own without having to be sent down or anything. good for him.

  15. Mike M.

    May 28, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Greg Golson is about to get promoted to AAA. Golson was hitting .325 with 16 SB’s through 47 games at Reading. A lot of scouts say he is comparable to Victorino and could make one of them expendable in a trade. Also, Golson is one of the fastest players, if not the fastest, in the phillies system. In terms of players with high ceilings, I expect Golson, Carrasco, Bastardo, Taylor, and Cardenas to all have some impact on the Phils over the next four years.

  16. Bruce

    May 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Don M~

    Exactly my thoughts on Myers. I was beginning to wonder if all those Myers’ detractors had “inside” info on the alledged injury (chuckle).

    Granted his velocity was down earlier in the season. However post game reports on his last two starts (six innings each) indicated his fastballs were in the low nineties. His current problem is his command and location. He’s getting his pitches up and also falling behind in the count which favors the hitter.

    I am reminded of an recent interview with John Smoltz and his comments on Myers and the difficult transition from closer to starter. He is quoted in part:

    “There’s a big adjustment to be made,” Smoltz said. “[Myers] will make it. He’s been a darn good starter. It’s not like you are talking about someone who hasn’t had success.”

    Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee agrees.

    “I think he’s too talented for it to last all season,” he said.

    Smoltz said the most important thing Myers can do is block out the criticism. He said he faced doubters when he returned to the rotation, doubters who were singing a different tune after he was successful in 2005.

    “You know what I remember? I remember everyone being right, and nobody being wrong,” Smoltz said. “They were all wrong. Every one of them. There wasn’t one person who said I could do it.”

    Myers has a proven track record for success and these first two months should not be use as a measurement of his capability. I still have confidence that he will put everything together as the team heads to the next two thirds of the season. And on that note, it’s nice to see the Phillies’ offense running on all cylinders at the moment. At 30-24, they are having better success than last season and with the loss by the surprising Marlins (thank you Mets) last night, now have narrow the gap to a game and half from first place.

    Hopefully, Eaton can follow up on a quality start in his most recent outing which he allowed only 3 runs and 8 hits in 7 innings in a 4-3 defeat at Houston last Friday.

    Let’s Go Phillies!

  17. BillyPenn

    May 28, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Call me crazy but…..I think Kendrick may have a higher ceiling than all of us imagine. He’s still quite young and under normal circumstances and on any other team he would still be working things out in AA/AAA. Once he develops a consistent out pitch, and can keep the ball down in the zone he’s easily a number three on 90% of the teams out there, and right now, a number two guy here. 25 is usually looked at as the age where most pitchers set themselves apart, albeit for the Cole Hamels of the world. Kendrick gets a little more grace period from me even if he does struggle at times……Eaton however would have been gone last year at the latest.

  18. Gavin

    May 28, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Bruce, you are a positive dude!!

    It also begs the memory of what our rotation was the last half of the season LAST year when we made the playoffs…….

    And its hard to believe that we didnt have Hamels for the final month.

    We are better now……and lets hope it gets better!!!

  19. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    You can throw all that out there and thats all nice, but the reality is that myers and eaton arent getting it done. that has to stop. its basically june and they cant afford to keep sending them out there when theyre not right. whaetever they do, they have to get wins out of starters. thats the bottom line: they need to impove their starting pitching. this is the same problem every single year and some people just totally give them a free pass. i dont care where it comes from, from callups or from proven trade acquisitions, but whoever steps on the mound every fifth day better be effective more often than not. if myers and eaton cant or wont do it then you bring someone in who does. failure isnt tolerated in major league baseball…well, not by teams that have legitimate insterest in winning a championship…

  20. Tim Malcolm

    May 28, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I agree that we have to be patient with Myers to an extent, that he has a proven record of success, but he isn’t John Smoltz. Smoltz was a Cy Young winner and proven elite pitcher before becoming a closer, and he was closer for far longer than half a season.

  21. Geoff

    May 28, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I agree about kendrick..if he induces ground balls that are playable AND develops the changeup into a decent out pitch..well heck thats better than a lot of starters out there and it would make him a very solid three. i expect a lot out of threes, but for kendrick to be a three hed have to be able to replicate, say 7 innings and ideally no more than 3 runs everytime out, or to average that. i think thats being generous and reasonable. If kendrick can do that hed be a three on my team and at least that on this team. id still prefer a genuine two who can go 7 or 8 and give up 2 or less more often than not. See, a championship caliber team has to minimize the drop in quality between its one and two starters. cole is still your ace who averages the 7 or 8 and less than two but who is expected to do more and often does. but itd be nice to have a 1 and 1A situtaion. in any event, i very much think that kendrick is capable of meeting my standards for a three providing that he keeps working on that out pitch we saw last night.

  22. Mark

    May 28, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    My best guess is that Lidge gave up a run more because of days of sitting idle than because of the rain delay. Past observations on closers are that the grow sharper with use (except if you refer to Tom Gordon).

  23. MS

    May 28, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    i’m happy the phils are hot right now, and it would be great if they could keep putting up these numbers. it is pretty awesome when the offense clicks like this.
    it didn’t matter who was pitching the last 3 nights, KK, Moyers, Hamels. I give KK his due credit, but i do need to make sure someone points out the Rockies are not putting a great lineup out there right now. A win is a win, it counts no matter who is on the field, but should be part of the analysis as well.

  24. Kwasi

    May 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    A win is a win and the Phils are doing what they should be doing: beating bad teams. Now, they are jumping on teams early which gives the starters a chance to develop some confidence so that when they face stronger teams, their confidence will be a bit higher. Remember that game when Kendrick pitched against the Mets in Shea? He had no confidence. Now, with a couple of outings like the one last night, I feel much better about him facing the Mets, D Backs, etc.

    Kendrick has a swagger about him and he is willing to learn. He isn’t bullheaded like Myers. This will keep him in the majors. He is one of the few young guys who knows that they cannot survive on talent alone.

  25. Don M

    May 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Lidge gave up a run because he was having trouble controlling his fastball… and for some reason, they decided not to hold Taveras at first??? I think that you should have pitchers throw to whatever the normal situation is… how is he going to respond next time he is out there with runners on if last night they told him not to worry about them.

    AND.. i agree… the Rockies lineup was AAA last night, outside of Helton and Atkins. Kendrick did a nice job, but lets see him keep it going. I think i heard they are 8-3 in his starts this year? Him and Moyer seem to be getting the job done. Myers will hopefully right the ship soon, but we’re winning despite the poor rotation, so lets hope they get it going soon and really start to post some W’s

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