Phillies Put It All Together in 4-0 Win Over Cardinals – Phillies Nation
2010 Game Recaps

Phillies Put It All Together in 4-0 Win Over Cardinals

On Wednesday against the Cardinals, the Phillies received something they haven’t gotten much of this season. No, not a night without a fan getting Tasered (though it was nice that the fans ended their two-game streak of cavorting on the Citizens Bank Park turf).

The rarity responsible for the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the Cardinals was a stellar performance from both the starting pitcher and the bullpen on the same night, in the same stadium. Kyle Kendrick knows exactly how uncommon these two elements have come together this season for the Phils. In his only quality start of the season entering Wednesday, Kendrick baffled the Braves for eight innings April 20, only to see Ryan Madson blow a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning.

Entering the game, the matchup of starting pitchers seemed tilted in St. Louis’ favor. Kendrick, with an ERA north of seven, was coming off a pair of choppy outings. His counterpart, Brad Penny, had put together five straight quality starts to begin the season and had looked a lot like the Penny who went 16-4 with the Dodgers in 2007.

The first three innings were a wash, with the bend-but-don’t-break Kendrick mixing his sinkerball in well and keeping the ball down. Penny, working with primarily just two pitches – a four-seamer and a split-fingered fastball – buzzed through the Phillies’ lineup without allowing a runner to reach base.

Now, it’s important to point out here that the Phillies have eight steals all season, the lowest total in the National League and second-lowest in the majors (only the Orioles have fewer); it’s a perplexingly low figure given their success on the basepaths the past few years and the relative speed of their lineup.

So, back to the game. When Shane Victorino led off the fourth inning with a single to center, he immediately made plans for taking up residency at second base. On the first pitch to Placido Polanco, Victorino took off. He might have had the base stolen, but we’ll never know, because Polanco golfed the low fastball just over the fence in right-center. It’s been that kind of year for the Phils’ offense.

Here’s how untouchable Penny – and the rest of the Cardinals’ starting rotation – have been this season: Polanco’s blast was the first home run allowed this year by Penny and the first given up by a Cardinals starting pitcher in the past 21 games – a truly brain-melting streak in any era. So, for good measure, Victorino ripped his own home run to right on a low inside fastball in the sixth inning for a 3-0 lead.

On a night in which the Phillies’ performance was as spotless as the early-May weather, there was one blemish. Shortstop Juan Castro, who has been dealing with hamstring issues constantly this season, came up lame after busting it down the first-base line for an infield single in the seventh. Castro was immediately removed from the game, and his injury was diagnosed as a left hamstring strain. Wilson Valdez will play short as long as Castro is sidelined (which, best-case scenario, will be a few games).

Danys Baez and Jose Contreras picked up right where Kendrick left off, holding the Cardinals hitless in the eighth and ninth. Baez’s outing was especially encouraging, not only because the hard-throwing righty entered the night with an 8.10 ERA, but also because he has generally been inconsistent from one pitch to the next. But on this night, Baez looked the best he has all season – a promising sign for a beleaguered bullpen.



  1. NYphilsfan

    May 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Gotta be Kendrick for the Ashburn.

  2. Bobby D

    May 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    You’re hearing it here first, people. Baez and Contreras shall henceforth be known as “The Cuban Defection Connection”. I’ll start making the signs…..

    Seriously though, huge game for Kendrick. Pitching that well against that level of competition has got to be good for his brain thinkin. Let’s take this series 3-1 with a big win tomorrow!

  3. theswayzeexpress

    May 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Great game for Kendrick. Impressive performances on back to back nights overall by the Phils pitching. Add that to the fact that they just took a series from one of the best teams in the NL, and things really look to be coming along nicely for the Phils right now. BTW, did anybody see what Pujols did after beaming that young Phils fan? Dude really is a class act, he just became one of my favorite non-Phils players tonight.

  4. miked63

    May 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    happy for kyle / nice kid / who’s playin shortstop now ( valdez ) ?

  5. pheeling it

    May 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    21 games? no starters have given up a homerun for the CARDS IN 21 games?? i dont believe that, but i loveee ending other teams streaks

  6. Greg

    May 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    No backup shortstop might be a problem. Will Castro go to the DL?

    By the way, I’m incredibly glad to see Greg Dobbs hit a pinch-hit 2-out RBI double. It’s nice to see him return to form. He and Gload are nasty 😀

  7. miked63

    May 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    how sweet is it to win two in a row and have halladay going the next game ?

  8. George

    May 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Valdez is the only other player on the roster who’s actually able to play shortstop. They’ll have to call up yet another backup if Castro can’t return in a few days.

    If Kendrick keeps the ball down, he’s usually all right or better. Let’s hope he continues to do so. He pitched very well tonight.

    If Baez can do as well as he did tonight, it will ease the loss of Madson. Another thing to hope for.

    People trash Amaro for not adding enough talent to the bullpen, but that pen is starting to make him look pretty smart. It’s had three key pitchers on the DL, has had to work overtime with starters out, and has still been pretty decent. Maybe not great, but decent.

  9. BurrGundy

    May 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I hope this bodes well for Kendrick for a successful season. We need this guy pitching quality innings. Now we know he can do it.

  10. George

    May 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Please don’t bring up “quality starts.” That’s the stupidest stat ever invented.

    Here’s an example or two:

    A guy goes 6 innings giving up 3 runs. That comes out to a 4.50 ERA. It’s a quality start. He also loses the game.

    A different guy gives up 2 in the first and 2 in the fourth, but guts it out and goes 9 innings. That works out to a 4.00 ERA, but it’s not a quality start, even if he’s the winning pitcher.

    Or, no runs, but he’s on a pitch count of 75, which he hits at 5 and 2/3 innings. That’s an ERA of zero, but it’s also NOT A QUALITY START.

    Besides, 3 runs in 6 is not quality, but mediocrity. 4.50 ERAs are the stuff that make a legendary fifth starter.

  11. Mazinman

    May 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I am really happy for Kyle. He did a great job and maybe getting that first win will settle him down a little bit. After all the problems they have had with the Philly starters up to this point the Cards have got to be panicking at the thought of facing Halladay tomorrow.

  12. George

    May 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Paragraph five should read “Or, A GUY gives up no runs…”

    Somehow I deleted a couple of words.

  13. miked63

    May 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    mets lost again today , what a shame , they have a day off tomorrow then the giants go to citi field this weekend . i checked out their blog for a few minutes , theyre all jumpin in the hudson again , amazin how much changes in a week , after they went 9 & 1 on the homestand , in true ny fasion they went completely overboard in their optimism. i enjoy mets fans misery almost as much as i enjoy our sucess.

  14. miked63

    May 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    @ george ———– since when is pitching a complete game ( in todays game done by very few ) and giving up only 4 runs not a quality start?

  15. Greg

    May 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    MikeD, the term “Quality Start” is an official one, meaning 6 innings pitched with 3 or fewer Runs.

  16. The Derek Lowe In Pinstripes Foundation

    May 6, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Before we faced Penny, in the pregame you wrote that he was the benefactor of facing weak line ups.

    After the game, you say he was “untouchable in previous starts”

    I guess that both of these statements COULD be true but come on.

  17. The Derek Lowe In Pinstripes Foundation

    May 6, 2010 at 12:20 am


    Quality start is far from an offical statistic though it is commonly recognized as being >=6IP with <=3 ER. It's just a stat made up by agents to get their players more money

  18. George is Boring

    May 6, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Sorry guys, I’ve just discovered this site. Sorry I am so boring. It’s just my personality.

    My post tomorrow will be much better. I’m writing a great article about how the sky is blue. I’ll follow that up with a great post about how the team that scores the most runs wins the game.

  19. Lewisauce

    May 6, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Agreed they need a backup shortstop. However, there is one more option: Put Polly at SS and start Dobbs at 3rd. You lose a lot defensively at the corner, but you upgrade slightly defensively at SS over Castro. You lose nothing at the plate, and maybe gain a bit if Dobbs can get into a groove with some regular PT.

    Of course, then if someone gets hurt, you’re screwed. So you still need a guy, but it could work for couple games until Castro is back.

    (If you told me six weeks ago that we’d be typing “… if they can just hold out until Juan Castro comes back …” I’d have panicked. But despite Juan Castro playing every day, this team is still in first place by two games. Love this team.)

  20. Greg

    May 6, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I’d rather them not treat Polly as a Super-Utility guy. He’s still settling in at third, no need to ruin his rhythm. (And mind-you, he’s doing a pretty damn good job). I’d say only if Valdez gets injured would you bring in Dobbs to third and move Polanco to SS.

    New topic: I hope Halladay pitches a CG shutout tomorrow — Anyone have mutual feelings?

    Also: Has anyone noticed Sarge’s lack of “Cadillac Time” this year?

  21. Keith E

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Greg says:
    “New topic: I hope Halladay pitches a CG shutout tomorrow — Anyone have mutual feelings”?
    … not me, I hate when that happens. Feeling good about Kendrick and his last few starts. I want to see him have some success. Brooks and I will be down there today.
    GO PHILS!!!

  22. bfo_33

    May 6, 2010 at 6:44 am

    PP is the third baseman, only to be put at SS if no other options. Valdez isn’t a huge drop off from Castro.
    I’m not a Victorino fan, but thought he had a great game last night. He did a nice job of shortening his swing with two strikes in the 4th, going with the ball. He also rattled Penny while on first with the threat to run, forced him to throw fastballs to PP. His stint at lead off is improving his approach at the plate. A nice game by KK, see if he can string a few more together.

  23. The Dipsy

    May 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Nobody id a huge drop from Castro. Did Bruntlett make the Astros? BTW, Baez and Contreras looked GREAT last night. Obviously, Baez has his arm strength back and Contreras has taken to relieving like a fish to water. I am going to actually say this….if these guys are doing the same thing in eight weeks, bye bye Madson. You can get some real value for him.

    The Dipsy

  24. George

    May 6, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Moving Polanco to SS would be stupid. He’d be learning a new position and you don’t do on-the-job training mid season. And Dobbs is a lousy defensive 3rd baseman. You’d be killing off the entire left side of the infield just when the the pitching staff is finally getting some ground ball outs.

    Madson will probably miss two months, and may still be ineffective at the trade deadline. That and his early season ERA over 7.00, might make him useless as a trade chip. He has the stuff, but I think other teams would be very cautious and would prefer to wait until the off-season.

  25. George

    May 6, 2010 at 8:34 am

    To George is Boring:

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the sky is not always blue. At night it’s black, and on stormy days, it’s gray. Also, the team that scores the most runs DOESN’t always win. Sometimes the game gets called on account of rain.

    I’ll forgive you for being boring, but not for being annoying, and not for thinking you’re clever and sarcastic.

  26. Don M

    May 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I saw the other day that Rollins would be out until JUNE … but then read today that he was ready to go to extended Spring Training in Clearwater … and only needed 3-5 games as a rehab ???

    Quality Start is a semi-useful stat … we all know that THAT exact line measures to a 4.50 ERA (if any team’s 5th starter is their worst, with a 4.50 ERA, they’ll win the World Series with ease).

    but if you get to through 6 innings, and your team has only given up 3 runs… You should be in GREAT shape to win that ball game!

    people knock the Quality Start, and the 4.50 ERA .. but both

    There were only 41 Starting Pitchers with an ERA under 4.00 last year.. with only 30 teams in Major League Baseball .. that shows you that anything under a 3.00 is amazing.. under a 3.50 is terrific.. under a 4.00 is awesome.. and better than a 4.50 is still really good ….

  27. Brian Sr of CO

    May 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Sorry to burst everyone bubble, but Kyle Kendrick dod NOT have a “Quality Start”, he had a flat out GREAT start, no other way around it, or explanation. 7 IP 0ER. What? Who was that on the mound. LOL.

  28. Chuck

    May 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Is Lewisauce actually SERIOUS about moving Polanco to short?

    That would be the DUMBEST move that any baseball team could make if they had a similiar situation to deal with. He was brought here to play 3rd and he should stay there and continue to learn the position.

    Wilson Valdez is a decent 25th guy and I would imagine he would only have to fill in for a few games til Castro is ready to play again. And J-Roll should (?) be back by the end of the month, so it wouldn’t make any sense to start making all these crazy moves anyway.


    Responding to the thread from yesterday about whether or not to remove Hamels after 8 STRONG innings. ABSOLUTEY you bring him out to start the 9th. The way he looked after the 8th inning convinced me he had the ability to finish that game. I actually think that he was thrown off by that clown that ran onto the field. His timing was messed up. It’s sort of like “icing the kicker” in football.

  29. NJ

    May 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Valdez is fine for a few days, more than fine since he would have made the roster out of spring had there been a spot. If Castro is going to be out for any length of time you kick the tires on a veteran your not handcuffed to when a roster spot is needed but your not moving Polanco or anyone to short unless its for an inning or two at the end of a game as an emergency. If Rollins, Castro and Valdez are unavailable your making a roster move before the next game there’s no doubt about that.

    Kendrick is the definition of Jekyl and Hyde, I flat out cannot understand how he goes from the very worst starting pitcher on a major league roster to near around the Joe Blanton level. I’m struggling to form an opinion on him right now because anyones no.5 is going to have an ugly stat-line much of the time but you rarely see a guy who can turn in 7/8 quality innings in that role (unless it’s a guy who’s that teams no.1 or 2 the next year)

  30. Bobby D

    May 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    No polly at SS. I’d try to bring in Nomar before I moved my every day third baseman over. Not saying I want Nomar on the team, I’m just saying.

  31. Manny

    May 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Just let Valdez play while Castro gets better (he’s just day to day, I think). No need to experiment or anything.

  32. Philly Texan

    May 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Dipsy, I think we’ll need Madson later in the season. Contreras has been great, but at his age, he might wear down — like Durbin did a few years back after a great first half. If so, we’ll need Madson to get healthy and get his head right for the stretch drive.

    Kendrick’s next start will be interesting. Hopefully he can keep this going. Unfortunately, I doubt it. Even as well as he pitched last night, he also got pretty lucky. He left some balls up that the Cards didn’t swing at inexplicably and a few others were scorched, but right at defenders. He also got a good call at third on the steal attempt which saved a run) and a very fortunate call at first base on the guy (Ryan?) sliding head first. (that was a great play by Chase but the runner was clearly safe.)

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d love it if Kendrick pitched like that every time, but his stuff wasn’t as good as his line indicates. And it won’t be surprising if he gets hit around next time out.

    Still, that was a warm your stomach kind of win. I’d love to take 3 of 4 from the Cards.

  33. APhanaticPhew

    May 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Ummm this is semi unrelated but did anyone else ride regional rail last night or last friday against the mets? Bc I’m not complaining but both times the ride home was free. . . . so am I just getting lucky or is there something I’m missing, and I’ve ridden after 11 before and it wasn’t free then. I know friday the train was way behind schedule but last night if it was late it was only a few minutes. Just wondering if I should keep riding free and save money or if I can go back to driving lol.

  34. George

    May 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Phillie Texan: Isn’t it possible that the Cards “inexplicably didn’t swing at” a few pitches up in the zone because they were not expecting them and got fooled? I won’t say they didn’t hit some scorchers, but batters do that against other starters as well. Maybe you should give credit where credit is due: 7 innings, 0 runs is a very good game even with a little luck.

    Kendrick’s stuff is NEVER great. It’s location that he needs to keep after to be successful. When he locates, he gets weak ground balls, when he doesn’t, it’s extra base hits and a very short outing.

  35. Philly Texan

    May 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    George, I’ll give KK credit for a good start. I’m just concerned that he can’t do it consistently and next time it’ll be six runs in three innings.

    He made some great pitches last night, for sure. But others were up — belt high, middle of the plate — that were either hit hard for outs or the Cards took for strikes.

    I agree he has to hit his spots more than other pitchers, but his ability to do that seems to change not from game to game but from batter to batter. Last night the results were very good. But against a more aggressive offense –the Marlins would’ve plated like 5 runs last night — the results may well be different.

    So credit to KK for sure. But beware the fool’s gold.

  36. psujoe

    May 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Man Moyer looks incredible. 2 hitter going into the 9th. The starters are really starting to let the BP get some rest. Amen.

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