You know something is up when a West Coast game is over before midnight. Normally a launching pad, Chase Field was the site of a one-sided affair; one in which the Phillies once again gave zero output offensively. Cliff Lee was good, yet the Phillies lineup made Ian Kennedy look great in the Diamonbacks 4-0 win.
Lee again was not razor sharp, giving up two home runs on the night. His final line will show dominance in the strikeout category as he fanned 12 batters. His four runs on five hits and one walk paled in comparison to the show Kennedy put on.
Ian Kennedy – yes, Ian Kennedy – struck out 10 Phillies and tossed the first complete game shutout of his career. When you say the offense is struggling, you’d be making a gross understatement. This Phillies O is a dinghy with a giant hole in it. They can’t scoop the water out fast enough.
Kennedy looked like Greg Maddux for nine innings, allowing three hits and no walks. Only one batter, Placido Polanco, made it to second base.
For Arizona, the home runs came from Chris Young in the third and Gerrado Parra in the fifth. Xavier Nady also knocked in a run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Lee really only made those two mistakes on the night. They were miscues, however, that would prove costly.
Really, there are few words, if any, to describe this abominable showing from a lineup that was once the most feared in all of baseball. Working counts was not on the menu as the Phillies forced Kennedy into throwing just 114 pitches.
Before the game, Charlie Manuel got heated as he spoke about Jose Contreras, and his alleged misuse of the closer. He may need to channel that energy into a team meeting. Their leader will need to provide a spark somewhere, somehow. If not, this could be 2010 all over again.
The best news of the night was the scoreless inning thrown by Mike Stutes, who was brought up to replace the injured Contreras. He looked excellent in his major league debut, striking out one.
Tomorrow: Roy Oswalt vs. Daniel Hudson