After striking for two runs in the first, the Phillies offense was unable to get to a very hittable Jake Westbrook through six innings on Sunday night. Enter the Cardinals bullpen. The Phils scored five runs in the seventh and eighth – three of which came off a towering three-run shot from Erik Kratz – to notch a 7-3 victory and a series split against St. Louis. Kyle Kendrick kept his team in it with a gutsy six-inning performance against a potent Cardinals lineup.
OFFENSE COMES UP BIG WHEN IT COUNTS
– After grounding into a rally-killing double play in the sixth, Ben Revere redeemed himself two innings later when he stung a tie-breaking single up the middle in the eighth off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs. Kratz hit the next pitch from Boggs deep into the cold Philadelphia night to blow it open, and the Phillies concluded their nightmarish week on a high note.
– Within that eighth inning, Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games in controversial fashion. Young hit a routine ground ball that deflected off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs’ glove into the infield’s no man’s land. The hometown scorer quickly credited Young with a hit. Young scored the game-winning run shortly thereafter on Revere’s single.
– It wasn’t all good for the Phillies on Sunday night. Revere’s double play was one of three in big spots for the Phillies and squandered a bases loaded, one-out opportunity. An inning later, the Phils couldn’t get Laynce Nix home from second base with no outs after he tied the game with a pinch hit double. The Phillies left nine runners in scoring position.
PITCHERS DO THEIR JOB
-Kyle Kendrick put together his third consecutive solid start, battling through six innings despite throwing 53 pitches in the first two frames. Kendrick gave up two runs, eight hits and a walk, striking out six Cardinals in the process. In his last three starts, Kendrick has given up only four runs in 19 innings, lowering his 2013 ERA to 3.28.
– After giving up a home run to Matt Carpenter in the first inning, Kendrick was able to escape trouble in the second and fourth before giving up a 2-1 lead in the sixth. It looked like it would be an early exit for Kendrick after the second inning, but he was economical enough with his pitches afterwards to notch a quality start. He threw a total of 113 pitches in the outing.
UTLEY MAKING MISTAKES
– Chase Utley made a critical throwing error in the seventh inning that put Jon Jay on second base with no outs. Jay nubbed a slow grounder past Antonio Bastardo and Utley rushed the throw, which sailed by Howard. Jay later scored on an Allen Craig single, giving St. Louis the lead. It looked like Howard could have come off the bag and made a better effort to prevent the ball from getting past him.
– Not even Utley is immune to physical mistakes, but the second baseman is normally as mentally sound as ballplayers come. Nevertheless, Utley displayed uncharacteristic carelessness on the base paths in the first inning when he was doubled up on a routine fly ball, cutting what looked like a promising inning short. It appeared that Utley thought there were two outs on the play. It is worth mentioning, however, that Chase was brilliant just a play before, tagging from first on a Ryan Howard fly ball.
DID YOU NOTICE?
– Kyle Kendrick induced only 2 whiffs on 33 first inning pitches. The Cardinals fouled 10 pitches off and had two hits, one of which was Carpenter’s laser over the right field fence.
– Starting in left field, John Mayberry Jr. had a walk, a hit and a steal. Mayberry leads the Phillies in on-base percentage (.409), slugging percentage (.553) and therefore OPS (.962) in the early going in 2013.
– Playing half way up at third base in the top of the sixth, Michael Young chose not to throw home on a ground ball off the bat of David Freese with runners on second and third, resulting in 2-2 tie. It looked like he could have had a play at the plate.
– With lefty specialist Randy Choate in to face Utley in the seventh, ESPN color guy John Kruk pointed out that although Utley is solid against southpaws, Ryan Howard’s ineptitude against them limits the second baseman in spots like that one. Pretty straight forward, but nevertheless an under-reported point in the ongoing lefty-lefty debate.
– Jonathan Pettibone, 22, will make his major league debut tomorrow night in the series opener against the Pirates. A 2008 third round draft pick, Pettibone ranked as the #6 Phillies prospect by Phillies Nation in the offseason. He has been tagged for 10 earned runs in only 9.1 innings so far in two starts this year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.