After a disappointing two-game series in Cleveland, the Phillies quickly put it behind them and battled past the Marlins, 7-2, on Thursday night.
KENDRICK BATTLES FOR A WIN
-After 96 pitches, 67 of them for strikes, in seven innings, Kyle Kendrick’s night was complete. He allowed seven hits and two walks, but kept the damage to a minimum by giving up just the two runs to the Marlins. Kendrick added five strikeouts.
-What Kendrick has done a solid job of all season is keeping runners on base. His strand rate coming into the game was 85 percent, 7th best in the National League. That number went up, as Kendrick left runners on base in the second, third, and fourth innings without allowing any damage on the scoreboard. In the third, he held the bases loaded, and that ability to keep teams from scoring in tight situations has catapulted him into a new stratosphere as a starting pitcher.
-Although his line was solid, Kendrick was lucky to come away with this sort of performance. What the numbers don’t really show was that Kendrick was not at his best. He left many pitches up in the zone and would have been hurt much more by a better hitting ball club. Alas, a win is a win, but Kendrick will have to do better next time.
-Great inning from Mike Adams. Hit 92 on the fastball, struck out two, threw 14 pitches, 12 strikes.
HOWARD HOT/BROWN’S BOMB
-Over his last 12 games, Ryan Howard is hitting .326 (14-for-43) with 4 doubles, 3 homers and 12 RBIs. The only problem is his lack of walks. With his eighth inning walk, Howard reached first base by way of bases on balls for the first time since April 12, a stretch of 16 games.
-Domonic Brown is also heating up a bit. Over his last eight games, Brown’s average has risen 60 points, from .206 on April 23 to .266 after Thursday’s game. Brown went yard in the second inning in an estimated time of 3.1 seconds according to Chris Wheeler, who happened to tell me that in the mens room after the inning. Too much? Brown also singled in the fourth inning and again in the eighth, a very good sign. “On pace” means little, but regardless, Brown is on pace for 22 home runs and a line of .266/.333/.426.
-Very productive fifth inning. Erik Kratz lead off with an 11-pitch walk and eventually scored on a Chase Utley sacrifice fly. It was made possible by an error on second baseman Donovan Solano off the bat of Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll then scored the fourth Phillies run on a passed ball. Great way to take advantage of a miscue and tack on some important insurance runs.
-Jimmy Rollins is struggling. He’s just 1-for-15 over the last four games. His average has dipped to .243.
-The Phillies added three insurance runs in the eighth inning. No matter the opponent, it’s been a struggle for them to add any runs late. Another positive.