The playoff chase has been on for the last few weeks. Now, the Phillies aren’t chasing anyone.
With tonight’s 3-1 victory over the New York Mets, the Phils jumped into a virtual tie with the San Francisco Giants atop the NL Wild Card standings. Obviously, the Wild Card isn’t the division, which the team ultimately wants, but it is a step in the right direction.
On this night, the Mets offense was stymied by the solid arm of Kyle Kendrick, who bounced back nicely after one of his worst outings of the year.
Kendrick wasn’t spectacular, but was solid as he tossed 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and one run. That lone run came from the bat of Jose Reyes, as he smacked the foul pole in right field in the third inning. It was another steady start from the Phillies fifth starter. For KK, it was his fourth outing of six innings or more and two earned runs or less in his last five games.
Mike Pelfrey was pretty good for the Mets, however, Shane Victorino and the bats gave Kendrick just enough for his eighth win of the year. Victorino led off the scoring for the Phils in the third inning with an RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins. Just prior to the run-scoring hit, Rollins stole both second and third in succession, finally showing that his calf and foot injuries are behind him. If the wheels are back and Rollins can be a pest on the bases, it’s just another added element that has been missing this season.
There was a bit of a scare in the third inning when Placido Polanco was hit by a pitch on the left hand. All was well two innings later when Polly put one up the middle to score a run, which happened to be the game winner. They added one more in the sixth inning on a Carlos Ruiz RBI single that brought home Jayson Werth.
Following Kendrick, the bullpen locked it down over the final 2 1/3 innings with Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, and Brad Lidge throwing hitless baseball. Lidge put together a clean ninth inning for his 16th save, tossing just nine pitches to finish off the quick jaunt to Queens.
And, for the time being, the Phils sit in a playoff spot. The Braves sit two up in the NL East.