In what began as a beautiful day – sun shining, fans rocking – ended as a complete disaster thanks to a pitching staff that fell apart at the seams. The Kansas City Royals fell behind 4-0, but scored 13 unanswered runs, destroying the Phillies in the home opener at Citizens Bank Park, 13-4.
RUNS EARLY, NOTHING LATE
-The Phillies hit the ball well through the first three games. The problem was getting the runners in. Not an issue in the first three innings today. Ryan Howard brought home Jimmy Rollins on a single to right field to kick it off in the first. Domonic Brown got in on the fun with his first homer of the season, a launch to right field. Erik Kratz roped one out to left field two batters later. Kyle Kendrick just missed a homer of his own, coming inches short on the wall in left. The Phillies would tack one more on in the third and accumulate nine hits through the first four innings.
-Wade Davis was pounded in those four innings, giving up the four runs on nine hits. Davis was decent out of the bullpen last season with the Rays, but the Royals flipped him back to a starter and start No.1 didn’t go well thanks to a Phillies lineup that worked long at-bats.
-After tallying four runs in three innings, the Phillies didn’t manage a hit after Michael Young’s single in the third inning. Only John Mayberry reached base with a walk. The Royals bullpen retired 19 of the final 20 batters that stepped to the plate.
KENDRICK GOOD, THEN KENDRICK BAD, THEN BULLPEN WORSE
-Kendrick’s cruised through the first four innings allowing only two hits. Eric Hosmer got the Royals on the board in the fifth with a bases-loaded, two-run single to cut the Phils lead in half. KK didn’t make it through the sixth. He was yanked after loading the bases giving way to Jeremy Horst, who cleared ’em. Alex Gordon roped a three-run triple to the right-center alley to put KC ahead. With one pitch Kendrick went from good day to bad day.
-Kendrick had retired 13 of the first 16 batters that stepped to the plate, but could only get four of the next 11. Not good. After four promising innings from the offense and starter, the air was sucked from the stadium to that point. It got worse.
-Following Horst’s disaster was Chad Durbin’s mess and Raul Valdes’ batting practice showing. All told, the Royals cranked 19 hits on the day. All told, the Phillies as a team have given up 31 runs in four games, the most in baseball. Their bullpen has surrendered 14 runs in 12 innings, not counting inherited runners that have scored. It’s early, but very soon that will have to be corrected.
-Pretty wild scene in the ninth inning. In a clear sign of sarcasm, the remaining 10,000 fans stood and waived their towels together basically until the final out. At least they went down swingin’.