Boy, Kyle Kendrick is really going out of his way to try and prove that he isn’t a lousy starting pitcher.
And lately, he’s been succeeding.
Kendrick pitched six shutout innings, running his scoreless streak to 21 before giving up two in the 7th during Friday night’s 4-2 over the first place Nats at Citizens Bank Park. Happily for the villagers, the bullpen held on to give Kendrick his third win in as many starts.
Thanks to some early offense by Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, both with RBI singles, Kendrick coasted into the 7th with a 3-0 lead. However, a two-run homer by Tyler Moore cut the lead to one, and it was sweaty palms time once again.
But for the second straight night, the bullpen came through. Kendrick lasted 6 2/3 innings, with Jeremy Horst getting the final out of the seventh. Antonio Bastardo started the eighth, retiring the only man he faced, followed by Josh Lindblom and Raul Valdez, each of whom allowed baserunners.
That brought on B.J. Rosenberg, who impressed the night before with a fastball clocked at around 96-97 mph. Facing Jayson Werth with two on and two out, Rosenberg struck Werth out swinging on a 96 mph straight ball.
This kid, he can throw the straight ball.
It’s easy to see why the Phillies are intrigued by Rosenberg. He throws bullets, reaching 97 on the gun once again last night. Still, it’s been a struggle for the 26-year-old for much of the season (10.24 ERA), mainly because he’s been pitching as tight as the games in which he’s playing.
But not last night.
Ryan Howard added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon closed things out with a scoreless ninth.
But back to Kendrick. Has he secured himself the #5 spot in the rotation, or is he still in an open competition with Tyler Cloyd or whoever else may be fighting for a spot in the Phils’ rotation next spring? Considering that he’s set to make $4.5 million next year, you can bet the Phils are hoping Kendrick’s September goes a lot like his last three starts here in August.
Where It All Went Right
When B.J. Rosenberg struck out Werth to end the 8th inning. The Nats were threatening and, let’s face it, this is exactly the type of situation the Phils have had problems with all year. Protecting a late lead or keeping a game close, especially in the 8th, has been the Phils’ Achilles heel. But Rosenberg, in what was easily the most pressurized moment of his career, shut the door on their Nattitude.
Most Attractive Play
When this fan almost killed himself trying to catch a $3 baseball. Look guys, I, like you, would love to catch a foul ball at a Major League baseball game. And if you’ve got nothing left to live for her, then by all means, get as risky as you want. But seriously, if you have any family or friends who would be even just the slightest bit bummed if you fell off the second deck of a baseball stadium because you were trying to snag a foul ball, just let it go and let someone else take a crack at it. It’s not worth the funeral costs.
Kyle Kendrick, who ran his scoreless innings streak to 22 before it was finally stopped. You just know somewhere in wherever the heck it is Orel Hershiser lives that the O-Dog was breathing a heavy sigh of relief. Orel, your record is still safe.
Tyler Moore, for ending Kendrick’s scoreless innings streak. Oh, and all the Nats fans who came up from D.C. to catch the game. You notice how we didn’t bar you all from the park last night? That’s called class, people. Become believers in it.