Dudes, is Kendrick good now? Wha' happened??? Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

So... Is Kyle Kendrick Good Now? I'm Confused. Phils Lose to Reds 2-1

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OK, so I’m really confused now. I’ve been seeing things lately, strange things, and it has my made my brain pretty itchy.

I’ve seen Kyle Kendrick pitch five straight quality starts, the latest being his six innings of two-run, six-hit ball, in Tuesday night’s hard-luck 2-1 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati.

I’ve seen Kendrick lower his ERA to 3.96 in 132 innings which, by the way, is lower than Roy Halladay’s 4.02 in 131 innings.

Am I hallucinating? Or is Kyle Kendrick actually good now?

Since getting abused like a rented mule by the Braves back on August 8 for six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings of work, Kendrick has gone 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his last five starts. It’s easily the best run of Kendrick’s career, and with the veteran right-hander set to make $4.5 million in 2013, he certainly has the inside track on the final spot in the rotation for 2013.

So, what’s going on? Did Kendrick suddenly add an extra 3-4 miles per hour to his fastball? Did he start throwing an ephus curve? Is he using Jedi mind tricks to fool opposing hitters?

If so, Jay Bruce channeled his inner Jabba the Hut (I promise, that’s the last Star Wars reference), hitting a two-run shot off Kendrick for the Reds’ lone two runs. Other than though, Kendrick was dominant once again.

Yes, I used the words “dominant” and “Kyle Kendrick” in the same sentence. Try Googling those two phrases and see what you come up with. Anything?

As for the actual game on Tuesday night, the Phils were the wrong side of some bad luck and poor umpiring by the men in blue.

In the fourth, the Phils had the bases loaded with one out when Nate Schierholtz scorched a liner to center that was trapped by Cincinnati’s Drew Stubbs. Reading the ball correctly, John Mayberry Jr. took off from second and headed to third. However, first base umpire Chris Cuccione, who had a real good look at the play hundreds of feet away at first (that was sarcasm by the way), ruled Stubbs caught the ball. Stubbs threw to second to double off Mayberry, ending the threat.

So, instead of scoring at least one run and having the bases re-loaded with one out, the Phils were out of the inning.

And after Bruce’s homer in the 6th, the Phils bats went into hibernation.

Good night, moon.

Where It All Went Wrong

In the fourth, during the Keystone Cops operation being performed by the umpiring crew. You really had to see it to understand the confusion that reigned during that debacle. It was just more proof that 2012 simply has not been the Phils’ year.

Most Attractive Play

Erik Kratz’ pick-off throw to third to nail Reds’ pitcher Matt Latos wandering off the bag. Perhaps Latos was distracted by all his tattoos. Either way, he became the latest victim of Kratzmania.

Hero

Jimmy Rollins, for notching his 2000th career hit, all with the Phillies. He now sits fourth on the team’s all-time hit list, behind Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn and Ed Delahanty. And Rollins now trails Schmidt by just 234 hits, so it seems like a lock that Jimmy will one day, perhaps next year, become the Phillies’ all-time hit king. And in even better news, Rollins actually appeared to hustle out of the box for hit number 2000. Atta boy, James!

Villain

Jay Bruce, who hit his second home run in as many nights against Phillies pitching. Bruce is one of the National League’s better sluggers, but is also a guy you never hear about. He’s never been invited to a home run derby, yet has hit 30 bombs so far this year, slammed 32 last year and 25 the year before. In his first two seasons, both shortened by injuries, the young slugger jacked 21 and 22 home runs in just 108 and 101 games, respectively. To borrow a phrase from my youth… silent, but violent.

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