It was a googly Kyle Kendrick and a strutting Darin Ruf who pieced together the Phillies’ third win since the All-Star Break; a measuring stick that most teams have abandoned, due to how far away we all are from it.
But the Phillies just kept right on losing, so last night’s 9-8 victory over the Cubs was their third win in – give me a second
16 games! 16!
Ruf, making his first start in right field, ever, was the headliner of the evening. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double that was a few feet away from being a triple, but knocked in a run anyway. His dinger came later, a lofty gunshot over the wall in left center that just made you want to tustle his hair and go, “Attaboy, Darin. Attaboy.”
Dom Brown, making his return from the DL in left, also had two RBI, mostly thanks to runners reaching base in front of him – his sputtering groundouts most likely would not have led to scoring, otherwise. And it was Chase Utley’s two RBI, two runs, and 3-for-4 evening with a triple [that was a bit more than a body's length from hitting his inside-the-park spot under the 409 sign in center field] that really made it a rollicking time.
Don’t forget Cody Asche, with two hits, including a double, and two runs after getting the start at third.
And then, there was Chooch, putting a solo shot period at the end of the Cubs’ death sentence.
Offensively, the team performed like it hasn’t in 13 of their last 16 games. Kendrick didn’t bring his best work with him, so they were forced to outrun the Cubs’ output, which included Nate Schierholtz and a truckload of “should of kept’s.” Kyle went six innings, giving up five runs – four earned – on six hits [two home runs], but no walks. His death blow came in the form of a three-run shot in the second inning from Donnie Murphy (???).
The bullpen held fast – the Diekman/De Fratus hour went by smoothly – bringing on Jonathan Papelbon, who swiftly gave up a single and a double, then struck two guys out, then gave up another single, then watched Dom Brown commit an error, then threw a wild pitch, then walked Wellington Castro, then got the last guy to fly out to left.
So he’s terrible, all while costing tons and tons of money.
But a win! A win. And the reason I’m watching is to see the young guys perform well, get better, and inspire confidence.
Which they did at certain points last evening.