Phillies fans weren’t feeling too great about the team heading into Monday’s game. Apparently, having the team not record any hits on Sunday didn’t do much to build fan morale.
It didn’t help that the Colorado Rockies were coming into town. Taking a quick look at the offensive leader boards, it seems that the Rockies rank first in on base percentage, first in slugging percentage, and not coincidentally, they rank first in runs scored.
It would take a great starting pitching performance to shut down that kind of offense. And who was the scheduled starter for the Phillies? Kyle Kendrick. The same man who was on a personal ten-game losing streak, and hasn’t won since last August.
It’s safe to say that most Phillies fans weren’t counting on celebrating a victory this Memorial Day.
“Don’t worry, KK’s gonna shut ‘em down.” – No Phillies fan ever.
Naturally, Kendrick pitched 6.2 shutout innings to lift the Phillies to a 9-0 victory. Despite not giving up a run, it wasn’t exactly a gem of a pitching performance. Kendrick walked four batters and needed Mike Adams to retire Troy Tulowitzki with two runners on base in the seventh. But when you haven’t won a game in ten months, you’ll take a win any way you can get one.
Most of the offense was provided by another Phillie who hadn’t done much to help the team win lately. Ryan Howard had been mired in a hitting slump that saw him go hitless in his last 17 at bats. So it was very nice to see him go 3-4 with a two-run home run yesterday. (Only his third home run of May, and the first since May 8th) Hopefully this is a sign that Howard is ready to start heating up, because the Phillies’ offense is still very dependent on him hitting well.
It’s very possible that Howard and the Phillies offense go back into hibernation tonight. It’s also possible (although unlikely) that Kendrick goes another ten months without recording a victory. But for one evening at least, the two came together, and the Phillies – and their fans- got to experience a much-needed victory.