At first glance, there wasn’t much reason to hope for a Phillies victory on Friday night. They’d be facing the St. Louis Cardinals who are one of the better teams in the National League; the Cardinals would have Adam Wainwright – one of the best pitchers in baseball – on the mound; and perhaps most damningly, their scheduled starter was Kyle Kendrick.
Before the first inning was complete, Kendrick had given the pessimists plenty of ammunition. As he has done so often this season, he allowed runs in the first frame, and the Phillies were facing a 3-0 deficit before they even had a chance to bat. Against Wainwright, defeat seemed like a foregone conclusion.
As it turned out, Wainwright was not on top of his game.
The Phillies scored a run in the first thanks in part to an infield single and an RBI groundout by Ryan Howard. The Phillies added four more runs in the third thanks to a combination of walks, singles, and productive outs. For the night, the Phillies managed to score five runs on eight hits, none of them for extra bases.
Meanwhile, Kendrick rebounded after the first. He allowed a solo home run in the third, but then held the Cardinals scoreless until the seventh inning when the tandem of Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon took over and finished things off with ease. The Cardinals were held without a baserunner over the final five innings.
The Phillies will look to earn their third straight win on Saturday night. It will probably be difficult to beat the Cardinals two nights in a row, but after seeing Kyle Kendrick outpitch Adam Wainwright, the possibility of victory doesn’t seem quite so outlandish.