Kyle Kendrick is awful. We all know this.
Every sane, rational, clear-headed Phillies fan knows that Kendrick stinks. All you have to do is look at the numbers (2-7, 5.24 ERA, 80 hits in 67 innings, 1.582 WHIP, with opponents hitting .304/.375/.490 against him) and you can see that the only people in this world who can reasonably tell Kyle with a straight face that he’s good are his parents, his siblings, his wife and his cats.
OK, so maybe not his cats. But they’ll rub up against him until he gives them food, which is kinda the same thing.
In Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates, giving the Phils a disappointing four-game split with the Buccos, Kendrick was torched early, giving up five runs in the first inning. He put the Phils behind the eight ball right away, forcing a still-struggling offense to do something they’ve rarely done this year… mount a comeback win.
Still, despite putting his team in a 5-0 first inning hole, Kendrick was very generous to himself after the game.
“Gave us a chance to win,” Kendrick said. “Pitched deep in the game. They needed me to pitch deep in the game, I did that. We were in the game, had a chance to win the game. Yeah, you never want to give up runs, but I was happy with myself to go deep like that and give us a chance.”
“Gave us a chance to win?” Seriously?
Oh wait, I get it! Kyle is pulling a prank on us! He’s getting back at everyone for that “I’m being traded to Japan” thing that Brett Myers pulled on him a few years ago! That’s the answer, right?
Of course, as CSN’s Jim Salisbury noted, Charlie Manuel had a different perspective on Kendrick’s performance.
“Let’s a little air out of the bubble,” Manuel said. “Especially in day games. Definitely plays a part in it.”
Now it’s only fair to note that Kendrick shut the door after that first inning implosion, retiring 20 of the last 24 hitters he faced, saving a bullpen that was inexplicably asked to go the full nine innings the night before.
But getting all excited about shutting the door after allowing five of the first six batters you face to score is kind of like getting pumped about how quickly you were able to call the fire department after you burned your house down.
By that point, the damage has been done.
I’ve seen some people try to give Kendrick a break by saying he’s been thrust into a role in which he should not be. That he was never meant to be a full-time #5 starter, and that his true value comes in his ability to move between the bullpen and the rotation. And it’s true, in 2011, Kendrick did that very well.
But at $3 million, shouldn’t a little more be expected? That is not a salary for some in-between shuttle jockey. That’s enough money where you should expect a pitcher to get hitters out. And right now, as well as throughout most of his career, Kendrick hasn’t done that well enough.
The good news is that Ruben Amaro made sure to lock Kendrick up for 2013 as well. And for only $4.5 million! What a steal!
I’m sure there would have been no one on the free agent market this coming offseason (or two or three pitchers for that matter) who could give the Phillies what Kendrick does, or more, for less than $4.5 million. I mean, really. If you’re Ruben, you HAVE to lock Kendrick up through next year, right? I mean, you don’t let talent like that just walk out the door.
Hey, if nothing else, it’s good to know that Kendrick still has his confidence.
If only he had a fastball.