Don't worry, guys, I got this. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Phillies won the third game of a four game series in St. Louis, 4-0, on the strength of a dominating performance from erstwhile laughingstock Kyle "Toolbag" Kendrick and a two-run double from John Mayberry Jr. off Cardinals' starter Jaime "Mr. FIP" Garcia.
Winning (and potentially sweeping) the road series against last year's playoff villains is a pretty good narrative for this game, but really, the story has to be about Kyle Kendrick. More after the jump.Raise your hand if you predicted that, by Memorial Day weekend, Kendrick would have more wins than Cliff Lee. Raise your hand if you thought he would be tied for the team lead in shutouts (with Joe Blanton!). Raise your hand if you thought he'd manage a seven-hit complete game with no walks on only 94 pitches (70 for strikes!). None of you raised your hands, did you.
Kendrick, who has been described on these pages recently as a "black hole," a "bucket of suck" and a voodoo lord, and making a spot start in place of an injured Vance Worley, threw first pitch strikes to 26 of the 32 hitters he faced, scattering seven hits against four strikeouts. What makes this all more impressive is who these hitters were. Coming in to tonight, they collectively ranked first in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, triples, homeruns and total bases; or, in the immortal words of Harry Doyle, they "lead the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair."
After Jimmy Rollins was robbed of a homerun leading off the ball-game, both pitchers settled down. The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, when Shane Victorino doubled in Hunter Pence on a ball that Matt Holliday couldn't keep out of the corner. Then in the sixth, they tacked on insurance. After Placido Polanco led off with a double and Pence and Victorino drew walks, Mayberry lined a double to left, scoring Polanco and Pence. Freddy Galvis then grounded out, but Victorino was running on contact and scored easily. The 4-0 lead was more than enough for Kendrick.
This win is certainly satisfying for another reason, one I alluded to earlier. This win of a road series is certainly a step towards vengeance for last year's NLDS defeat by the Cardinals and their obnoxious squirrelly allies. It's especially fitting that the final out was by David Freese, on a called third strike. Booya.
Fangraph of Aceness:
With the win, their fourth in a row, the Phillies improve to 25-23, four games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. The fourth and final game of this series is tomorrow afternoon at what my iPhone assures me is 2:15PM. Somehow I expect it'll be on somewhat sooner /timezone'd.
Lehigh Valley 2, Charlotte 3
Tyler Cloyd: 5.2IP, 7H, 2ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
Domonic Brown: 2 for 4, third straight game in CF!
Cody Overbeck: 2 for 4, 2B, K
Kyle Hudson: 2 for 3, 2B, OF assist
Reading 4, Harrisburg 5
Drew Naylor: 5IP, 8H, 4ER, 4K, 2HR
Michael Cisco: 3IP, 4H, ER, 7K
Tyson Gillies: 1 for 1, BB
Cesar Hernandez: 2 for 5, CS
Darin Ruf: 1 for 4, BB, K (currently hitting .343/.420/.562)
Leandro Castro: 0 for 3, BB, K
Sebastian Valle: 2 for 4, HR, K
Clearwater 1, Daytona 3
Garett Claypool: 3IP, 3H, ER, BB, 4K
Brody Colvin: 2IP, 4H, ER, K
Cody Asche: 2 for 4, 2B, K, SB
Anthony Hewitt: 1 for 4, 2K
Drew Hillman: 2 for 3, HR, CS-PO, E7
Lakewood 1, Hagerstown 10 (game one)
Lino Martinez: 3IP, 4H, 4ER, 3BB
Gauntlett Eldemire: 0 for 2, BB, K, SB, OF assist
Kelly Dugan: 1 for 3, 2B
Harold Martinez: 0 for 3, 2K
Brian Pointer: 0 for 2, K
Lakewood 7, Hagerstown 5 (game two, in progress, further bulletins as events warrant)
Josh Wanrer: 3.2IP, 6H, 5ER, 3BB, 2K
Luis Paulino: 2.1IP, 6H, BB, 3K
Gauntlett Eldemire: 1 for 3, 2B, HBP
Kelly Dugan: 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SB
Kyrell Hudson: 1 for 3, HR
Aaron Altherr: 0 for 3, 2K
Brian Pointer: 1 for 2, 2B