Kyle Kendrick, being aggressive. Well, "aggressive." Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Phillies won their third straight game in tonight's action packed 1-0 victory over the Marlins. I'm not kidding about action packed. For a game that had so few base runners and even fewer runs, a lot was going on. Where to even start?
Let's start with the pitching. In nine innings tonight, one pitcher made one costly mistake, and that pitcher wasn't Kyle Kendrick. Josh Johnson gave up a lead off home run on his second pitch to Jimmy Rollins, and that was the only scoring that occurred tonight. Kyle Kendrick was flat out fantastic, and I'm not afraid to say it. He threw seven scoreless frames, allowing five hits, no walks, and racking up six strikeouts. Josh Johnson also had an exceptional night, allowing just three hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Besides the home run, he handled the Phillies just like he (almost) always has.
About Kyle Kendrick, I'll say this: he was apparently talked to *a lot* this week about his pitching. He heard from Rich Dubee. He heard from Charlie Manuel. And he heard from his dad, who is the nicest guy you could meet according to Tom McCarthy. Kyle's dad apparently called him and told told his son to be more aggressive. So thanks, Kyle's dad, because he followed your advice.
And speaking of Jimmy Rollins, which I was a few paragraphs ago, tonight's game was his 1,731st game at shortstop for the Phillies, passing Larry Bowa for the most in Phillies history. His run was all the Phillies pitching staff needed tonight. After Kendrick's strong seven innings, Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless-but-slow-as-molasses ninth to get his 26th save. That's 19 consecutive scoreless innings for the Phillies pitching staff. 19! All in a row!
The Marlins have now been shut out for three straight games. They will attempt to at least score a run, if not win the actual game, against Roy Halladay tomorrow at 12:40. (The sentence I just typed doesn't really make sense, does it.) I wish the Marlins luck, because Halladay seems to be making up for all those games he missed by pitching insanely well. His awesomeness may have become a sentient being, sent to stalk the dreams of hitters.
This Fangraph represents both the Phillies third straight win and Charlie Manuel's 700th win as Phillies manager. It's also Juan Pierre's 35th birthday. Please celebrate accordingly.