There was a time when Kyle Kendrick was that guy we all screamed at for giving up three home runs to Jason Giambi in one game that he wasn't even supposed to pitch in anyway. Not anymore, though! Not anymore, though, now.
Kyle pitched well in 2013. In June he had 25 strikeouts and only six walks! Wow. But he had middled out of late, and attempted to float into the background where we can't notice what he's up to because we're too busy scrutinizing Darin Ruf's outfield abilities and if John McDonald is really the guy on this MISSING PERSON poster we found from 1907.
So tonight Kyle took the mound a tepid, .500 man. He clawed his way through five innings, giving up eight hits, four runs, a pair of K's and a free pass, before surrendering the lead in the fifth (Though it was only one run). He then threw to four hitters in the sixth before giving way to that trio of hellbringers, Zach Miner, B.J. Rosenberg, and "Jimenez, C." They collectively allowed no runs, one hit, and four strikeouts, ending the Rockies' threat, which had continued since the moment they revealed they would be taking the field.
Meanwhile, on the Phillies' side, offense began blossoming out of the wasteland. Domonic Brown torched a single in the second, and stole third after moving to second on one of three Chooch singles (during the night, not during Dom's steal).
Roger Bernadina struck out as part of the end to that threat, then came up in the fourth with Cody Asche on first. Rockies starter Chad Bettis did Bernadina's job for him and threw a wild pitch and then balked, putting Asche on third and gave Bernadina the confidence to strike out.
The Rockies straddled the lead with a sac fly and a three-run Willie Rosario home run, but then Darin Ruf, who'd pushed Jim Jackson's voice up a few octaves with an alluringly deep fly ball earlier, actually got one over the fence in the eighth. This made things 4-3, which in baseball is known as a "Definite Phillies loss."
"No!" the Phillies shouted, ripping that definition out of the baseball dictionary.
Tapping into what must be a mostly-full well of enthusiasm, the Phillies started ticking the Dom's Day Clock (remember that from before? Ha ha great) in the ninth. Roger Bernadina excitedly popped out to shortstop, and Kevin Frandsen gleefully followed him with a ground out to the same place. They looked like kids out there! Kids who were allowed on the team because their moms complained.
So Jimmy Rollins came up, in the middle of a paltry homestand. He doubled to right, giving somebody the chance to be the hero. Then he made it easier for the hero by stealing third.
Michael Young (????) followed with an infield single (????!?!???!?) which was followed by the Rockies changing pitchers from Rafael Betancourt to Jeff Francis, who on his first pitch to Dom Brown got to watch Dom Brown win the game with a helmet-flippingly good single.
Fangraph of Cliff Lee falling down on his way to the dog pile: