Kyle it's time: Nationals 10, Phillies 3

Kyle. Kyle. Wake up Kyle. - Brian Garfinkel

Kyle. Wake up Kyle.

"Kyle. Wake up Kyle."

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; he wonders if he'll be an All Star any year.

"Kyle, you have to pitch. It's the first inning."

Kyle realizes he's in his Phillies uniform, on the mound at Citizen's Bank Park, pitching against the Washington Nationals. "I hate the first inning," he mutters as he quickly allows a single to Denard Span, throws a wild pitch, and allows a single to Anthony Rendon. "I really hate them." The ball off of Jayson Werth's bat seems to respond to him with a foul and unfair gesture as it sails over the wall.  "Oh great," Kyle says, "they're gonna blame it all on me."

"Kyle. Wake up Kyle."

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; he wonders if he'll be an All Star any year.

"Kyle, you have to pitch. It's the second inning."

Kyle realizes he's in his Phillies uniform again, but this time it's the second inning. "I love the second inning," he says as he confidently sets down the side in order. "I don't even care if the team scores no runs at all, because I love the second inning.  I love the third inning, too." Out, out, out. "And the fourth." Out, out, out. "And even the fifth inning" Out, out, single -- "Haha, whoops!" -- out. "Baseball's a great game, even if" he checks the scoreboard, "the guys can't seem to score any runs."

"Kyle. Wake up Kyle."

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; but maybe he'll be an All Star next year!

"Kyle, you have to pitch.  It's the sixth inning."

Kyle realizes he's in his Phillies uniform again, but now it's the sixth inning.  "I'm kind of nervous," he says to no one in particular, "I worry that I've been coasting on luck and that things are bound to go badly. I don't know why, but it's a worry I can't shake." He allows a single to Anthony Rendon, and then throws a wild pitch. "Oh no," he moans as he hits Jayson Werth, "this is very familiar."  Out. "Well all right!" And then he gives up a sac fly to Ryan Zimmerman, and as Rendon scores, he hears:

"Kyle. Wake up Kyle."

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; he wonders if he'll be an All Star any year.

"Kyle, you're on the bench.  You don't have to pitch."

Kyle realizes he's in his Phillies uniform again, but he's on the bench. Kyle looks out as Mario Hollands gives up a single, a double, and a single, adding up to three runs. "They'll blame this on me," he says, "that's how ERA works. We're all at the whim of unfair metrics though. I guess I should be grateful that's the worst that'll happen."

As Kyle watches the offense scrape together a run on a couple singles and a couple groundouts -- "Hey, that'll work I guess." -- he starts to wonder if he'll maybe not take the loss today. "I know record doesn't actually mean anything in terms of skill," he says to no one in general, annoying the other Phillies on the bench, "I'm a pretty enlightened pitcher even if people don't think so. But it still matters to me. I want to excel in my own mind as well as objectively."

He watches another two scoreless halves of innings. "It's something to hope for at least. And hey, Hollands and DeFratus really seem to be pitching well now. Good for them. I think they'll be on this team longer than me. I feel like I've been here too long. But I don't know who else would want me. This is my home, but is that good or bad?"

"Kyle. Wake up, Kyle."

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; he wonders if he'll be an All Star any year.

"It's the bottom of the ninth, Kyle. You're still on the bench."

Kyle realizes he's in his Phillies uniform again, but he's on the bench. It's the ninth inning, and by the looks of the scoreboard, he hasn't missed much. "Well," he corrects himself, "I guess I missed some offense. Three runs in two innings, that's a lot. But it's still kind of relative. We're still down 10-1; that's kind of the same thing as 7-1. Are there things such as moral victories in baseball? Does it matter?"

Kyle realizes that he's missed an error, a wild pitch, and a walk, and now Ryan Howard and Cesar Hernandez are on base with only one out. "I didn't know Cesar was in the game. Good for him. I wonder if I'll be here when he comes into his own. I don't think so. I wonder if I'll be in baseball. I hope so." Cody Asche doubles Hernandez home, and then, quicker than he can imagine, Cameron Rupp has grounded out and Hernandez has scored. "It's 10-3 now, and it's mostly all thanks to new guys.  I was new in 2007, but that seems like so long ago. I don't even recognize this team really. There are too many new people."

"Is this a rally," he asks aloud, "because it doesn't feel like a rally. But feeling is relative." Domonic Brown is pinch hitting for Jeff Manship. "There's Dom," Kyle says, "I remember when he was a rookie. I hope he can right the ship. I hope we all can." Dom makes contact just as Kyle hears a voice:

"Kyle. Wake up, Kyle. Dom has fouled out. It's the end of the game."


Source: FanGraphs

Kendrick stirs and looks around.  The calendar reads July 13th. The last day before the All Star Break. He won't be an All Star this year; he wonders if he'll be an All Star any year.

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