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The Beatdown Chronicles

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Some quick numbers from last night's 20-2 demolition of the Cardinals in St. Louis: 

  • Carlos Ruiz (4-6, 2 doubles, 4 RBI) raised his OPS by 41 points, from .594 to .635. Ryan Howard (3-5, 2 homers, 4 RBI, 5 runs scored) raised his by 34 points, from .742 to .776. Howard also raised his OPS+ from 89 to 97.
  • The game marked the fifth time in the last 22 that the Phillies scored in double digits. They're 16-6 over that stretch and have gone from 1.5 games back to 4 ahead in the NL East. 
  • That 4-game division lead is the team's largest since June 21, 2001, when the club was 4.5 games up following a 6-3 win over the Pirates.
  • With their second 20-run uprising in less than three weeks (they beat Colorado 20-5 on May 26), the 2008 Phillies have hit the big 2-0 twice in a season for the first time since 1900. (That year, they did it three times, including a 23-8 stomping of the Pirates on July 13; they also allowed 20 runs twice in three games from June 22-25, though the first one might have been a forfeit.) 
  • Overlooked in the scoring orgy was that Kyle Kendrick, on the one-year anniversary of his callup, took the win with seven innings of one-run ball. (He also picked up two hits in the nine-run fourth inning.) Beerleaguer points out that Kendrick is now 16-6, 4.13 in his career, spanning 34 starts over two seasons. I was deeply skeptical that Kendrick would still be in the majors by mid-June; instead, he's emerged into one of the best #4 starters in the game and if his changeup, still a work in progress, ever fully comes on line, he could be even more than that.