Super excited to be popping the champagne on my inaugural TGP post. Let's do this, gang!
**pops champagne, sprays everywhere**
Today's game featured another stellar Kyle Kendrick performance, a great catch by Dom Brown, and baseball's most white knuckle play, the rundown that results in no outs. Neato!
**sops up spilled champagne with old rag, squeegees back into bottle, re-corks it**
KK was truly on point, going seven innings and only surrendering six hits and two earned runs. The Phillies, indicating some sort of deep, personal problem with Kendrick, flat-out refused to score for him.
But not only that, the defense even cost him a run. In the bottom of the first, after right fielder Gerrardo Parra led things off with a home run, the Phillies had a chance to smother a Diamondbacks threat following Didi Gregorious' triple. Kendrick shot down Martin Prado on strikes, then watched as Eric Chavez hit a ground ball to Ryan Howard.
Howard fielded it cleanly and threw home, catching Gregorious in a rundown, but Erik Kratz developed a strong emotional attachment to the ball after receiving it and couldn't bring himself to throw it to third in time to get the runner.
It was a play Larry Andersen was still complaining about eight innings later, and cost the Phillies a run when center fielder A.J. Pollock singled in Gregorious.
Afterward, Kyle continued to pitch well, allowing no more runs, and the Phillies continued to hit poorly, also not allowing any runs. They had eight hits at the end of the eighth inning, with two double plays and nothing productive to show for it. It should be mentioned that Freddy Galvis, starting at third, went 3-for-4, scoring zero runs. It doesn't even really have to be mentioned that Chase Utley went 4-for-5 with two doubles.
Jeremy Horst kicked the bullpen gate open and threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a pair of K's (strikeouts, not Kyles), giving the Phillies another chance to score two runs, something that 21 of MLB's teams had already accomplished on the day, including the Houston Astros.
Heath Bell took things over for Brandon McCarthy in the ninth, with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Delmon Young set to face him.
Chase Utley hit a home run ball that turned out to be a double.
Ryan Howard grounded out immediately instead of striking out eventually.
Delmon Young plucked a double that knocked in Utley, and was replaced with John Mayberry on second.
That left things up to Dom Brown - who punched a single past shortstop to bring home Mayberry, and ruining the cynical, sarcastic tone of this recap [Even in this glorious moment, L.A. again brought up the failed rundown as the reason the Phillies weren't now winning. That play really messed him up.]
Antonio Bastardo came on, and threw a 1-2-Cody Ross walk inning before being replaced by Justin De Fratus. Paul Goldschmidt, for whom a walkoff hit would solidify his charming narrative as the Dbacks' rising star, got his ass K'd by De Fratus.
Dance for me, FanGraph.