Kyle Kendrick is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get. Sometimes you find one of those great, dark chocolate covered strawberries, and other times you get those disgusting orange-toothpase flavored ones that make you want to yak in your throat a little bit.
Today was neither of those.
Kendrick pitched well through the first three innings, keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard, allowing only one base runner (a Jhonny Phehrhahlhthah single) to that point. Meanwhile the Phils offense managed to provide him a little bit of early offensive support with a three run second inning.
Ryan Howard started off the second with a jam-shot squibber that slowly rolled to where third basemen usually play when they're not in a giant overshift. But they were in a giant overshift allowing Howard to beat the play without a throw. John Mayberry, inexplicably starting versus a RHP, was then hit by an errant pitch by Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. It probably hurt, as Martinez was throwing 98 mph gas all inning. Unfortunately for Martinez, that gas wasn't much in the strike zone. He proceeded to walk Domonic Brown on 4 pitches, loading the bases for Cody Asche who promptly unloaded the bases with a three-run double to left-center.
Unfortunately that would be the extent of the Phillies' offense, and it would not serve to be enough of a cushion.
In the fourth inning the Cards struck for four runs, though in Kendrick's defense he didn't really pitch all that poorly. With one out, Matt Adams doubled to the base of the CF wall, on perhaps the only hard hit ball of the inning. Allen Craig walked, after which Yadier Molina hit a flare/liner into right-center to load the bases. With the bases loaded Jon Jay BABIPd Adams home on a ball through the 3-4 hole, then J-honey Peralta singled on a weak liner to CF that barely made it to the OF grass on the fly. Two runs scored on the hit, tying the game, and Ben Revere limp-noodled a toss home rather than hit the cutoff, allowing Jay to advance to third base. That became important because the next batter, Mark Ellis, bunted him home on a safety-squeeze, 4-3 Cards.
That's all they would need, as the Phils couldn't muster another run. The Cards would add an insurance run against Kendrick in the 6th that started: single, fielder's choice, single, fielder's choice, RBI single. Cards 5, Phils 3, and that's how it would end. KK's final line was 6 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB (though his FIP was a lovely 2.92), which is the kind of start a 4th/5th starter can be expected to post from time to time.
The Phils end up with a 2-2 split against the Cards, who had been surging coming into the series, and finish their road trip 5-2. The Phillies return home to face the floundering Marlins tomorrow night.
Things to take away from today's game:
- Asche with his first extra base hit and RBIs since returning from injury, finishing 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI
- Cameron Rupp did a good job behind the plate and showed off his hose gunning down Matt Carpenter in the 7th and Hhhhhhy Peralta in the 8th.
- Ken Giles struck out another two batters in his one inning of work, bringing his total to 8 k's against only 2 walks in his first 4.1 innings of major league ball.
The Not as Good:
- Another lose
- The top of the order (Revere, Rollins, Utley) was a combined 0-12
- Kendrick wasn't quite as crisp as he was against Atlanta
- Jimmy Rollins' 15-game hitting streak ended this afternoon. The streak was notable in that Rollins had only 15 hits in those 15 games, batting just .250/.288/.417
Fangraph of regression: