Tonight started out so poorly, but so typically. Kyle Kendrick, he of the 10.80 first inning ERA and 1.057 first inning OPS against, was in early trouble. After the David Peralta lined out to start the game, Kendrick gave up a double, an infield single, and then hit the next batter. Bases loaded, one out, top of the first, Kendrick on the mound.
We've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. But somehow, this time, we wound up in an alternate universe where good things happen. Instead of giving up 3 or 4 runs in the first, Kendrick found a way to get out of the inning giving up no runs. Yes, nothing. He struck out Mark Trumbo and then got Martin Prado to line out to right field. First inning over, Kyle Kendrick on the mound, no runs. Miracles do happen.
From there, it was pretty smooth sailing for Kendrick, as he faced one batter above the minimum through five innings. Having gotten out of the first, maybe he was able to relax. Whatever it was, his pitching was good enough, and the Phillies offense was spitting out runs in the first few innings.
None of it was big time offense, but it resulted in 5 runs. In the first, three walks and two singles lead to two runs. In the second, an error, a single, a double, and a stolen base lead to one run. In the third, a hit by pitch, a double, a sac fly, and a single lead to two runs. Nothing flashy, nothing big, just getting guys on, moving them around, and scoring runs. I have no doubt that Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg were sitting in the dugout talking about how much they enjoy watching the game being played the right way, dagnabbit!
After the Phils scored another run in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a double, single, and error, Kendrick remembered that he wasn't that great a pitcher in the sixth. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases. Sandberg had seen enough, so he brought in Antonio Bastardo to face the lefthanded Gerardo Parra.
An aside here. This has not been a good week for Phillies trade prospects. Cliff Lee was not good Monday. Jonathan Papelbon couldn't close out the game Tuesday and was very bad Wednesday. Ryan Howard was benched against a right-handed pitcher he's dominated in his career and has now sat three games in a row.
So it's only fitting that Antonio Bastardo, another possible trade target for teams looking for lefty relief help, continued the trend. After Bastardo entered the game, the Diamondbacks countered by pinch-hitting righty Alfredo Marte against Bastardo, and one no-doubt-about-it swing later, the game was suddenly close - 6-4.
The Phillies didn't score in the bottom of the sixth, and then Bastardo came back out for the top of the seventh and decreased his trade value even more by allowing the first two hitters to reach on singles. Sandberg had seen enough and brought in Justin DeFratus. After striking out Aaron Hill, DeFratus loaded the bases by walking Paul Goldschmidt. At that point, it was obvious the Phillies were going to blow it. We've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends.
But again, the unexpected happened. DeFratus brought out his nasty stuff and struck out the next two batters, keeping the Phillies in the lead, despite how hard Antonio Bastardo tried to throw it away.
From there, the Phillies scored 3 more runs, thanks to a loping Griffey-esque-swing from Dom Brown that cleared the right field wall by a couple of feet that scored two and Grady Sizemore's 1000th career hit, that scored Andres Blanco.
Jake Diekman pitched the last two innings, repeatedly hitting 100 on the radar gun. He allowed 1 run in the top of the ninth with two outs, but it didn't matter at that point. The Phillies won 9-5.
When my son asked me today who the Phillies were playing tonight, I told him the Diamondbacks, a team just as bad as the Phillies. The game would be either 1-0 or a lot of runs to somewhat less a lot of runs. It was the latter tonight.
Two bad teams met at the ballpark, and 14 runs were scored. Today, it was the Phillies that got the best of the Diamondbacks. Tomorrow, well, who knows with these two clunkers. Regardless, we'll take it.
Fangraph of 2 game win streaks, at home no less!