For the first half of the game things looked promising. RBI specialist Ryan Howard had 3 of his signature stat, which helped the Phillies end the 5th with a 5-1 lead.
Then, the 6th inning happened. After a leadoff single from Buster "Rule 7.13" Posey, Pablo Sandoval hit a towering pop-up to make the first out of the inning that dropped between Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to put two on with one out. A rattled Kendrick then gave up a double to Michael Morse. Despite having only thrown 80 pitches, Sandberg declared Kendrick's night over. Kendrick made clear to all involved his displeasure with everything--his "defense," this season, this dumb wild card chase, Sandberg's annoyingly white smile--hurling expletives at all who would listen while stomping his way down the steps, past the dugout, past the locker room, to hail a cab outside the stadium. "Where to?" "Just get me the hell out of here." "I've got just the place." 15 minutes later, he dropped Kendrick off at the nearest house of ill repute.
Would that the inning had ended there. Mario Hollands and the Justin DeFratus were both victims of cruel, cruel BABIP before getting out of the inning with a tie score.
Sure, the game was tied, but we all knew where this was going. The Giants toyed with our Wild Card fantasies until the 8th, when they finally went ahead. Big loss in our hunt for the Wild Card.
Expect all the veteran leadership to be on display tomorrow for the series finale and the next chapter in our playoff push. Don't let the losses deceive you, this team is playoff-caliber.
Fangraph of the Grand Canyon: