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Kyle's last ride: Phillies 2, Marlins 1

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Kyle Kendrick may soon be free of the red pinstriped bars of his Philadelphia jail cell; only to realize that it was he who was free all along, and we who witnessed his horrors - we were the prisoners.

"I am pitching tonight, right? Dam it, Kyle, did you read the calendar upside down again-- No, I definitely am. I definitely am."
"I am pitching tonight, right? Dam it, Kyle, did you read the calendar upside down again-- No, I definitely am. I definitely am."
Rich Schultz

Citizens Bank Park has been the only home Kyle Kendrick has even known in baseball.

The 30-year-old righty -- who was the arm behind Philadelphia's 2-1 victory over Miami on an autumn-like Saturday night -- was called up in June of 2007 to fill in for an injured Freddy Garcia. The then-22-year-old went six innings in his debut against the White Sox at Citizens Bank Park, and would go on to throw 568 1/3 more as a Phillie at home prior to Saturday. But the seven frames he worked against the Marlins may have been his last for the Phillies.

-- Erik Bacharach, MLB.com

Back when this team's rotation was putting on a nightly clinic, "How to Dominate an Opposing Lineup While Also Shattering Them on an Emotional Level," a scattered Kyle Kendrick implosion was tolerable. Half of us would bitch on Twitter, then scramble slovenly for our keyboards to see who could spend their night penning the sharpest KK fan fiction for the next day. It helped that the 'little bruvver' caricature we made of him was matched by a similar dynamic with Cliff Lee and the pitching staff in real life.

He's been a personal muse of my own, the driving source of mockery in this posts like this or dozens of others like it, lost when The Fightins archives were accidentally burned down after the 2010 NLCS by some misguided arsonist who might have thought that by destroying the documents of the past, the past, too, would be destroyed.

But that I won't miss Kyle for any on-the-field reasons is probably a sign that yeah, I'm ready for the Kyle Kendrick Era to be over.

Kyle had nine more innings in Citizens Bank Park, if he wanted them. He would face the Marlins, a team playing for something, while Kyle, September being far too late to start impressing the Phillies enough to talk about re-signing, was auditioning for outside work.

He threw 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits and just one run, while striking out six. Things started out well enough when he didn't let the Marlins score 12 runs in the first inning. In fact, his legendary 9.31 first inning ERA would go without any upticks, making this truly a historic night.

The feel-gooderies were flowing, clearly, as children were given gifts instead of being balled up by their parents and hurled onto the field like common garbage, as in normal Kyle Kendrick starts.

No, instead, it was the Phillies' turn to strike early, thanks to the evening's other, better, happier story, Maikel Franco.

The rook got the start at first and had immediate effect, making a nice catch to limit Kendrick's exposure to his chief weakness, the other team's lineup. In the bottom of the evening, he followed Ben Revere's single with an RBI hit, and scored when Marlon Byrd punched him through with a double.

The next inning, Garrett Jones opened the eye-rolling with a solo shot off Kendrick, throwing his campaign to replace Giancarlo Stanton in the Marlins' outfield into overdrive.

He'll have to work fast as Stanton's freakish, unnaturally fast-healing body devours his injury and turns it into more ripples for his biceps. Giancarlo Stanton is terrifying.

The Phillies bullpen took over in the seventh, and Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon combined to allow one hit, one walk, no runs, and three strikeouts. Byrd helped them out by nailing Justin Bour at the plate as he tried to score on a Reed Johnson single in the seventh.

Marlins starter Brad Hand threw six innings pretty well - he didn't have any walks - and reliever Sam Dyson threw the other two. Ben Revere's two singles and Byrd's double were the only hits other than Franco's RBI single. The 5-8 spots in the Phillies lineup went 0-for-12.

Jonathan Papelbon slapped a sharp grounder in the face and the game was over. It's a simple game, when your opponent doesn't get to start with a six-run lead.

And that was it. Kyle Kendrick may never pitch in Philadelphia again.

Here's a graph.


Source: FanGraphs