Why couldn't Kyle Kendrick be bad and give me that as his going away present? Why? Why did he have to find his groove now, when it couldn't matter less? He could have taken a dump on the mound every start for the last month -- or two! -- and it would have only HELPED the Phillies in the long run, giving them a better draft position! Either because the Phillies would have lost, or because Kendrick would have been suspended and the Phillies would have had to trot out random AAA pitcher Whosywatshit McBlabbidybloo.
But no. He couldn't give me just one good thing before leaving. He had to be actually good. Over seven innings tonight, Kyle gave up just one run and six hits. Another good start in a month of (mostly) good starts. He's the only ten-game winner on the Phillies' pitching staff right now, and if Cole Hamels doesn't win on Sunday, he'll be the only one this entire season.
The Phillies just did not want to win this game. Marlon Byrd tried to score from first on a Darin Ruf double in the second inning, and you should know what happened with that by my use of the word "tried" just now. Yeah, it didn't go well. Kendrick himself got a hit in the third, only to have the inning end almost immediately on a double play. There were two more runners on in the fourth, and both were erased on another inning ending double play. The Phillies had the bases loaded in the fifth inning and STILL couldn't score.
In the top of the seventh inning, Kyle Kendrick himself broke the stalemate. His third (THIRD) hit of the night drove in the game's first run, and the Phillies' first run in 19 innings. Three hits in a game is a career high for Kyle, and he did it in his last start as a Phillie. Of course, it was short lived. The Marlins sixth hit of the game (their fifth extra base hit) was a double that tied the game. But it was Kendrick's limp-batted teammates who let him down, and not Kendrick's own pitching arm. Or, almost. Marlon Byrd drove in Maikel Franco for the Phils' second run of the game, giving them the lead with six outs to go. Ken Giles ably handled the eighth inning, and Jonathan Papelbon, in his first game back from his Papelcrotch suspension, shut down the Marlins in the ninth. The Phillies won 2-1.
In the offseason, we'll have a proper post about Kendrick and everything he's done with the Phillies, the only team he's ever played for. And it's better for someone who is not me to do that. I have a complicated history with Kyle Kendrick. There's a mutual dislike-bordering-on-hatred between us. (Believe me, it's there.) But now it's time to say goodbye.
So goodbye, Kyle.
Yeah, that's it. You're not going to get any poetry from me. You were a fine winner but a sore loser. You were... you just were. You did what you could, and it was... it just was. There's nothing magical or fun about your stuff or your pitching style or your attitude. There was that offseason where you tried to beat Roy Halladay to workouts every morning, and that was as interesting as you got. You were with the team throughout their magical five years of postseason appearances, and, uh, you were with them. The team pranked you with a fake trade to Japan, and to me that was the highlight of your time with the Phillies.
Zoo With Roy did your departure justice in fine fashion.
There's nothing more to say between you and I. Goodbye, Kyle, and best of luck wherever you land. I truly mean that. And I truly mean this: I hope it's not back here.