After Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies collapsed in the ninth last night, Kyle Kendrick towed the bump for the Phils in game to tonight against the Padres. The Padres countered with Jason Marquis, who entered the game with a 9-2 record. So of course, just when the Phillies face a good pitcher, their bats come to life. Because eff logic.
The Padres got out to an early lead in the second when Alexi Amarista grounded out to Chase Utley, scoring Kyle Blanks. Later on that inning Pedro Ciriaco added on with an RBI single, which plated Yasmani Grandal to give the Friars a 2-0 lead after two. From there, Kyle Kendrick settled in and was locked in. And hell, for once the Phillies rewarded a solid performance from a starting pitcher.
Dom Brown started the reward in the third inning, by belting a three run shot into right-center field. It was Brown’s 20th homerun of the season and his first since June 8th. With the “Dom bomb”, Brown became the first Phillie since 2009 (Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez), to 20 homeruns prior to July. And Brown wasn’t done. In the fifth inning, Marquis loaded the bases and lost all control. Brown worked a bases loaded walk, which gave him his fourth RBI of the evening. Brad Brach then replaced Marquis and the control issues continued for the Padres. Brach threw a wild pitch to John Mayberry, which allowed Chase Utley to cross the plate and Dom Brown and Ryan Howard to advance to second and third. Mayberry then flew out to Amarista, and Ryan Howard was able to score to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead. And that was more than enough for Kendrick.
After a bit of a rough patch in the second, Kendrick went eight solid innings tonight, scattering seven hits, and allowing just the two runs. He even managed to avoid potential trouble in the seventh, in what was a superb start for Kendrick. Still, Kendrick threw over 100 pitches over eight, which meant that the Phillies bullpen needed to get involved. And as we learned last night, that usually isn’t a good thing.
Antonio Bastardo came on for the ninth inning and of course, before finishing the game, allowed the Padres to get runners on second and third. And as soon as Jonathan Papelbon started warming up, Bastardo struck out the final two batters to end the game. I don’t know though, the end of this game left a bad taste in my mouth. I have never kidded myself about what this team is, but through eight innings, I felt like the Phillies were going to send me to bed happy. And instead, Antonio Bastardo had to bring me back to reality with the Phillies in the ninth. So, the Phillies bullpen struck again basically.