Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good pitching + a little bit of offense = Phillies win!

(AP Photo/Justin Maxon)
It wasn't pretty, but Kyle Kendrick got the job done. After being bombed for 7 runs in 4 innings the last time he faced the Marlins, Kendrick pitched 6 shutout innings to lead the Phillies to a 5-0 victory over Florida. Kendrick walked 5 batters and gave up 4 hits in those 6 innings, but he pitched his way out of jams and managed to strand every one of them. It was the third straight good outing for Kendrick who has pitched a combined 18 and 2/3rds innings in his last three starts and has given up only 3 total earned runs. I'm no math whiz, but that's an ERA of about 1.45 over his last three starts, and that's quite impressive. Of course, he has also given up a total of 18 hits and 8 walks in those starts, for an unimpressive 1.39 WHIP. He's been more lucky than good, but you can't argue with his 10-5 record.

For whatever reason, the Phillie offense has come up short time and time again when they get a good outing from their starting pitcher, but they managed to score often in the early innings to give Kendrick a nice cushion to work with. The Phils scored 4 runs in the first 3 innings, with one of those runs coming on Ryan Howard's 32nd homer of the season. Props should also be given to Mike Cervenak who got his first major league RBI on his first major league hit when he singled in the 6th inning. Cervenak is 31 and has spent several years in the minors, so you can bet he feels good about finally getting a little bit of playing time in the big leagues.

The win moves the Phillies back to 2.5 games ahead of the Marlins and 3 games ahead of the Mets, who also lost tonight. The final game of the Marlins series is tomorrow with Chris Volstad facing Cole Hamels, who is looking for a better outing than his effort against the Cardinals last Friday.

The Phillies also got some bad news tonight, which many Phillie fans will think is good news. Tom Gordon had to leave a rehabilitation appearance in a Single A game when he felt discomfort in his pitching elbow. Gordon will come back to Philly to have his arm checked out and could be out much longer than expected. Don't cry all at once, Phillie fans.

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