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Kendrick, Pedro Shine in DH Sweep of Mets

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, September 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Comments: 82
2009 Recaps, Posts

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Kendrick pitches in the second inning of game one of a baseball double header against the New York Mets, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)It could have easily been a four-game sweep.  Instead, the Phillies will have to settle for three out of four over the New York Mets.

In Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader, memories of Saturday evening were still fresh in the minds of those in attendance.  Victory had been snatched out of thin air, as Ryan Madson gave up a two-out, two-run jack to David Wright, allowing the Mets to prevail 10-9.

On Sunday afternoon, the most impressive performance came from spot starter, Kyle Kendrick.  Pitching in place of the injured J.A. Happ, Kendrick pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs over seven hits. You couldn’t ask for anything more than the quality start put forth by the long-forgotten righty.  His poised outing certainly gave the faithful a sliver of peace following the previous meltdown.

In the midst of Kendrick’s intriguing showing, the offense continued to use the long ball to their advantage.  Before the big flies came, Ryan Howard drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double to right field off of Mets starter John Maine.

With two down in the fourth inning, Ben Francisco, starting in place of Jayson Werth, blasted a homer into the left field seats that put the Phils up 2-0.  Shane Victorino followed that up an inning later with a two-run home run to push that lead to four.

In the eighth inning, the Mets began to chip away.  After Kendrick gave up a one out single to Angel Pagan, shortstop Anderson Hernandez jumped on a 1-1 fastball and nailed it into the bullpen.  The moans and groans, and thoughts of “here we go again” no doubt popped up throughout Citizens Bank Park as the Mets cut it to 4-2.

Kendrick departed after the Hernandez blast, giving the ball off to the steady Tyler Walker.  Walker did his part in keeping the lead at two, as he got Wright to ground out and Daniel Murphy to pop out to end the half inning.

Then, the palpitations began in sync, as the 45,024 knew exactly what was coming. An insurance run in the eighth paved the way for Brad Lidge. The frustrating closer came on in the ninth inning, eager to alleviate some of the pressure on him and the rest of the bullpen for their late-game inadequacies.  He ended up with a save, but in the process did little to win back the confidence of the fan base.

With one on and one out, Josh Thole singled to right field, scoring Jeff Francouer, and instantly the bulls eye was back on Lidge.  Luis Castillo struck out, but Jeremy Reed sent Thole home on another single.  With the Phils holding a 5-4 lead, and the capacity crowd doing the same with their collective breath, Lidge got Angel Pagan to strikeout swinging.

Lidge finished things off, but again in heart stopping fashion.  With the Phillies 5-4 win, they jumped ahead of the Marlins by six games as Washington defeated Florida.  However, the anemic relief corps are turning every game into a circus.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez reacts after the eighth inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Mets, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 1-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Game 2 provided much of what we’ve become accustomed to; little offense, solid starting pitching, but worrisome anticipation leading into the later innings.

The starting pitching match up was reminiscent of two aces going toe to toe.  Instead, it was dueling fifth starters Pedro Martinez and Tim Redding firing on all cylinders, foiling the opposition with old school trickery and excellent pitch location.

Redding absolutely owns the Phillies over his career, having won five of his 36 career wins against the homeboys. In 13 career starts against the Fightin’s, the journeyman starter has an ERA of 3.13, nearly two runs lower than his overall total.  It was no different on Sunday night, either.

The 31-year old went six innings, allowing one run on a long RBI single to Chase Utley that should have scored more than one, had there not been a base running blunder by Jimmy Rollins. Unfortunately for Redding, Pedro was at his very best, continuing his streak of quality performances in red pinstripes.

Martinez chucked a season-high 130 pitches through eight scoreless frames, finagling his way out of a few jams, all while proving his 37-year old arm still has plenty of ammunition left.  His final line: eight innings, six hits, no runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Perhaps realizing that a strong final month could pay dividends when it comes to free agency in the winter, Pedro took the ball and performed magic.

On his 130th pitch of the night, with David Murphy at second base, Pedro threw a breaking ball in the dirt that Ruiz blocked beautifully, collected, and gunned down Murphy as he tried to take third.  The Bank erupted as Feliz applied the tag, and in the process, put Martinez in the running for a spot in the playoff rotation.

With a 1-0 lead and three outs remaining, Ryan Madson became the anchor and did not finish without incident.  After a quick two-pitch ground out by Jeremy Reed (aided by a beautiful play by Ryan Howard), Brian Schneider looped a single into right-centerfield to jack the collective pulse of the second sellout crowd of the day.

But with a runner on, Madson was able to close the door by striking out Francouer and getting Pagan to line out to Feliz, putting a bow on a hard fought series.  And although Madson pitched well to seal the deal, uncertainty is still very much present.

Three out of four ain’t bad, especially at this point in the season. With that said, a four game sweep was well within reach, and it was the bullpen that allowed it to slip away.  The only thing Charlie Manuel and his crew can do is keep trying to find the hot hand to close it out and hope that it works on that given night.

On this day, it was about the incredible start by our dear, old friend, Kyle Kendrick.  On this night, it was about the revival of one of the greatest pitchers of our lifetimes, Pedro Martinez.  All in all, it equaled a sweep of the day, and a six-and-a-half game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1676 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Jeff thats why I put him in there also. I really like the idea of trying happ as a closer. I think hes got the stuff and mental makeup. and pedro is dealing right now. 5-0, pitched a gem last night. He knows what its like to pitch in the playoffs, and whats it like to win the playoffs. I just like Pedro being in that rotation come playoff time. I can also see Happ being a better reliever(or closer) then pedro.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in Tn

    when they panned over to the bullpen last night, they all seemed scared to be called into the game. I’m very glad that pedro pitched as long as he did.

    personally, I have little confidence in our bullpen while we are in our slump. I’m just glad we can win sometimes while we are in our slump.

    just waiting for that spark and i think its still dependent upon Jimmy Rollins.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    What a game and what an 8th inning. The Espn guys did make it really annoying by keeping emphasizing the negative while Pedro kept getting outs. I think that 8th inning not only officially made him a Phillie but also gave him his old swagger back. Also a nice start by Kendrick. Good for him after the problems he has had over the last year and a half.

    When we first got Pedro I thought he would be a good option if Moyer continued to struggle and give us some help in the bullpen in the playoffs but now I am no so sure. He has had some good starts lately and is starting to make a real case for a spot in the playoff rotation. You have to see Hamels and Lee as automatics so thats two spots for Happ, Martinez, and Blanton. Very tough decision although Happ’s injury might made it easier depending on what happens. I’ll have to see some more starts before I can make an opinion.

    Time is the best ally of the bullpen right now. We need to get some arms healthy again and, if we can do that, then we should be ok for the playoffs. I would like to see Myers get some oppotunities to close soon so we can see who would be the better closer between Myers and Madson (as much as I love him I don’t think Lidge can bring it back this year).

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Then go some place else, Duffie D.

     
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Yeah also with Happs injury I would be worried having him going in there to pitch 7 innings. I really just like the idea of him being a closer because I would love to see him in that role and I would LOVE to see Pedro pitch some gems in the playoffs.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Pedro just has the makeup of being a killer on the mound. I love him. Great last night and against the FREAK. Yes the Mets are missing some key players but they still have some hitters. Wright, Beltran, Murphy, Castillo, Frenchy. These guys can all hit. Happ will be a starter but right now I would let Pedro keep going. He was werth a million for five win so far.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree with you Chuck. Lidge can not close this year because mentally he just doesn’t have it. I do think he can come back next year and do well. Last year was a fluke on the positive side of the spectrum. This year is a fluke on the negative side of the spectrum. Brad Lidge is somewhere in between last year and this year.

    As for Happ as the closer…I don’t know. He certainly as wiggled his way out of jams that is for sure which is an obvious plus. He doesn’t seem to get affected when guys are on base, just business as usual for him, also a positive. Here is my one big concern with him. The home run. He has given up 16 home runs as a starter, 1 as a reliever. Now that might lead you to believe that as a reliever giving up the long ball is not a concern but it is for me.

    As for Pedro, I would make him the closer over just about anyone in the pen at this point. Now in the same vain he has given up 5 homers in 5 full starts and 2 shortened starts. Of those 5 homers, 1 was an inside the parker and I don’t count that as for those watching the game, it could have and should have been a ground rule double but whatever.

    The thing with Pedro is the mental make up. You saw it last night. He will throw inside, he will bear down and he will make you beat him. That is the beauty of Pedro. He can beat you and he knows it. He thrives on situations like this. Loves the spot light. He can walk out onto the mound, stare at a guy and just fool him. He may not have the over powering stuff anymore and he knows it. He forces guys into mistakes. He doesn’t have to beat them, but he makes them beat themselves. You saw it last night. He could have easily had 10K’s last night if the ump didn’t suddenly stop calling the corners on certain batters.

    I have talked up Walker a lot. And I think he can be successful as a closer, not Lidge of 08 but he can be successful. Then again, maybe Charlie feels like Walker is best suited in these low tense situations. I have no idea exactly what Charlie is thinking. It just seems like Walker is not used enough, and maybe that is why his numbers are so good. Because he gets enough rest. Exactly why guys like Madson, or Lidge or anyone should not be going 3 straight days. That’s just madness.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    That match up with Beltran was wild. Took a while. Thats Pedro. Then coming inside all night. He killed Castillo.

     
  • Posts: 0 Duffie_D

    Chuck, that’s a pretty default answer for “I don’t have an answer.”

    I’m terribly sorry if I’d like to see the writers on this website improve. I’d love to see bloggers get more credit for the good work they do, but in general credit is given where it is earned. Metsblog was picked up by SNY for a reason, and the writing on that site vastly improved afterward for a reason, and I think the two are very much related. I think this website can be quite good a fair majority of the time, so I’m not going to “go some place else,” thank you very much.

    Also, I think it’s pretty silly to think of Happ closing. What we do not need at this point is to add more variables to the equation.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Manny, you should identify your source for that enlightening info (Madson’s variation on his fastball). Of course, having watched ESPN telecast of the game, I knew it was from one of the most knowledgeable baseball minds in the broadcast booth.. Joe Morgan.

    I agree with The Original Chuck P and his comment..”you have to work towards getting Lidge back to form for the postseason…”. If the Phillies are to have success in the playoffs, they will need their closer to regain his rhythm and command. Manuel knows this and has repeatedly supported Lidge by continuing to use him in convenient “save” situations in certain games.

    It does not make sense to put Happ back in the bullpen. He is groomed successfully as a starter this season and to suddenly change his role can have a detrimental effect on him. Manuel already has as many as FOUR starters in the bullpen with Moyer, Park, Myers and possibly Martinez for the playoffs.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    The way Pedro has pitched lately, I’m not sure if you even want him in the pen for the playoffs. If the guy can give you 7+ innings of solid pitching like he’s done, that may be worth having him start one game in each of the 3 playoff series and be available out of the pen if needed.

    At this point with Happ and his injury it might be better for HIM to work out of the pen…..but I don’t know about the closer role. I still think a mix and match with Lidge and Madson is the best alternative.

    I like Tyler Walker a lot, but to put him in the closer’s spot isn’t smart either. SOMEONE has to pitch in the set-up role or in the 7th inning and Walker has shown that he’s capable of that. Leave him there.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Duffie D…this is a SPORTS BLOG…..if you want perfect writing and grammar then maybe you should find a WRITING BLOG. Most of us on here are pretty smart, but…..I don’t we are worrying about a certain writing style or whether we are using a comma correctly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I would do what Torre used to do. Use Happ and Pedro depending on the game.

     
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Yeah I say keep Walker where he is. Move happ to the pen so you dotn strain him and make his injury worse for next year. have him, chan ho do what they need to do, where charlie feels he needs them. Have myers, madson, lidge, and some happ, work the 8th innings and close. I guess I just have this mind set of happ being a great closer. not sure why. I just think he has what it takes and can be that star that comes out in the playoffs and dominates in the closer role. just my mindset.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    If the season ended today, Lidge would not be our closer in the postseason but fortunately we have a 6.5 game lead and three weeks to figure it out.

    Madson has never performed well as a closer and I just don’t feel comfortable annointing him to that role starting with the playoffs. If Charlie does want to go with him, he has to start working him in there now every day and he needs to let him know that he’s the guy.

    I just feel like Lidge is the only guy that has been a successful closer and in the playoffs, when crowds get rowdy, you need someone that can stand strong. We’ve all seen that Lidge CAN do it… it’s not an issue of ability… but his confidence is broken. Is that fixable in three weeks? I don’t know…

    4 man – Hamels, Lee, Blanton and Happ. If Happ is not 100% healthy (emphasis on 100%… gotta protect him) then you go with Pedro…

     
  • Posts: 0 Duffie_D

    Bruce, Joe Morgan has lost about 4 steps recently. I can remember him saying some things last year on national telecasts that baffled me, such as “Pat Burrell has a lot of speed,” and “Ryan Madson has the best changeup on this staff.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Joe Morgan, but we shouldn’t believe everything we hear from him from now on (although, admittedly, his comment on Madson’s fastballs was correct).

    As far as closer goes, I see two viable options. The first and best option (as Chuck P said) is to get Lidge going well again, but I don’t know how to do that. He clearly has the track record and the mental makeup to do it. The second option is to hope that Myers has rounded into shape by the time the postseason rolls around and go with him. He also has a bit of a track record. In the playoffs, I want people who have done it before.

    Madson clearly is not an option. We’ve tried him in the closer spot for a few stints at this point in his career, and it seems he is best suited to the setup role.

    I want to keep Pedro the hell away from the closer role too. If you look at his splits, the first inning is clearly his worst inning with a .355 batting average against, which goes down to .200 in the second, .217 in the third, .176 in the fourth. This indicates to me he is the kind of guy who needs to settle in, and I think most people here who have watched him pitch this year (and indeed over the past few years) would agree with that.

    And you’re smoking something strong if you think you want to see Kyle Kendrick on the mound in a save situation. He’s shown us that he can completely lose composure on the mound. The 9th inning of a playoff game is probably the worst conceivable time to have someone like that on the mound.

    Tyler Walker is…. intriguing. He’s closed before and he has some of the best numbers on the staff with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.889 WHIP but in a much smaller amount of innings pitched (27). I do not know how he would react to the closer’s role at this point in his career.

     
  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Does anyone know how Kendrick has looked in the minors? He’s changed his approach when facing batters and added a changeup. Is he a possible piece of the rotation/pen next year?

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    No Evan. You have Drabek next year. Pedro maybe, Happ, Lee, Blanton, Hamels. Trade Kendrick.

     
  • Posts: 0 Duffie_D

    Chuck, I think I know what kind of blog this is. I want it to be more successful, and I’m sorry if I have to be the asshole who points out obvious, careless errors.

    This blog is probably one of the best Phillies blogs out there, and as a Phillies fan who has to stick up for other Phillies fans up here in the New York media market I would like things like this to reflect well on us.

    The misuse of the word meant one of two things; either the author does not know the definition of the word he used, or he does not know anything about Lidge’s career.

    I apologize for the harsh wording of my original post, but I know everybody here wants this site to succeed too. So I don’t mind being “that guy.”

     
  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    First I want to say how wrong I was about Pedro, he has pitched a lot better than I thought he would, going 7 and 8 innings into games. But depending on JA injury I would not instatly place him in the pen and let Pedro start. So I sit hear eating crow happily, cause it is nice to have a pitcher on a roll like Pedro.
    As for the pen the one thing about Madson closing is you lose him in the 8th were he has been unhittable. I even think on Saturday, if you bring him in the 8th, you go into the 9th with a four run lead.
    And as for Lidge on the Sunday afternoon, he was not awful, the Philles just let 2 runs score giving guys second base, that is not always on Lidge, casue they were not even holding them on. The first run that crossed the plate should have been thrown out if Uttly was paying attention. I get keeping the runner on first base, but the runner was just barly rounding 3rd when Chase got the cut off.
    Also if you are not going to hold the guy on first why not throw home and try and get the guy out the guy is going to second anyway.

     
  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    One other thing, unless my math is wrong, and that is very possible, aren’t the PHillies two games behind in the lose column from having the best record in the NL.
    And on a lighter note, do we want homefield advatage, taking our road record into account

    In case some of you do not get it, that last comment was very sarcastic

     
  • Posts: 0 Adam G

    Why is Charlie so opposed to putting Myers out to close a game?

     
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    I really dont think we can fix Lidge in three weeks. We have not been able to fix him in three months what makes you think we can in three weeks?

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Myers is still pretty much rehabbing. Are you sure you want to make him closer right now? Who knows…maybe it WILL come to that and perhaps he’ll do just fine. But I think that’s the reason he hasn’t been used in that role.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Myers wasn’t available yesterday because he pitched the night before and the coach, “Didn’t like what he saw” meaning there were likely mechanical issues… I would love to give him a shot but he’s gotta get in game shape, first.

    Walker is intriguing… might be a viable option but it’s tough for me to believe that we would go with him down the stretch. It seems like they’ve pegged him as a 7th inning guy… isn’t there some sort of pecking order?

    I don’t know if we can fix Lidge in three weeks either, Stuart… but I think that it’s worth a shot. To Lidge’s defense, I think that Charlie/Dubee have completely mismanaged the situation. They have succumbed to Lidge’s impatience time and time again… should have left him in the minors longer, should have let him get more easy saves, should have given him a few extra days off, shouldn’t have worked him 4 games in a row…

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I agree that Lidge has been mismanaged and that that has a lot to do with his effectiveness right now. But I’m not sure if there’s enough time to undo that for this season. In Charlie’s and Dubee’s defense of that, I think that because it was Brad Lidge that they were dealing with…you know….. 48 for 48….they probably gave him every opportunity to plead his case and they went along with it….probably more than they should have. I don’t blame Lidge for wanting to pitch, but maybe he needs to share some of the blame for not owning up to the limitations of his body.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in Tn

    which Chuck should we believe? Its all so confusing…

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Believe us both.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I agree with you 100%… it’s tough to argue with 48 for 48. He needs to put his pride aside. Lidge probably feels like that’s what makes him successful but Charlie should be able to get Lidge to see the bigger picture.

    I think that Lidge was successful because he could get outs even when he wasn’t at his best. There were plenty of times last season when the leadoff guy reached base but Brad always battled… he never lost focus and he always kept his composure. This year, he loses control when he’s frazzled and before you know it, there are three men on base with one out. He’s battling himself and the other team… I do hope that he gets it together in time to help us down the stretch. No one will care about his problems if he can get us a couple of key saves in October.

     
  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    The excess of starting pitchers in the organization is probably going to lead to some of these guys getting traded in the off season to improve the bench and position back-ups situation for next year. Maybe Bruntlett will be leaving and allso maybe Stairs too, if he does not retire. due to the poor years they have had as pinch hitter.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Boy am I surprised. I NEVER expected Pedro to #1 be 5-0, #2 pitch 130 pitches in a 5 hit shut out! WOW. Great job by Pedro, and even Kendrick! I was REALLY afraid the Phillies offense wouldnt step up against the Mets, but they did, and had it not been for Meyers and Madson, we would have swept the Mets. Madson is AMAZING in the set up man role, not very good in the closer. Meyers is usually good, and he had a bad outing combined with a bad outing by Madson. At first glance I was a little disappointed the Phillies only got 3 hits in the final game, but hey, they got the win, Redding is known as the “Phillie Killer” so thats an even more props to Pedro (still cant believe that). So Sunday the sweep of the double header, combimed with the Marlins Loss made that a very good day (the Eagles whooping it up helped as well). Lets hope the Cards can finish off the 4-2 lead they have against the Fish right now (monday night) and make it a 7 game lead. Pesky braves though. Had they played the Cards the same way they played most of the season they would have been swept. but still the BEST story line of the day is Pedro Martinez “mathematically elimated” his former ball club the Mutts from Playoff Contention. We all know they have been eliminated for months, but now its official!

     
  • Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Kendrick, Pedro Shine in DH Sweep of Mets…

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Kendrick, Pedro Shine in DH Sweep of Mets…

     
 
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