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Kendrick Smacked Around in Loss to Nationals

Posted by Jonathan Fogg, Thu, April 08, 2010 08:13 PM | Comments: 58
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

Well, that certainly wasn’t what Kyle Kendrick was hoping for. After a strong spring training and substantial talk about how he has developed several other pitches to complement his sinkerball and has been learning from Roy Halladay, Kendrick came out and promptly allowed three first-inning runs in a 6-5 loss to the Nationals before a meager crowd of 20,217 at Nationals Park. To make matters worse, after the Phillies had scratched back to tie the game, Nelson Figueroa – previously a Phillie, yes, but also a castaway of the Mets’ bullpen – allowed the eventual winning run on a looping double by Ryan Zimmerman in the seventh inning.

The Nationals jumped all over Kendrick as if they knew what was coming. On the second pitch of the game, Nyjer Morgan smacked a fastball to right field for a triple. Cristian Guzman followed with a single on the second pitch, and Ryan Zimmerman pounded a first-ball fastball for a double to left; he later scored on a sacrifice fly.

After the Phillies pulled to within 3-2, Willie Harris drove a Kendrick change-up over the fence in right-center in the fourth. Kendrick was yanked after the inning, having allowed five earned runs and six hits while throwing only 55 pitches.

In the fifth, Nyjer Morgan misplayed a sharp liner hit by Placido Polanco into a two-base error, scoring Ross Gload, and Ryan Howard lined a single to center with two outs to cut the score to 5-4. But Howard isn’t exactly known for his baseruning, and moments later he made a grievous error on a double by Jayson Werth, rounding third base too far and getting caught in a rundown before being thrown out at home by 20 feet.

In the sixth, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out, and Jimmy Rollins tied the score with a sacrifice fly to right field. But Placido Polanco grounded out to end the threat.

The Phils were poised to at least tie the score in the ninth after Chase Utley led off with a double off Nationals closer Matt Capps. But with Utley on third and Howard on second with one out, Raul Ibanez – looking a lot like the Ibanez from spring training – flied out weakly to left. Victorino followed with a popup to shortstop, and the Phillies failed in their bid to open the season with a series sweep for the first time in nine years.

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Jonathan Fogg has written 23 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I know this is only a single game, but I felt we totally could have gone for the series sweep to set the proper tone for the new season. Between the pitching problems and stupid moves by the offense, this was a pretty ugly game. At least we only lost by 1 run…BUT STILL THIS IS THE FREAKING NATIONALS!

    We need to win as many games against them as possible, especially since every other team won’t be as easy prey.

    Let’s hope for a win tomorrow night, and let’s hope that Happ looks better than Kendrick did tonight, but the offense is GOING to have to show up more again!

     
  • Posts: 0 Heather

    Disappointed with the game today. Losing a good game is one thing, just being sloppy and letting it slip away is another. :-( Oh well, tomorrow is another day I guess.

    Question for all of you: I listened to the game on the radio, and the announcers were kind of insinuating that they thought it was “odd” Figueroa was in today. They were saying that he just flew in today, maybe didn’t have a chance to settle in, etc etc.

    Regardless, Figueroa looked kind of shaky the first inning and I probably wouldn’t have put him out for a second inning if I had any choices.

    Can somebody who was watching or more knowledgeable comment on this? Was this a “Charlie” error do you think (like I thought the guys on the radio were saying) or just one of those things?

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    The baserunning mistake was more Perlozzo’s fault than Howard’s. Howard is supposed to keep running until he’s stopped, and he wasn’t stopped until it was a little too late…

    We wasted several key scoring opportunities, especially in the 9th with a leadoff double (c’mon Rauuuuul!!!).

    Kendrick had a stretch were he retired 9 straight, and some pitches looked really good. I still have faith in him and he’ll have more opportunities to show us how much he’s improved. It’s his first start of the season, and I think that he showed some composure and came back strong after a very poor first inning. Let’s wait and see.

    Tough loss, but nothing to be too pissed about.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    @ Heather, re Figueroa. I was also surprised to see him pitch today. I thought he was gonna be used more for mop-up duties… wasn’t that what Carpenter was gonna do anyway in the pen? We used him in a very close game (I think it was tied at the moment), so it definitely was surprising.

    At the same time, we used Durbin, Herndon, Madson, and Bastardo yesterday…and we have 4 straight games coming up… so you want to avoid taxing the pen too much –especially when other guys (like Contreras and Figueroa) had no work at all. The flow of the game forced Contreras out quickly, so Charlie had to go with Figueroa.

    It seems that priority No.1 is to keep the pen healthy, especially while Romero and Lidge are gone. Overusing a guy like Madson or Durbin this early in the season (or Bastardo, a former SP and our only lefty) could cost us dearly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Scott in D.C.

    Hard to overcome a starting pitcher’s giving up 5 runs, as the Nats know from games 1 and 2. But they showed a lot of grit … all they needed was one more timely hit. I was at the game. When he didn’t look bad, Kendrick looked, er, good!

     
  • Posts: 0 Adam

    Frustrating game today. What is more frustrating is the play of Raul Ibanez. Raul looked awful all spring and but for a 1000 hopper between 1st and 2nd he would be 0-12 to start the season (currently 1-11). While he has been patient at the plate, Raul has alternated between weak popouts to the left-side and easy ground-outs to the second basemen.

    Watching him today showed me (and probably others) that Raul is not the Raul of April/May/June of 2009. He is being pounded with fastballs and he is simply missing them. Most of the time he is late (resulting in the pathetic weak fly out in the ninth) and the other times he guesses, opens up too early and hits a weak ground ball to the second basemen.

    All told, Ibanez is just not right at the moment. My guess is that he is not fully recovered from the sports hernia surgery and he has lost significant bat speed. I give him the Astros series and if he continues to struggle I see Charlie slowly creating a platoon between Raul and Ben Francisco.

    This likely drastic decline by Raul should trigger a few things in the head of the one and only Ruben Amaro: Re-sign Werth at any cost because Dominic Brown will likely have to take Raul’s place and not Werth’s. Sadly, I do not think he will heed my advice. It seems we may be looking at a declining Ibanez/Francisco, Victorino, Brown combo instead of a a Brown, Victorino, Werth combo in 2011.

    All in all though, you gotta like how the Phillies offense looks with Polanco in the two hole. The lineup is just so much more explosive and for some reason this team seems more patient than in previous years. Howard looks primed for an absolutely monstrous RBI year as he seems to have embraced hitting line drive up-the-middle/to the left-of second base.

     
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  • Posts: 0 Heather

    Adam, no Ibanez is certainly not looking good thus far. I just hope if he continues to struggle, the Phillies will make a change if it will benefit the team. Hopefully he will get his stuff together. :-(

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I would want to give Ibanez at least a few weeks more to turn things around even a little bit, and then we’ll see where we are at. Should he keep struggling, they will have to consider playing Francisco more, at least until they feel Brown is ready, which would probably be mid/later Summer at the earliest.

    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, since Ibanez has traditionally been a slow starter to begin with, except for last season anyway!

     
  • Posts: 0 Vernon Dozier

    I hope Ibanez turns it around, but this is what a lot of people feared when RAJ gave him a three year deal. Raul’s first two months last season made him a folk hero, but since then he’s been a .230 hitter.

    From ESPN:
    There is a lot of buzz among scouts about what is perceived to be the diminished bat speed of Raul Ibanez, the Phillies’ left fielder. “The good thing is that they can hide him in that lineup,” one scout said. “He’s a smart hitter, so he’ll guess right enough to do some damage. But he’s vulnerable now to hard stuff inside — you should pound him with fastballs. I can’t see them keeping him in the No. 6 spot for the whole year; [Shane] Victorino is a better hitter.”

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    ANNNNNNNNND Chipper is down, that didn’t take long!

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2010/4/8/1412244/chipper-jones-has-strained-right

    Granted, they say it’s only for 2-3 days…but given his injury history they’ll probably keep him out a little longer.

    Good news for the Phillies, bad news for the Braves.

     
  • Posts: 0 Scotch Man

    GET WELL SOON BLANTON! VERY SOON!

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    With the injury Blanton has, you really cannot rush him back until your sure he’s ready for it.

    Rushing him is just going to cause him to get re-injured, and then we will have a WORSE problem.

     
  • Posts: 0 SherryW

    Give Raul a few weeks before you start talking about pulling him. He needs a chance to see more pitches, he’ll get there. I personally think his timing is better then in training, when he was just buzzing past balls 10 seconds late.

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    I think the game was a wake-up call to Kendrick and that the jitters will subside as the month rolls on. Let’s face it, we left 11 men on base and that really sucks. A little bunting and hit-and-run baseball would have been a difference maker.

     
  • Posts: 0 brett

    its only his first start out there so i dont see a big deal in it, im more afraid of what jamie moyer is going to do out there. i like moyer and all but his age scares me every time i see him go out there i fear hes gonna get owned. but dont right off kendrick off just yet. if this was mid-way through the season then id be worried.

     
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  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I have far less confidence in Kendrick than I do in Moyer. There will always be doubters among the young posters here who have a fixation on Moyer’s age. There is a reason(s) why Manuel chose Moyer over Kendrick to be in rotation before Blanton’s injury. Moyer had a great spring after postseason surgeries. Manuel knows what Moyer can do on the mound and far less certain of Kendrick’s command of pitches in game situations. Kendrick’s performance today has not dispelled that thought.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Have to give the Nationals a little credit even though they were fortunate to win. Playing at home in front of the home crowd, they were were probably really motivated to win their first game of the year today after losing the first two and with their history of losing and all.

     
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  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    I don’t understand anyone who says they worry every time Jamie Moyer pitches because of his age. I’d say that the way he pitches is the way he’s pitched for years now, and you can look at those years and know that at worst you’ll get a very consistent guy. Being 47 doesn’t make him a different pitcher than he was last year, or even the year before that (when he was particularly good). He isn’t the kind of pitcher where you have to worry about age taking miles per hour off of his fastball. The man proved in spring training that he’s in great shape, and if anything he’s one year smarter and more experienced.

    As for Raul… I don’t know. I’m worried about the guy. But then again, with his off-season surgery, he couldn’t work out and hit over the winter the way he is used to doing, so it’s understandable that he’s playing catch-up at this early point in the season. I’m pretty confident that he’ll come around sooner or later.

     
  • Posts: 0 brett

    nunzio as you age the body breaks down jamie moyer is no different thats why age counts hes very lucky to be in the position he is now. im not one to ride the moyer band wagon i see it how it is. hes 47 hes not the future and i believe hes barely right now. i wouldnt trust him in a high pressure situation at all. what will you say when he loses a few games??? will say its time to get rid of him because hes to old? i highly doubt you’ll stick by him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Troutman

    Raauuuuuuuulll. Has really sucked since last June. I told buddies about my concern with him. They, as many above have, dismissed it. He is almost 38 now. he is coming off multiple surgeries. How can you NOT be worried about him? I don’t think he’s going to dramatically turn this around. If he doesn’t, it really messes Reuben’s master plan up.

    Kendrick…just doesn’t look like he belongs above AAA. Reminds of Gavin Floyd who, except for one nice season with the White Sox, looks like he’s about to have diarrhea every time he takes the mound. Yesterday, IMO, was the end of his major league career. He’ll be a nice AAA pitcher, but not much more than that. I hope I’m completely wrong, but I just don’t see it with him.

     
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  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I’m a massive Ibanez fan but a slow start is a concern, as most of you probably read an SI writer wrote an article a couple of days back suggesting it would take the Phillies trade Ibanez to re-sign Werth… Do we take bets now on which of the two’s more likely to return?

    Lets go easy on Kendrick till he’s put together a body of work, if sticking to Halladay can turn him into a 10th of what Shawn Marcum is (when healthy) the Phils will have a real numbers game going forward in the rotation which isn’t a bad thing.

    Positives- Herndon and Bastardo, it’s early, it is the Nats but nice work from these two so far and wouldn’t be disappointed with the other relievers either inc. Figueroa.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    ^just to pick up on the age thing I think it’s very harsh to rule out a guy completely for certain situations, just sets up for failure. Baseball managers have to be pragmatic and though you want to win every game, you cant put more value on winning one game than another unless there’s good reason. You have to trust a guys experience and in Moyers case it isn’t the salary keeping him on roster right now, he had a very decent spring and he isn’t too different a pitcher than the one he was 10 years ago so he can be effective and thats all you really should ask for from most guys on a game-to-game basis, consistency tends to add up to those magic double-digit wins or .300ish hitter.

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers especially expecting the role guys to produce half sexy numbers but as much as people disagree with it as a good stat, wins count however and with whoever you come by them.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Here’s the thing though….WHAT could we possibly get in return right now for Raul? In order to trade him (and I’m not opposed to it), he’s gonna have to have some kind of numbers….otherwise we’re just basically throwing him away.

    I’m not at that point yet where I think Raul is finished. He’s had a poor spring, no doubt. But let’s be as patient as we can as he tries to work though this.

    Yeah, I’d love it if the situation dicatated that Jayson Werth was the one to return….but I also want Raul to do well too. We need him healthy so he can contribute to winning ballgames.

    ——–

    Like I’ve said….Herndon could be the key the key to this pen right now.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The key to this pen is Baez, he’ll walk some guys and won’t strikeout a ton for the amount of innings he pitches but he’s a very good reliever and always has been.

    The issue with Raul is more need and salary, what teams will be looking for a bat in the off-season and how much salary the Phils are willing to eat. Many guys have been traded coming off bad seasons and the issue will be more be do the Phils feel they it’s an either or. With Raul I don’t mind the money so much, he’s a good influence on the team and if he makes other guys better then his forefilling his contract, that’s what I’ve said all along with Moyer’s deal

    This off-season you have the contracts up for Moyer, Contreras, Durbin, Dobbs, Castro (2011 option). The Phils have the minor league depth to be able to keep use that to keep Werth for this year with more names coming off the book the following year. The issue is can you give him a good enough deal before someone gives him a stupid deal, can you get him to take Jayson Bay money without it being a last resort for him? Will someone in this depressed market pay him like Aaron Rowand…?

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    I’d sit Ibanez every few games for the first month until he gets going. The bottom of the lineup killed the Phillies last night (Ibanez, Victorino and Schneider). Kendrick looked like the Kendrick from 08. I know it’s only 3 games, but I’m not impressed with our pitching. We’re gonna have to do a heck of a lot better than that if we want to beat good teams.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Baez will be a strong contributor out of the pen. I just think having a guy like Herndon is a godsend right now. It fills a very big hole that otherwise someone else would have had to fill. Now those guys, Baez, Durbin, etc can perform the roles they’re supposed to.

    No doubt the Phils will have to eat some of Raul’s salary…and I’m ok with that. As long as it frees up enough for them to offer Werth a nice deal that he maybe can’t refuse. Not sure what that deal is …..but I would imagine at least 4 years somewhere in the neighborhood of $15M per.

     
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  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I agree Herndon is like Moosebach but not just stuff. I know I’ll get ripped for this but I love our bullpen if Lidge can return to be at the very least serviceable. The combination of Baez, Contreras and Durbin makes me salivate about the possibilities of how the pen. Where others see rejects I see Charlie being able to be far more flexible with the bullpen that he has been and Herndon comes into that.

    I think with Werth it’s purely a worry that’ll he get offers in the $70-80m range or the Yankees court him. I think you build minor league depth in role players so you can afford to re-sign a guy of Werth’s caliber knowing the money will be there after year 1 of the deal. Such a tough position for the FO knowing when’s the right time to make an offer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    From what I’ve read and heard, Werth HATES the Yankees, even though he had that “power lunch” recently with Reggie Jackson. Not sure what to make of any of that….if anything. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be in Ruben’s shoes right now having to time any kind of offer just right.

    Charlie has nice options with the pen. That’s why I wasn’t upset that they went out and got a guy like Figueroa. Cheap, experienced help never hurts….and only makes your pen better by giving you those many options. And, yeah.,…I’ll take a “serviceable” Lidge right now. Hopefully, Madson can do the job for now….and we’ll see where that goes…..????

     
  • Posts: 0 Evan

    I missed the first inning, but I have to say that there were points where Kendrick looked sharp until he hung some pitches in the 4th and he paid for it. He should probably have at least one more start, I’m hoping he can fix his mistakes and show that he belongs in the majors.

     
  • Posts: 0 Skippy

    The chin SUCKS.

     
  • Posts: 0 drtyjerz

    baez + figueroa + ibanez – werth next year because of ibanez – cliff lee + mid-level prospects – rollins’ & werth’s confidence in the front office according to rollins on the dan patrick show = ruben minaya, jr.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Funny how Sabathia is allowed a pass in April but for guys like KK every start is an audition till the plug is pulled. The coaches will be working on a few few specific things with him and if he can’t crack those within a few weeks the Phils will pull the plug but 3 or 4 starts isn’t going to derail the Phillies season.

    If Jamie Moyer can mentor Cole into a World Series MVP I’ll trust given some time Roy Halladay can mentor KK into at least a serviceable pitcher reminiscent of a Jeff Suppan.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Well said about the mentoring. Guys like Moyer and Halladay are PERFECT for these young pitchers like Cole and KK. Their experience in the cluhouse cannot be overstated.

     
  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    I’d rank my concerns in the following order:
    1. Raul Ibanez.
    2. Everything else.
    I know the Phillies have bit the bullet pretty often in recent years when it comes to benching guys with bad contracts, but from last August through right now Ibanez looks almost incapable of playing baseball at this level. His play impacts the way our outfield shapes up for the next few years. Werth, Brown, Gilles… all of their Phillies futures are tied to the success or failure of Ibanez.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Guys… 3 games… 3 freaking games… and people are really concerned about Ibanez? Trade talk ALREADY? Give the guy a bit more time… C’mon now.

     
  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I hear ya Manny, how about we give Ibanez a few weeks before we decide he’s done. Also the pitching needs to at least get a chance to get going. Hamels wasn’t perfect but he did pitch out of some jams and stay calm and collected on the mound. Kendrick got hammered in two innings but other than that he looked alright. Let’s have a little faith… at least for a little while.

    I think we should be impressed that on a day where we struggled with getting clutch hits we still put up 5 runs from small ball.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I think Ibanez will be fine. But it can’t be said enough that POSSIBLY trading him at some point MIGHT be an option.

    If we can get something for him (and I realize that the Phils would have to eat some contract, which I’m fine with) and if Brown is ready for next year…..then I say it should be considered if it means we can re-sign Werth.

     
  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I’m with ya chuck. I’ve been thinking that since the end of the world series. If trading Ibanez at some point means we can extend Werth & Howard i’m on board. If I can only extend one I’ve got to go with Howard.

     
  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    The “concern” with Ibanez is only as loud as it is because just about everything else has gone well in the first 3 games.

    The outfield of the future is going to be a hot topic all season long because the rest of the team is set in stone for the immediate future.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Replacing Ibanez this season with Brown doesn’t seem to make too much sense, unless there’s an injury…. First of all, Brown still needs more seasoning… he’s not even a career .300 hitter in the minors (yet). I don’t even think Jason Heyward will put up Raul-numbers this season… so before we ditch our career .290 hitter (who btw just came out of a career year!), let’s give him some time to regroup and smash that ball like he’s been doing for quite some time now.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Good…
    - The Phils fought hard and battled back more than once.
    - 1-5 hitters are all hitting better than .300 (only Werth is below .400).
    - Bastardo is proving that he can be a viable left-handed option out of the bullpen (important considering he’s the only one we’ve got until JC gets back).

    Bad…
    - Kendrick was really bad early on… and finished on a sour note.
    - Manuel’s decision to leave Nelson Figueroa in the game for a second inning… given the fact that Figueroa is the last man on the roster and no one was really sure what to expect from him, I would think that 1 inning of scoreless ball is all that Charlie should have counted on from him. Further, if you’re going to use any of the relievers they trotted out yesterday for multiple innings, wouldn’t you use Contreras?
    - Umps still squeezing.

    Ugly…
    - Ibanez is struggling mightily. He really does look lost at the plate and maybe it’s the sports hernia. Maybe it’s just a lack of confidence. It does look like he’s not catching up with the fast balls. He probably knows that, which makes him a little eager to swing early, prompting him to swing at bad pitches out of the zone. He’s gotta work through it… he has to work harder than everyone else to get himself game ready. Maybe that means a few extra days in the weight room and in the cage. He’s gotta get the sports hernia and the late 2009 struggles out of his mind.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I don’t mean to pile on Ibanez… truth be told, I think he’ll be fine but I would be lying if I said that I thought that he looked good. I am not advocating for a change in the lineup. I am not advocating for a trade. With a healthy Raul Ibanez, we have a guy that averages 95+ RBI’s and 25 HR per season hitting in the six hole. He has been a healthy player throughout his career… sometimes, those guys have the hardest time getting injuries out of their head (and getting back to 100%).

     
  • Posts: 0 the natural 14

    there was actually a hell of alot of good to take out of yesterdays game..in years past the biggest problem our offense had was scoring runs via small ball…after being down 3-0 yesterday our first 3 or 4 runs were with groundouts in the infeild..although when we needed a sac fly in the 9th to tie the game when we had 1st n 3rd with one out we didnt get it done but for the 1st time in a long time we dont have to rely on the long ball solely. Polanco is going to be a key to our offense this season, and so far he is as advertised. In my opinion hes been the best 2-hole hitter i n the game for the past few years, what placido does great is what our lineup needed the most. He can slap the ball the other way to move runners over, basically do anything hes called upon to do in the 2-hole..also has some pop in that small frame of his. So far id say my only minor concern so far is actually Ibanez, he hasnt been the same since last years all-star break, he just dont seem to have the bat speed he had earlier in the first half of last season also..i still think hes a good 5-6 hitter in our lineup..basically im not worried about our bullpen or pitching issues yet cause our offense will usually outhit our pitching deficincies. We are primed and ready for another world series run..LETS GO PHILS ! ! !
    HALLADAY…..by the way doc has a career record of 19-6 against our main competition..the yankees, which is why i feel ruben finally decided to make the move…which he did tell me was a factor when i chatted with him last week at spring training…sat next to amaro and bill giles for 7 innings against the astros last week(time of my life..lol)

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    And he will….Raul will bounce back. I’m confident of that. He hasn’t hit .290 for his career just by mistake.

    As for Brown replacing Ibanez this season….yeah, let him play regularly every day in the minors. IF Raul is traded at the deadline….then I would imagine Francisco would get the majority of the starts…along with maybe some other guys that would be called up (Mayberry??).

    And IF Raul is traded next off-season…..then I would guess it would be with the assumption that Brown would be ready for 2011.

     
  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    I think Ibanez is a much bigger concern than Kendrick.

    It was only one start for KK — and he had a bad first inning. Let’s give him a few more starts.

    As others have pointed out, Ibanez has been struggling since last year’s all star break. Besides that HR off Sherrill in the playoffs, it’s been a long time since he was hitting the ball hard.

    Hard not to think that NL pitchers have finally adjusted to him.

    Or, worse, that at 38, his bat might be slowing down.

    Ibanez might be untradable at this point. Who’s going to trade for an over-paid DH with, at best, one good year left?

    Overall, though, it was great first series. Rollins and Howard are smoking the ball, which, as we all know, are the players that make this offense go.

    Now let’s take 2 of 3 in Houston….

     
 
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