GAME 1: Phillies Lose in 10 as Kendrick’s Start is Wasted
-In Game 1 of the day/night double dip, Kyle Kendrick kept an inept offense in the game for six shutout innings, but was giving nothing in return. In the seventh, Roger Bernadina launched a three-run homer off of Michael Schwimer in the seventh to put the Nats ahead 3-0. Raul Ibanez tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a pinch-hit, three-run homer, but in the 10th, Michael Stutes’ struggles continued as he allowed the winning run to score on a base hit by Ryan Zimmerman in the 10th.
Crazy stat as an aside; Raul Ibanez hit a pinch hit home run for the first time in 10 years.
Kendrick was relatively awesome, tossing six shutout innings. He allowed just four hits and figures to play some sort of role in the ‘pen come October 1. For all the crap he’s gotten over the years, Kendrick has really stepped it up this season to become something more than an afterthought.
The growing pains continue for Schwimer, who gave up a mammoth homer to Bernardina. He’ll be part of the bullpen in the future, so it’s nice that the Phillies have some time to let him work out the kinks.
Cool to see Joe Savery make his major league debut after everything he went through at the minor league level. Is there a chance he makes the bullpen as another lefty in the playoffs? Keep an eye out.
Erik Kratz also got some burn. He is really well respected by the Phillies pitching staff; we could see him as the backup next season.
Stutes is much more of an issue. During the first half of the year, the kid was untouchable. But like any young pitcher, he’s learning that once teams see you the second, third, and fourth times, it becomes harder. Stutes’ confidence has waned; he’ll need to find it because the Phils need bullpen stability in the postseason.
And let’s not even get into the offense – it’s ugly right now. Everyone seems tired and disinterested.
GAME 2: Offensive Funk Continues as Detwiler, Nats Shut out Phillies
Ugh. I keep trying to come up with excuses for the Phillies offense: they’ll snap out of it, they don’t have the competitive juices flowing, they’re going to turn it on in October. And all that may end up being true. But no one, especially manager Charlie Manuel, wants to see the bats go this cold at this time of year.
Manuel said Monday night that he wasn’t looking for 8 or 10 runs per game, he just wants to see some consistency and for the offense to back the great pitching staff occasionally. It’s gotten ugly.
If I were paying fan, I’d be upset to see a 3-0 loss to the Nationals. There is no spirit from the team, so why should there be in the ballpark? That much I do understand. Realistically, they WILL turn it on when the games mean something. However, if I’m spending $100-plus to bring my family to the ballpark, I might be a little bit upset to see this sort of effort.
But hey, this is what everyone wanted, right? You wanted the Phillies to blow out the competition, rest their starters, and get on with the playoffs. They’re doing that and it isn’t pretty.
What they seem to be doing is powering down a little too much; taking their foot off the gas more than they should.
In the second game of the double dip, a decent pitching performance was wasted as Cliff Lee struck out nine, although he did allow 11 hits in seven innings.
Good news: Justin De Fratus pitched another scoreless inning in relief, as did David Herndon. We’re starting to see the future of the relief corps come to the forefront, even if they’re meaningless games.