Cole Hamels was as good as ever, picking up his first win since July 3 by holding the Padres to one run on seven hits in last night’s 2-1 victory in San Diego.
This is an easy summary. Pitching was the obvious story for the Phils this weekend, two-thirds good, the other third not so good. Hamels and Jamie Moyer, who pitched Friday night’s shutout, threw gems, but credit also goes to closer Brad Lidge, who earned a pair of saves in the truest sense of the word. The bats provided the absolute bare minimum amount of run support, and although the Pads' offense is weaker than weak, credit Hamels, Moyer and Lidge for pitching their game under tight circumstances.
On Saturday, Kyle Kendrick ruined his team’s chance at a sweep with his second disastrous start in a row. The 23-year-old walked five and fell behind hitters all night; only 40 of his 85 pitches went for strikes. Afterward, Kendrick said the issue was mechanical, while pitching coach Rich Dubee suggested he was too tentative and wouldn’t challenge San Diego with strikes. Whatever the case, his next start will be a huge test to see if he can shake out of this funk on the fly. Kendrick, like everyone else, is starting to tally some innings after pitching over 200 frames between Reading and Philadelphia in 2007. I'm concerned with that.
Besides Pat Burrell, whose two home runs provided the difference in the two wins, there’s nothin’ doin’ with the heart of the order. I’m good and tired of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hitting back-to-back. Howard’s .184/.250/.337 against left-handed pitching is platoonable, if only there was someone to platoon with. Even guys like Wil Ledezma have no fear when facing Howard, who has 84 strikeouts against lefties alone. How is it that a guy who sees so much junk has managed just 15 walks against lefties all season?