Last night, the discussion centered on Kyle Kendrick, the new hot button topic among posters. Is he good, acceptable, lucky? Is his career record a sham, aided by massive run support, or does he deserve more credit?
Kendrick allowed seven runs on nine hits through 3 1-3 innings, looking strong through the first two innings before the action snowballed in a six-run third. After walking Andre Either, Kendrick hit the next batter, Jeff Kent, to load the bases for Manny Ramirez. Manny roped a double to open the flood gates. From then on, Kendrick was tentative to run the ball inside and started elevating his pitches.
When discussing Kendrick, it helps to consider what type of pitcher he is. He pitches to contact, so there will be base-runners, basically every inning. It’s a tough assignment for a young pitcher to accept that part of his game. He walks a very fine line. He and pitching coach Rich Dubee are constantly engaged in discussions, even when he’s pitching well. He can’t afford many walks and he must locate his pitches and keep his fastball down in the zone. He failed at both last night and it resulted in one of the worst nights of his career.
The Phillies fought back, but fell short in a night where the positives also included 5 2-3 mop up innings from Les Walrond and Clay Condrey, preserving the better half of the 'pen. Chase Utley went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Pat Burrell went hitless and is now hitless in his last 22 plate appearances. The night also featured some shaky defense.
Readers weigh in: “Last night's game was not helped by the fact that it looked like Tim Donaghy had his umpire crew working the game. The third inning alone showed several botched calls. The balk. The home plate ump making a delayed call on the walk where Ruiz threw the ball away. The strike zone was all over the place.” – MPN