“Winning breeds winning” is a Phillies philosophy that appears to have manifest in the success of several developing or secondary players this season, including Kyle Kendrick.
The problem with covering the Phillies is the danger of repeating oneself, and that’s what I’ll try to avoid as the Phillies continue to steamroll the National League the way they did with the Pirates in a 12-2 win last night. Everyone knows how and why it happened. But is there more beneath the surface? Just hours before Roy Halladay and the Phils tee up the Buccos once again, I wanted to visit the notion that the talented Phils are also winning because they’re winners, as in, there’s an expectation to win, and through something like osmosis, that confidence brings out the best in lesser talent. Don’t get me wrong: Kendrick pitched a terrific game and has demonstrated a level of staying power not seen since the 2007 season. But it’s also the perfect environment to thrive, and I wonder if the results would be drastically different if Kendrick traded places with Charlie Morton. Look around the Phillies clubhouse and you’re surrounded by experience, excellence and confidence. Pittsburgh goes up 1-0 on a lead-off dinger by Delwyn Young, and Kendrick can quickly shrug it off because the Phillies tie it the following frame. Two innings later, it’s 6-1 and it's over.