A walk and a throwing error is how it all started to unravel for Kyle Kendrick, who allowed three runs in the top of the 12th in the Phillies' 6-3 loss to Milwaukee Monday night.
The ugly loss included another punchless performance by the offense and a J.C. Romero blowout, with the reliever crumbling to the turf with a strained calf. With the bullpen suddenly running on fumes, the Phils could react quickly and reach for reinforcements, even with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee set to pitch next.
It was an unsightly loss all-around. After Ryan Madson allowed a key run in an uncharacteristically poor performance in the eighth, the Phils had a chance to make the Brewers pay for their mistakes if they could have scored Pete Orr from second with one out in the ninth. Orr had just knocked in the tying run with a pinch single and was standing on second because Ryan Braun air-mailed a throw home. Unfortunately, Shane Victorino gave away an out by striking out on a head-high fastball, Placido Polanco walked then Jimmy Rollins popped out.
Really, the Phils were fortunate to have the Brewers at 3-3. The Phils' only other runs were aided by a pair of fielding errors. All nine of their hits were singles, and the best two came by way of pinch hits. Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum had the Phils guessing all night, no one more than Ben Francisco, who finished 0-for-6, stranding 5.
On a positive note, Joe Blanton pitched his best game of the season, allowing a pair of runs over seven strong innings and striking out four. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow as we eagerly await the Phils' next move relative to the Romero injury.
Update: Twitter reports confirm that Romero will have an MRI Tuesday and is likely headed to the DL. The broadcasters mentioned that the left-hander had been bothered by a sore calf this spring; I don't recall if that was public knowledge or not. Left-hander Mike Zagurski could be recalled, or they could bring up right-hander Mike Stutes. The Phils have room on the 40-man roster for Stutes. Earlier in the day, the Phils returned injured right-hander Brian Schlitter to the Cubs, claiming that he was damaged goods. Schlitter had been on the disabled list with an elbow injury and was protected on the roster.