The Phils’ nonexistent offense made Ian Kennedy look like Walter Johnson as Arizona waltzed to a victory in the series opener.
One could say that Kennedy silenced the Phillies’ bats on Monday night, but that implies the offense was making noise prior to the 4-0 loss. The defeat snapped a five-game win streak and marked the 14th-straight contest in which the Phils scored four runs or less, tying their longest such streak in 30 years. The Phils have also now dropped six of eight series openers.
The Phillies managed just three hits on the night, two of them coming off the bat of Placido Polanco. The only non-Polanco knock was an infield single by Jimmy Rollins that every major-league second baseman but Kelly Johnson would have converted into an out. All told, the Phils hit just eight balls out of the infield as Kennedy went the distance, striking out 10 and walking none.
Outside of two costly gopher balls, Cliff Lee pitched well. He allowed a two-run bomb to Chris Young in the third inning and a solo shot to Gerardo Parra in the fifth. The fourth Arizona run came on an RBI single by Xavier Nady in the sixth frame. Lee lasted seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits while matching a season high with 12 strikeouts.
In his major-league debut, Michael Stutes tossed a perfect eighth past the top of the Arizona order, showcasing a tight slider and his fastball topped out at 94 mph on the Comcast SportsNet gun.
Next up: Roy Oswalt (3-0, 1.88) will take on Daniel Hudson (0-4, 5.92) on Tuesday.
-Written for Beerleaguer by Matt Grassie