Sep 062010

Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick

September 6 Philadelphia Inquirer

Kyle Kendrick thought his pitches were better than his pitching line Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Regardless, the bottom line was not good for the Phillies or the pitcher with the least job security in the starting rotation.

Given a chance to pull into a first-place tie with the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies instead found themselves in a three-run hole before they had a chance to hit.

More than three hours later, they were left to deal with a 6-2 defeat to former teammate Randy Wolf and the Milwaukee Brewers, which kept them one game behind Atlanta in the National League East. The Braves lost, 7-6, to the Florida Marlins.

Kendrick, 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts at home, was visibly disturbed after surrendering five runs and seven hits in four innings. His overall record slipped to 9-8, and his ERA ballooned to 4.89, the highest it has been since June 10.

“I made some great pitches,” Kendrick said. “This was the best I felt in a long time . . . but that’s the way it goes.”

Kendrick was aware that he had made one horrendous mistake in the first inning. After the righthander gave up a one-out bloop single to Corey Hart and then Ryan Braun’s bloop double down the right-field line, Prince Fielder dug in at home plate.

Manager Charlie Manuel thought Kendrick should have kept the ball away from the Brewers’ most dangerous slugger with one out and first base open. Kendrick decided he wanted to challenge the lefthanded-hitting first baseman with a cut fastball.

“Actually, he should have been pitching around him, and evidently he left the ball in the middle of the plate,” Manuel said. “Fielder likes to swing. If you walk him, it’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Instead, Kendrick and the Phillies witnessed the worst-possible result, a mammoth three-run homer into the second deck of the right-field seats.

Kendrick was asked if he had tried to pitch around Fielder.

“No,” he said. “I should have.”

The short answer was followed by a short pause. Kendrick wanted to know if there were any other questions, a sure sign that this recent difficult stretch is wearing on him. Kendrick said no one had instructed him to pitch around Fielder, but he took the blame for the result.

“That was all my fault,” he said. “I was trying to be aggressive and give up one run to minimize the damage. That’s my fault. I should have pitched around him. It was a backdoor cutter, and I made a mistake.”

Carlos Ruiz accounted for the Phillies‘ only runs with a two-run double in the second inning off Wolf, but Kendrick gave up an RBI double to Hart in the third and a two-out RBI single to Rickie Weeks in the fourth to put the Phillies back in a three-run hole.”

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