By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—You knew at some point this season that Kyle Kendrick (4-2) was going to have one of those games where he would struggle and his team would not score enough runs.
In Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Kendrick found himself in several jams and was actually lucky to just give up four runs on eight hits with four walks in six innings on the mound.
Kendrick’s lackluster performance was further complicated by another episode of “Disappearing Acts” by the Phillies offense and the Phillies bullpen which enabled the Reds to turn the game into a 10-0 laugher of a victory over the Phils in front of 41,817 fans at Citizen’s Bank Park.
“Kendrick got hurt by a three-run homer from (Ryan) Hanigan, but at the same time he battled, he kept us in the game and of course, we couldn’t score and the bullpen let the game get out of hand,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
Pitching deep into counts and allowing a man to reach base in every inning during his tenure on the mound, Kendrick was constantly pitching his way out of trouble. The Phillies were fortunate that the lead wasn’t larger.
Kendrick’s worst inning of the game would occur in the second inning. After giving up consecutive singles to third baseman Todd Frazier and leftfielder Donald Lutz, catcher Ryan Hanigan crushed a three-homerun to the leftfield seats.
“It seemed like the whole game my command wasn’t very good and I fell behind a lot,” Kendrick said. “It was one of those days where I had to battle. It was a tough day all around.”
With the silence of the Phillies bats that’s all the runs the Reds would need. Before departing the game in the sixth, Kendrick gave up a run-producing double to Reds shortstop Zack Cozart that scored Hanigan.
Of course, the Phillies bullpen—B.J. Rosenburg, Jeremy Horst and Phillipe Aumount helped the Reds put the game out of reach by allowing the Reds to score four runs in the eighth. Cincinnati also added a pair of runs in the ninth. The runs in the eighth were charged to Rosenburg. For the game, Phillies relievers gave up six runs on eight hits.
“I think it’s about getting ahead in the count kind of thing,” said Phillies reliever Chad Durbin. “I thought Rosenburg’s stuff was outstanding today. He just had some poor luck. Horst gives up one there instead of a double.
“Phillipe makes a wild pitch, but it’s a matter of getting ahead. All of them did other than Horst. They got behind and they battled back. It’s a day in, day out thing. It’s having a three-run lead instead of being down three.”
Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo (4-4) pitched seven and two-thirds innings and allowed no runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Meanwhile, the Phillies big hitters-Ryan Howard and Chase Utley went a combined 1-for-7. By the time Howard doubled to begin the bottom of the ninth, the outcome was already decided.
While Manuel has said the team is going to eventually come around on the offensive end. He also said the team has to keep their heads up and not let things snow-ball into something worse.
“We’re in that area where we start doubting ourselves instead of just keep firing,” Manuel said. “You stay aggressive and keep working on trying to get a good ball to hit. Not trying to overdo it, but just stay within yourself and do something. … Never get down play 27 outs.”
As silent as their bats were, Phillies hitters were equally a quiet during postgame interviews as none were available to speak to reporters after the game. When the media gathered to interview Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins walked away and told reporters:
“There’s nothing to talk about, write what you saw.”
What fans saw today was a team that couldn’t do anything right.