By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—If there was a bright spot on this Saturday evening for the Phillies, it was getting the news that leftfielder Domonic Brown and pitcher Cliff Lee made the National League All-Star team.
The rest of the night went down hill from there.
First, the Phillies placed first baseman Ryan Howard on the 15-day disabled list for his sore left knee. He is expected to have an MRI by Sunday or Monday to see if the knee needs surgery or just needs a rest.
“That’s a big blow,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “It’s different with him not in there. His presence means something to us. He’s still a threat he’s got (43) RBI. We need Ryan in our lineup. At the same time, we’ve got to keep playing. We’ve got guys that can definitely perform better and help us win some games.”
As for the game itself, the competitive portion of Saturday’s nationally-televised game was over by the fifth inning as the Atlanta Braves gave the Phillies a good old-fashioned butt whuppin’ in a 13-4 rout on a sweltering hot night at Citizen’s Bank Park.
It was a game in which all the Phillies shortcomings came out in a big way, whether it was pitching, lack of hitting and poor play defensively. The Phillies were definitely guilty of it.
Starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick (7-6) had a terrible outing. He gave up six runs on 12 hits in five innings on the mound. He also gave up two home runs in his first two innings—a leadoff home run to shortstop Andrelton Simmons in the first inning and a two-run blast to second baseman Dan Uggla in the second.
It definitely wasn’t Kendrick’s night on the mound. He gave up three more in the fourth and fifth before his night ended.
“They were being aggressive and I wasn’t making quality pitches,” Kendrick said. “That’s what happens. They hit some balls that were down that found some holes. It their night with the score and the hits.”
Of course, the Phillies bullpen hand another lousy night by allowing seven more runs on seven hits that turned the game into a laugher for the Braves. Phillies relievers-Joe Savery, Phillipe Aumont, and Jake Diekman- could not contain Braves hitters. Atlanta scored in seven of the nine innings and finished the game with 19 hits.
“They put it on us,” Manuel said. “Our bullpen, of course, got some experience and they got hit pretty good and the Braves blew the game out.”
By the time the Phillies offense woke up in the late innings, they were already down 11-1. That’s because they couldn’t solve Tim Hudson (5-7). The veteran righthander allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out four and didn’t allow a walk.
“(Hudson) was definitely tough, man,” Brown said. “He was mixing it in and out. When you have (catcher) Brian McCann back there, he’s not going to let you sit in one spot. (Hudson) was mixing it up great.”