Chase Utley, Bullpen Shine in Rain-Soaked Win
Yeah, you read that right: the Phillies’ bullpen shined in a victory over the Reds! Starter Kyle Kendrick looked pedestrian, but was able to get out of some jams and limit the Reds to four runs. Afterward, the Phillies’ bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, no walks, and striking out three.
The game was originally slated for a 7:10 start, but was delayed more than an hour and a half due to rain (those of us in the Philly area were treated to some videos reliving the 1980 season). Nevertheless, the Phillies’ offense was on, as Chase Utley hit two home runs and drove in three runs, and Pat Burrell hit a first-inning two-run homer as well.
Kendrick allowed eight hits — three of which were doubles — and walked two in five innings. He did start the sixth inning, but walked lead-off hitter Edwin Encarnacion.
The second-most surprising element of the game, after the Phillies’ great bullpen performance, was that Pedro Feliz drew a walk! Even better is that he started the at-bat taking two strikes.
Ryan Howard isn’t looking particularly good so far this season, but there are 158 more games to play. He’s yet to get an extra base hit.
Aside from that, it was a relatively easy victory for the Phils, and it went almost according to plan. Manager Charlie Manuel would have preferred if Kendrick could have notched six innings instead of five, but Ryan Madson made up for it with two scoreless innings of relief. Both Tom Gordon and Chad Durbin were unavailable. Gordon has pitched in two out of the Phillies’ three prior games; Durbin had pitched in all three.
Tomorrow afternoon, Adam Eaton faces Aaron Harang for a 1:10 meeting.