I did not see Wednesday's loss to the Marlins and am in no position to comment on the details. I can, of course, lament the outcome and despair of the Phillies' chances. The night before was a different matter altogether. That loss is on Charlie Manuel, not because he went with Kyle Kendrick in the first place but because he stayed with the kid far too long. It was clear right out of the gate Kendrick didn't have it but Manuel waited to replace him until he'd given up far too many runs to overcome. The Phils did eventually manage to score eight runs, but the seven-run hole courtesy of Manuel and Kendrick was too deep too soon.
Manuel's decision to use Kendrick can certainly be defended: the young right-hander had struggled before only to right his ship and the alternatives were not very reassuring. That said, the Marlins teed off as if they were facing Ramon Henderson, which in terms of the results wasn't far from the truth. Kendrick gave up six hits, seven earned runs and walked two in a 1.1 innings. His replacement, J.A. Happ, who some thought might have been given the start in the first place, didn't fare that much better, yielding three runs in 3.1 innings of work.
Wednesday's loss continued an all-too-familiar pattern: decent starting pitching, a lack of hitting and more recently a tired, ineffective bullpen.
Seventeen games remain and at this juncture a few things are clear: the Mets show no signs of collapsing and the Brewers maintain a healthy lead in the Wild Card. The Phillies control their own destiny in the latter instance with a four-game set beginning tonight versus Milwaukee. The Phadins' did catch one break already: C.C.Sebathia pitched last night and will not start against them.