No one saw this coming. No, we're not talking about Ryan Madson's latest meltdown. We've come to expect that from him. We're talking about Kyle Kendrick's roster spot saving effort. Eight shutout innings during which he lowered his ERA by nearly ten runs. Lots of ground ball outs including two double play balls. Gritty pitching. Mentally tough. He showed lots of emotion, too, pumping his fist more than once upon leaving the mound.
And then the bullpen wasted everything. Turned a win no one expected into a loss. Cost Kendrick a W he richly deserved. Wasted another fine offensive night from Placido Polanco and Chase Utley.
Frankly, this loss is on Ruben Amaro, too. When the season's story is written, his acquisition of Roy Halladay will not likely compensate for the failure to acquire a dependable closer and to hold on to Cliff Lee.
The Phils recovered sufficiently from their weekend batting funk to stake the bullpen to a 3-0 lead. Then Madson, who has never shown he can close, and Jose Contreras served up three home runs between them and the 3-0 lead was a 4-3 loss.