If it is safe to say every time one of the Phils' Four Aces starts his teammates believe they will win, it is equally safe to say that every time Charlie Manuel gives the ball to Kyle Kendrick his teammates believe they will lose.
Last night was proof positive.
Kendrick had a line that included wild pitches, hit batsmen, intentional walks, unintentional walks, base hits, throwing errors and full responsibility for the national debt. Oh, sorry, that last one was intended for another blog.
Kendrick was appearing in the twelfth inning of a game the Phils tied twice before losing so one can assume he was in there because the club had run out of other options. After the game Manuel noted Kendrick hadn't pitched in ten days. Small wonder. He isn't a big league pitcher by normal standards. Correction, he isn't a big league pitcher by any standards!
Had the Phils' bats come out of their recent doldrums a little earlier things might have been different. Indeed, they almost took the lead in the bottom of the 7th inning when with the score tied at two apiece, Placido Polanco hit a screamer back at the pitcher with men on first and second. The ball ricocheted off the pitcher's back and up into the air where a diving Yuniesky Betancourt grabbed it and turned to double off Michael Martinez. That was one snake-bit play if you were a Phil.
Joe Blanton, whose first two starts were awful, pitched well last night and deserved a better fate, but the Phils cannot generate any offense lately. Ben Francisco is mired in a pretty good slump, going 0-6 last night. Everyone except Polanco is scuffling pretty good while the starting pitching has been excellent.