The Phillies have not scored a run for Ryne Sandberg. They haven’t been able to score even one run since the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s game. Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, one of the most dominant pitchers in the game this year, won what was surprisingly his first victorious decision against the Phillies after losing in his first eight tries. Kershaw went 8 innings and helped the Dodgers to a 5-0 win.
Kyle Kendrick, who started tonight’s game for the Phillies, gave a valiant effort. Kendrick was able to wriggle his way out of jams in the 1st and 5th innings, and only allowed the Dodgers’ powerful offense to score twice (only one earned run) over six innings of work.
But once again, a decent effort by a Phillies starter was simply not enough. Yes, the Phillies have faced a number of tough starters in recent weeks, but the offense is just not clicking right now. Could they still be reeling from Charlie Manuel’s firing? It’s hard to tell, but either way, the team is simply having trouble scoring – which is really nothing new.
The Dodgers, however, wasted no time scoring tonight. After Kendrick allowed hits in the top of the first inning to Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig – who was kept quiet by Cliff Lee last night, Adrian Gonzalez smoked a pitch past John Mayberry Jr., who was playing first base tonight. Mayberry was charged with an error on the play, and Crawford came home to score. Kendrick would hit Hanley Ramirez with a pitch, and load the bases with no one out.
Just as it was starting to look like just another painful game for the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick got Andre Ethier to ground into a rare 1-2-3 double play. After getting the last out, Kendrick came off the mound allowing just the one run, which was not charged to him due to the error by Mayberry.
The Phillies would not pick up a hit through the first four innings. The Dodgers, on the other hand, would add to their lead in the 5th inning on an RBI by Clayton Kershaw, who is known as a decent hitting pitcher. Things looked bad for Kendrick after the Kershaw RBI, as Kevin Frandsen would be charged with an error on the play, putting runners on first and third with one out. Yasiel Puig was the next man to step to the plate. In almost a strange twist of fate, one of baseball’s hottest hitters would hit into a double play – allowing Kendrick to get out of yet another ominous-looking jam.
The Phillies picked up their first hit in the fifth inning, a Domonic Brown single. However, Brown would be picked off of first base. The Phils would threaten in the 8th, with a Casper Wells double, a John Mayberry, Jr. walk, and a Kershaw wild pitch which put runners on second and third with two out. Kershaw would eventually strike out Carlos Ruiz to end the inning.
The Dodgers blew the game open in their half of the ninth, as Luis Garcia served up a three-run home run to Juan Uribe. Brandon League came in and pitched a clean ninth inning for the Dodgers to end the game.
Another night, another loss for a team that is playing with absolutely no heart right now. Again, the schedule hasn’t been kind to the Phillies in the past week, but it seems as if they have lost all will to compete. The Dodgers are winning at a historic clip, going 42-8 in their past 50 games. They are now 72-50 on the year, while the Phillies fall to 53-69, and have dropped 17 of their last 22 games.
The Dodgers are just the third team in the last 100 years to win 42 out of 50 games. Their unprecedented hot streak has them 22 games over .500.
Michael Young left tonight’s game with a left ankle injury. His status for tomorrow's game is unknown.
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