It's been a tale of two seasons for Philadelphia Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. The first half of the season – almost right up until the All-Star break – was good for Kendrick. By Memorial Day, he had an earned run average well under 3, and was pitching deep into games. In July, things started going downhill for the Phillies righty and by August, that same earned run average was up above 4.50. Unfortunately for the Phillies, that number didn't get any better Friday night in the first of a three-game series against the NL East rival Washington Nationals. Kendrick was shelled for 6 runs, and didn't make it out of the fifth inning in a 6-1 Nationals win.
The Nationals got to Kendrick in the first, second and third innings with single runs. Ian Desmond drove in a run on a single, and Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman homered. The Phillies had the early lead thanks to a Carlos Ruiz RBI single, but the Nationals lead 3-1 after three innings. Kendrick's fate was determined in a rough fifth inning which he would not find his way out of. Desmond and Ramos struck again to put the Nationals ahead 6-1. Ramos, driving in two in the fifth inning, finished the night with 3 RBI.
Despite picking up 8 hits, the Phillies only run came on the aforementioned Ruiz RBI single in the first inning. The offense was shut down by a combination of Ross Ohlendorf, Craig Stammen, Fernando Abad, and Drew Storen. Ohlendorf, who was not supposed to start tonight, went 5 innings and allowed just the one run on 5 hits. The bullpen shut the Phillies out for the rest of the game.
This comes on a night where the Phillies were supposed to be facing Nationals' ace Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg was scratched before his start tonight because of tightness in his arm – a bad sign for the Nationals, who are still competing for a Wild Card spot. But their win against the Phillies tonight puts them a little closer – just 5 games out of the last Wild Card spot at 78-69. The Phillies drop to 68-79 with the loss. Cole Hamels and Gio Gonzalez face off in the second game of the series tomorrow night.
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