Six weeks ago, the Phillies season began against their 2012 season with zero wins and zero losses, an even amount of each that symbolized (at the time) a clean slate and the start of a new beginning for the team. Six weeks and 38 games later, the Phillies wins and losses are once again even, but no longer does the mark show a clean start, but the hope that the team can begin to start living up to the expectations that were set for them at the beginning of the season.
It took the Phillies a four-game winning streak just to get back to even on the season– one that came just days after being swept by the Mets at home. However, if being swept was the low point of the Phillies’ season so far, these past four games have been the high point. The four games have included two one run wins, one of which was in extra innings, a great performance from Joe Blanton and an offensive showing that produced nine runs, with seven of those runs coming in the eighth or ninth inning. And even thought the Phillies have earned these wins against the Padres, Astros and Cubs, some of the worst teams in baseball, the Phillies can certainly take solace in the way they won these games.
Tonight especially, the Phillies should be proud, especially Kyle Kendrick, who handled his emergency start incredibly well, going six very strong innings, striking out four, allowing three hits and only allowing one earned run (two total runs). Kendrick also scored a game-tying run in the fifth inning after singling to start the inning.
Of course, Kendrick was not the only offensive producer though. He was assisted by a huge home run from Carlos Ruiz in the eighth inning to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. From there, the Phillies closed out the game easily, scoring six more runs in the ninth, four of those runs coming from a grand slam from Hector Luna in his first career at-bat as a Phillie.
Tonight’s win was just an all-around necessity, giving not only the Phillies, but also the Phillies’ fans confidence in their team and while a record of 19-19 is not exactly where many fans would have like to be in the middle of May, it could be worse. Much worse.