Phillies Free Fall Continues

Photo by: Tom Mihalek/AP

The Phillies just can’t seem to catch a break right now.  The slide continued in the series finale at Turner Field on Wednesday.  Kyle Kendrick’s brilliant start was wasted with yet another outing of no offensive production.  Kendrick went seven innings allowing one run on five hits.  He walked two and had four strikeouts.  It was a superb outing for the right-hander.  He painted the strike zone and had some spectactular double plays behind him.  It’s the second time this season that Kendrick had an excellent start against the Braves, only to see it spoiled in the late innings.

There wasn’t much scoring between the Phillies and Braves in this one.  In the 1st inning, Kendrick allowed back to back singles by Martin Prado and Jason Heyward to lead off the game.  With Prado at 3rd, Chipper Jones grounded into a double play which allowed the Braves to take an early 1-0 lead.

Kyle Kendrick managed to settle in from this point on.  He was basically on cruise control through the rest of the game.  He got ahead in the count many times and didn’t surrender many walks.  He notched a few strikeouts and seemed to have great command all day. 

In the 3rd inning, the Phillies offense looked prime for success.  Greg Dobbs started off the inning with a strikeout.  But Brian Schneider and Kyle Kendrick hit back-to-back singles.  Jayson Werth came up next and plated Schneider to tie the game up at 1.  The bases were loaded with one out for Chase Utley, but Utley grounded into an inning ending double play.  We’ve seen many of those in recent weeks.  It was good to see the lineup manage to string a few hits together.  Who knew it would be the Phillies only opportunity to get some runs on the day.

The game remained at 1-1 until the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Phillies had to pinch hit for Kendrick in the top half of the inning, so Jose Contreras was brought into the game.  Contreras walked the leadoff batter Nate McLouth.  This came back to haunt Contreras in the inning.  The Braves had runners at 1st and 2nd with one out for Omar Infante.  Infante came into the game in the 4th inning as a defensive replacement for Chipper Jones.  Jones seemed to have injured his hand.  Infante stroked a bloop single over the head of Utley and the Braves took the 2-1 lead.

The Braves won the game by the score of 2-1.  Derek Lowe (8-4) got the win and Jose Contreras received the loss.  Former Phillie Billy Wagner recorded his 9th save of the 2010 season.

Now the Phillies will head home to face a surprising San Diego Padres squad for a four game series.  The Padres currently are in 1st place in the National League West and lead by one game over the Los Angeles Dodgers.  On Friday, the Phillies will send their perfect golden boy Roy Halladay (7-3, 1.99) and the Padres counter with Mat Latos (5-3, 3.08).

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