Monday, September 14, 2009

Kendrick, Pedro lead Phils to twin bill sweep

Kyle Kendrick and Pedro Martinez dominated on the mound in yesterday's day-night doubleheader sweep over the Mets, which officially eliminated New York from playoff contention.

Sending Kendrick to the hill in the first game of the twin bill was terrifying. He started the afternoon by striking out the side. Those would be his only three k's on the day, but Kendrick was spectacular. Charlie pulled Kendrick after seven and one third innings, following an Anderson Hernandez two-run home run. The homer cut the Phillies' lead to 4-2, but Tyler Walker was able to finish the eighth inning. Brad Lidge entered the ninth inning with a three run lead, his first save situation since being pulled from last Tuesday's game. Lidge struggled again, allowing two runs, but stranded the tying run on base and earned the save.

Pedro has been a great signing for the Phillies. Adding him to the rotation in favor of Jamie Moyer could not have worked out better. Moyer allowed five earned runs against the Mets the night before in a spot start for the injured J.A. Happ, but Pedro stifled New York's lineup last night. His eight shutout innings improved the Phillies to 7-0 when he takes the mound, as Pedro improved to 5-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.87.

With two outs in the eighth and the tying runner in scoring position, Pedro had already thrown 128 pitches and Charlie Manuel was on his way to the mound. Chase Utley told a disappointed Pedro that Charlie might not get him. As Charlie asked Pedro if he has anything left, Pedro said "I want him." Showing confidence in his veteran starter, Charlie left Pedro in the game and Carlos Ruiz got the Phils out of the inning on a bonehead play from Daniel Murphy. Ruiz blocked Pedro's throw in the dirt as Murphy astoundingly took off for third base. Ruiz threw him out to end the inning and close the book on Pedro's great night. Ryan Madson closed out the nightcap with an impressive ninth.

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