SAN FRANCISCO – The morning after he angrily stormed off the mound after a defensive collapse by teammates, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick apologized to manager Ryne Sandberg for his actions.
“We talked,” Kendrick said before Sunday afternoon’s game. “I know it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Kendrick took a 5-1 lead into the sixth inning Saturday afternoon. The Giants tied the game with four runs in the inning and won it, 6-5, in the eighth.
The Giants’ four-run rally in the sixth was fueled by a misplayed pop up in the infield. The ball fell between Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and Utley compounded the mistake with an errant toss to second base.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. witnessed the meltdown from the seats and was noticeably upset when he left the clubhouse after the game.
“I’m hacked off after every loss like that, when we beat ourselves,” Amaro said Sunday. “It was terrible, plain and simple. It was embarrassing. It happens. It shouldn’t happen, but it happened.”
Kendrick said he was not angry at his teammates for the misplay, which was blamed on a communication breakdown.
“Obviously you want the ball caught, but I was just upset at coming out of the game,” he said. “The ball falling in had nothing to do with it. I didn’t handle it right.”
Sandberg removed Kendrick from the game after the next batter, Michael Morse, doubled to cut the Phillies’ lead to 5-2. The pitcher did not follow protocol and wait for the manager to get to the mound before exiting the field. He brushed past Sandberg and handed him the ball on the fly just as the manager reached the mound.
After the game, Sandberg said he was not bothered by Kendrick’s actions. However, he still felt the need to speak with the pitcher Sunday.
“He wanted to see where I was at,” Kendrick said. “I didn’t want to come out of the game. I wasn’t trying to show up Ryno. That wasn’t my intention. I was upset and I wanted to get where no one could see me as quick as possible.
“Everything’s been kind of building up. It’s been a tough year for us and me personally. You’ve got to keep fighting, but little stuff irritates you.”
Kendrick was asked if he received an explanation for why he was removed from the game.
“(Sandberg) said he was just trying to win the game,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick, who turns 30 later this month, is in his eighth season with the Phillies, and it hasn’t been a good one. He is 5-11 with a 4.90 ERA in 25 starts. The poor showing has come at an inopportune time. Kendrick is scheduled to hit the free-agent market this winter and the poor season will definitely hurt his value.
“When I’m pitching I don’t think about it,” he said of free agency. “Sometimes between starts you think about it. I’m human. I have a family. I think about where I’m going to be, all that stuff.”
Does he believe he’ll be in Philadelphia next season?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know. I want to go wherever wants me. If it’s here, great. You want to go somewhere where you’re wanted. We’ll see.”