I could be projecting, but I assume a lot of people reading this site have a smartphone app that alerts them every time the Phillies score, or maybe just periodic updates from every game. If you don't have one, that probably sounds crazy. If you do, it's the most normal thing in the world. Mine buzzes and sends a screen notification every time any Philly team scores or gets scored on (aside from the Sixers, because ya know), and then one last time when the game is done. This summer, the app has been the bearer of more bad news than it has good. The Fightins have allowed more than 20 runs than they've scored. They've lost eight more games than they've won. More often than not, I'm watching the game as the other team scores. Seconds later, that ... buzz comes.
Gotta wonder how many times the dog bit Pavlov.
Tuesday night, there were just two buzzes. The first came on the second pitch of the game. Jimmy opened the night with a home run for the 41st time in his career—and he did it on the night he passed Larry Bowa for most games played as a Phillies shortstop (1,731). As if that weren't momentous enough, not another run crossed the plate for either team.
Not the most exciting nine innings of ball between fourth and fifth place teams, but thanks to Kyle Kendrick, that lone run stood as the winner.
Picking up where Cole Hamels left off the night before, Kendrick threw seven scoreless innings. He allowed only five hits while striking out six and walking ze-ro over seven innings. Sinkers and changeups all night. Josh Lindblom and Jonathan Papelbon each threw a scoreless frame to hold and save the shutout for the Killer.
If anyone needed a straight line of zeros, it was Kendrick, who'd given up nine runs over 7.1 innings in two previous starts since rejoining the rotation after the Joe Blanton was traded. Actually, every Phillie not named Jimmy Rollins needed Kendrick to put up that line, because after J-Roll's homer off of hard-luck Marlins starter Josh Johnson, they managed only three hits the rest of the night. Wasn't a pretty night at the plate.
But a win's a win, and that's three in a row. The Phils are now 2.5 games ahead of the Fish and just a game out of third. Stranger things... It may not scream "October baseball," but it's making August enjoyable.