Kendrick, the fifth starter, was still in the rotation because, as pitching coach Rich Dubee put it, there really isn't any other option. On Wednesday, he shut down the Cardinals for seven innings.
"He really did stick with the game plan," Schneider said. "He stuck with me. It was a lot of fun."
Kendrick, effectively, went back to basics. Ten of his 21 outs came on the ground using his signature sinker, the pitch that had offered so much success earlier in his career. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Kendrick's sinker was his best pitch Wednesday.
"That's who he is," Manuel said. "Sinker is his bread and butter. But tonight, he did throw some change-ups and cutters. He got some cutters in on some of the lefties."
Kendrick entered the game with a 7.61 ERA. After seven shutout innings, he lowered it by nearly two runs, to 5.87. Four of his first six starts have been disasters. But the other two, against Atlanta and St. Louis, have resulted in 15 shutout innings. So what gives?
"I don't know," Kendrick said. "Obviously it needs to be consistent. I want it to be consistent. This would be fun to do every five days. I don't know. They hit some balls at guys. They missed some pitches. You have to get a little lucky here."
In the first inning, Matt Holliday drilled an elevated cutter deep to center but it was caught by Shane Victorino.
"Got lucky there, he hit it right at him," Kendrick said. "Two games ago, that would have been a home run."
In the second, Colby Rasmus led off with a double but was thrown out trying to steal third by Schneider. In the seventh, with runners on first and third and one out in a 3-0 game, Kendrick induced a nifty 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Brendan Ryan to end the rally. Ryan was the last batter he faced.
This time, unlike in Atlanta, the Phillies had built a large enough lead for Kendrick to earn his first victory of the season.
St. Louis starter Brad Penny matched Kendrick's zeros through the first three innings. The Phillies did not have a base runner until Victorino singled to lead off the fourth. Placido Polanco hit the next pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run home run.
In the sixth, Victorino followed with a bases-empty shot of his own, his sixth of the season.
Schneider said he had to reinforce aggressiveness to Kendrick a few times during the game.
But what he saw was a pitcher who executed a plan. "Just get that demeanor," Schneider said. "Know he's a big-league pitcher. He's going to get outs. Attack the zone."
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at 215-854-2928 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter