Phillies Notes: Poor hitting affects pitching

Phillies ace Roy Halladay tips his cap to the crowd before the game, when he was honored for his perfect game May 29 at Florida. The pitcher gave gifts to his catcher, Carlos Ruiz.
Phillies ace Roy Halladay tips his cap to the crowd before the game, when he was honored for his perfect game May 29 at Florida. The pitcher gave gifts to his catcher, Carlos Ruiz.
Posted: August 27, 2010

It's easy to blame the offense (or lack thereof) for the Phillies' four-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros.

The Phillies hit .217 and scored a total of seven runs in 43 innings during the series.

"The story was, we're having trouble scoring runs," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We didn't hit."

The story that should not be overlooked from Thursday's game is that Kyle Kendrick is again having problems getting people out.

The righthander allowed single runs in each of the first four innings, putting the struggling offense in a 4-0 hole. Manuel said the lack of hitting can also put pressure on the pitcher, and maybe that's what happened.

"That's what has been going on," Kendrick said when asked about a lack of run support. "You just have to go out there and pitch and give us a chance to win some games. We'll come around and score some runs."

Kendrick managed to finish with two scoreless innings to make it through the sixth, but he knew his nine-hit, four-run performance was not a good one.

"Four runs, six innings isn't quality," he said. "But I don't think it was horrible. I don't think it was good. It was OK. It wasn't enough. We lost."

Kendrick, who turned 26 Thursday but did not appear in a mood to celebrate, slipped to 8-7 with a 4.64 ERA.

The Phillies optioned Kendrick to triple-A Lehigh Valley after he struggled in his first two starts following the all-star break. But he was quickly recalled because of an injury to Jamie Moyer and went 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his next three outings.

In his four starts since then, he is 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA.

Without a day off until Sept. 9, the Phillies have no choice but to leave Kendrick in the starting rotation. Rosters, however, will expand Wednesday, and the Phillies have four off days in September. If Kendrick does not start pitching better soon, he could find himself out of the rotation again.

Nice talk with the ump

Two days after charging Scott Barry, the Phillies' Ryan Howard found himself standing next to the triple-A fill-in umpire at first base during Thursday's game.

Barry sent Howard into a rage Tuesday night by first ruling that he swung at a two-strike pitch and then ejecting the first baseman in the bottom of the 14th inning. In the sixth inning of Tuesday's game, Howard could be seen having a casual conversation with Barry.

"It looked that way," Howard said. "If it quacks like a duck . . ."

Howard was asked if he wanted to share the conversation he had with Barry.

"I'd like to, but I have to catch the bus," he said.

Halladay honored

The Phillies paid tribute to Roy Halladay before the game for his May 29 perfect game against the Florida Marlins. Among the gifts presented to the staff ace were the No. 34 jersey he wore that night at Sun Life Stadium, the lineup card Manuel filled out, and a portrait of the performance by artist Dick Perez. Fans attending Thursday's game received a smaller version of the portrait.

Halladay gave a short speech about how much he has loved playing in Philadelphia this season, and he also presented two gifts to catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was behind the plate for the perfect game. Halladay gave Ruiz home plate from the game at Sun Life Stadium and a ring inscribed with the words "We did it together, Thanks, Roy."

Moyer's rehab

Moyer joined the Phillies on their seven-game trip to the West Coast, marking the first time he has gone on the road since landing on the disabled list July 20 with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

Moyer said he hoped to throw for the first time before the end of the trip.

"I've started to rehab," the 47-year-old lefthander said. "We'll see where it goes. I'm hoping maybe - maybe - by the last day of the trip I'll be able to play catch."


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577

or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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