Kendrick (6-9) tied a career high with seven strikeouts. For the first time in his career, he has not allowed a run in consecutive starts. His scoreless-innings streak is at 15.
He threw 80 of his 114 pitches Sunday for strikes, the most strikes he's ever accumulated in a single game. For perspective, the most strikes Roy Halladay has thrown in a game this season is 76.
Even Ryan Braun, who had mashed Phillies pitching to the tune of a 2.064 OPS in 2012, went hitless in three at-bats against Kendrick.
"He got Braun out," Manuel said. "He gets a medal for that."
More remarkable is Kendrick's sudden ability to record strikeouts. Before 2012, he struck out 4.1 batters per nine innings in his five major-league seasons, one of the lowest rates in all of baseball. It has jumped to 6.5 per nine in 2012.
Long considered a contact pitcher who heavily relied on balls being hit at his fielders, Kendrick can control more outcomes if he continues to induce whiffs.
"It's nice, but strikeouts are overrated," Kendrick said. "They're nice. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy striking guys out, but I had 115 pitches today. Maybe if I'd only struck out a couple guys I could have finished the game."
Or, if he hadn't struck out seven batters, he may not have made it through eight innings.
Kendrick and Manuel were quick to praise catcher Brian Schneider, who has developed a fruitful relationship with the pitcher. Even with a lefty, Randy Wolf, pitching for Milwaukee, Schneider started. That was done solely to pair him with Kendrick.
Kendrick has a 2.14 ERA while pitching to Schneider during the last two seasons. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 4.27. With every other catcher, Kendrick has a 4.36 ERA and a 1.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Those numbers gain significance as the sample size increases.
"He just knows me really well," Kendrick said. "He knows me real well. He knows my strengths. He knows my weaknesses. That's the main thing."
Kendrick's only trouble occurred when Ty Wigginton, playing his first game in the outfield this season, let a deep fly ball through the rainfall for a Nyjer Morgan triple to start the first inning.
The next batter, Rickie Weeks, tapped one back to Kendrick, who caught Morgan stuck between third and home. Kendrick ran right at Morgan, tagged him, and the mass of humanity slipped on wet dirt.
It was then that Phillies players asked the umpires to stop the game while the roof closed and the ill-prepared Milwaukee grounds crew struggled to spread drying agent over the soaked infield. The rain delay lasted seven minutes.
All eight Phillies runs were driven in by the sixth, seventh, and eighth hitters. Domonic Brown equaled his season total in one day with four RBIs. He snuck a bases-clearing double just inside the left-field line for his first extra-base hit in 10 games. Later, in the ninth, he added a run-scoring single.
Light-hitting utility man Michael Martinez, making his 17th start of 2012, belted a two-run homer to left. Schneider notched his first RBIs since May 29 with a two-run double.
It all made for a crisp victory.
Contact Matt Gelb at email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @magelb.