The Philadelphia Phillies found just enough offense to scratch out an extra-inning win in the series opener against the New York Mets, ending a four-game losing streak.
They may not be able to count on their lineup delivering again given their recent performances in Kyle Kendrick’s starts.
Facing the Mets’ Dillon Gee also doesn’t bode well for the Phillies on Saturday night in New York.
Marlon Byrd plated the winning run with an RBI double in the 11th inning on Friday, helping Philadelphia to a 3-2 victory. Second baseman Chase Utley was key for the Phillies (16-18), as he had three hits and scored all the team’s runs.
"(Marlon’s) got a great mentality for that. He’s always on the positive side and he’s always up there,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He’ll grind it out. He’ll grind out a game and that’s what he demonstrates.”
Kendrick (0-3, 3.58 ERA) takes the mound Saturday, which usually means the Phillies’ offense will go quiet. In his previous 13 starts dating back to last season, Philadelphia has backed Kendrick with 20 runs.
Kendrick hasn’t earned a victory since beating the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 6.
Along with the lack of run support, the veteran right-hander has been plagued this season by allowing a lot of base runners. His WHIP of 1.41 is among the highest in the NL.
Against Toronto on Monday, Kendrick gave up seven hits, walked three and hit a batter in seven innings of a 3-0 loss. He was charged with all three runs – his fourth straight start yielding three or less.
"The record is kind of out of your control sometimes. You just want to go out there, take the ball every fifth day, give your team a chance to win, make your starts and be healthy," Kendrick said to the team’s website. "That’s the main thing. Obviously, you want to win the game, that’s why you play, but some of those as a starting pitcher are out of your control. So keep battling, stay after it."
Kendrick has thrown the ball well versus the Mets (16-18) since the start of the 2012 season, going 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts.
Gee (3-1, 2.51) has been outstanding lately, tossing 16 consecutive scoreless innings and going 3-1 with a 0.67 ERA in his last four starts. He hasn’t allowed a run since the fourth inning of a 3-0 loss to St. Louis on April 22.
"My expectation for myself is to out and get deep in the ballgames and give us a chance to win," the right-hander said. "I’ve said that from the very beginning and that hasn’t changed. Those are my only goals."
In his last start, Gee permitted six hits in six shutout innings of a 5-1 win at Colorado on Sunday – New York’s last victory.
The Mets have since totaled five runs while batting .182 in losing four straight. They had their chances to get runners across the plate Friday, but they stranded 15 men on base and were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Curtis Granderson left six runners on base, and is batting .087 with 15 strikeouts in his last 12 games at Citi Field.
Gee didn’t have much luck against the Phillies last season, going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts.