Kendrick the benefactor of bad luck
Right-hander allows just two runs over seven innings in loss
MILWAUKEE -- Kyle Kendrick blamed himself for plunking Corey Hart to open the game and for the sinker that didn't sink on a single to the pitcher leading off the fifth.Both runners scored on close plays at the plate, which is where Chris Coste blamed himself in Milwaukee's 2-1 win over Philadelphia. "We lose, 2-1, and both runs come on plays at the plate," Coste said. "No one feels worse than I do, especially with the game pitched by Kendrick. If we make both those plays at the plate, he pitches a shutout." Kyle? "I hit the first guy and he ends up scoring," Kendrick said. "You can't do that. Then I give up a hit to the pitcher, not to take anything away from him. He hit it, but it's going to happen." Since Milwaukee phenom Yovani Gallardo -- all of 21 years old -- turned in a dominating effort for 6 2/3 innings, the Phillies needed to play flawlessly to have a chance. Kendrick's fastball ran in to Hart, and caught his uniform jersey. Hart stole second and raced home on Prince Fielder's single to right. Right-fielder Jayson Werth made an accurate toss to Coste, but the ball squirted loose when he went to make the tag. "I took it on too short of a hop," Coste said. "I should've backed up about two feet, since I had extra time. I had it halfway in my glove and halfway in my bare hand. If I would've had it totally in my glove, it would've never come out. It was halfway, so when I tagged him, it jarred free." The 1-0 Milwaukee lead appeared to be enough for Gallardo (4-1), who allowed three hits in his first six innings, including a stretch that saw him retire 13 straight. The Brewers added a second run in the fifth, started on a single from Gallardo. The inning could've ended when Kendrick just missed snaring a liner from J.J. Hardy. "I came down a little hard," Kendrick said. "I snow-coned it at first, then when I came down, it came out." Naturally, that would cost him, because Ryan Braun singled to left. Gallardo kept running and Burrell uncorked a strong throw to the plate. "I really thought [home plate umpire Eric Cooper] was going to call him out," Coste said. "I didn't realize he called him safe until five seconds after the play. I was leaning to walk off the field. All I knew was that I had to catch the ball and put the glove down. It was a perfect throw and everything came together. I watched the replay and it could have gone either way. The umpire really could've flipped a coin, and tie goes to the runner." Philadelphia finally reached Gallardo when Burrell pounded a home run to left-center with two outs in the seventh, chasing the righty. The Phillies had their best chance against the bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings, based on recent history. But Derrick Turnbow (10.61 career ERA in 10 appearances against the Phillies) tossed a scoreless eighth, and Francisco Cordero (6.23 ERA since May 31) struck out the side in the ninth for his NL-leading 33rd save. Kendrick nearly matched Gallardo's performance, allowing two runs or fewer for the fourth time in 10 starts. "He was really good," Coste said. "His sinker tonight was as good as I've ever seen, not just the life on it, but the velocity. He's usually had decent life on his sinker, but tonight he had more. If there was any doubt of what to call after the third inning, it was, 'Let's throw his two-seamer here, no matter who was up.'" Coincidence or not, Ryan Howard has struggled without Chase Utley in the lineup, going 5-for-29 with no homers and three RBIs, with six walks and 18 strikeouts. "I'm not giving myself a chance to see the ball," Howard said. "I'm chasing after bad pitches." It's not like the Phillies had many to choose from. "Even when he threw a strike, it wasn't easy to pick up," Coste said. "He's got life on his ball, but it wasn't easy to pick up. He threw just enough off-speed stuff to keep you honest. He was very deceiving. He threw 91, but it felt like 95."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.