Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Eleven innings of weird

Begin with this: Kyle Kendrick said he could have kept pitching after the 1 hour, 17 minute rain delay. Now that's not to say the Phillies win the game they lost 4-3 to Chicago in 11 innings, but it certainly would have helped matters.

Eleven innings of weird

Phillies closer Ryan Madson blew his first save opportunity of the season on Thursday night. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies closer Ryan Madson blew his first save opportunity of the season on Thursday night. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Begin with this: Kyle Kendrick said he could have kept pitching after the 1 hour, 17 minute rain delay. Now that's not to say the Phillies win the game they lost 4-3 to Chicago in 11 innings, but it certainly would have helped matters.

If Kendrick pitches more than three innings, chances are Charlie Manuel does not run out of pitchers in the 10th inning. Chances are the Cubs are forced to pitch to Domonic Brown with runners on the corners in the 10th instead of intentionally walking him to face Herndon, who does not know the last time had a hit. (High school? Nope. Doesn't think so.)

"He blew a curveball by me," Herndon said. "That was rough."

It was, but basically Manuel's only option at the time. He had at least one more inning out of Herndon and it was not yet time to tell Wilson Valdez he would take the mound again. Both Valdez and Ross Gload were on the bench when Herndon batted.

"I didn't have nobody left," Manuel said, "and I figured Herndon could go two to three innings."

But in the 11th, after Carlos Ruiz reached on a leadoff single, Manuel told Jimmy Rollins not to bunt him over.

"I figured we needed to win the game because Herndon already had almost 50 pitches. Instead of bunting, I went for the win. I figured we had to win the game."

Maybe that scenario is avoided if Kendrick returned after throwing 44 pitches in three innings before the apocalyptic skies overcame Citizens Bank Park. He said he thought he would continue after the rain delay.

"Oh, definitely," Kendrick said. "I thought I could have for sure. But it's not my decision."

Manuel said it was too long for a pitcher to sit.

Then again, chances are none of this matters. The Phillies went five innings (fifth through ninth) without a hit. They had seven in all in 11 innings and just one for extra bases, Rollins' second-inning, three-run home run.

The reversed home-run call in the ninth inning on Tyler Colvin only extended a showing of offensive futility. Then it worsened.

"Not only did we not hit," Manuel said, "but we got sloppy."

In the top of the 11th, there were three crucial mistakes made by the Phillies. First, Colvin reached on an infield single that trickled into no man's land between Herndon and Ryan Howard. Neither took charge on the play.

"It was one of those balls that was tough to get to," Herndon said.

Then, with pitcher Ryan Dempster pinch-hitting to bunt, Ruiz let a passed ball through to advance Colvin to second. He doesn't score on Placido Polanco's throwing error -- the third and final gaffe -- if he is not on second.

"The way the game went, by us using pitchers, it got us in trouble," Manuel said. "But at the same time, we didn't add on. We didn't get hardly any hits."

And that will be the epitaph on this game, No. 63 in 2011, and one that 25 players will attempt to forget as soon as possible.


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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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