Kyle Kendrick wishes he had an explanation.
He was 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last three starts and 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his last eight starts before he got rocked last night in an 8-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings, which makes this arguably the worst start of his career.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "That's baseball. What can you say? The last three starts have been great, then you come into this one and I have the best stuff out of all those starts and get shoved. What can you do? Just forget about it, and move on."
Kendrick hurt himself in a disastrous third inning. He allowed a one-out single to Matt Kemp, then walked Andre Ethier and hit Jeff Kent with a pitch to load the bases. Manny Ramirez stepped into the batter's box, and you can guess what happened next. Ramirez, who is a .331 career hitter with the bases loaded (he is a .313 career hitter overall), ripped a double to left-center field to score the game's first two runs. Kendrick allowed four more runs in the third as the Dodgers took a 6-0 lead.
"They've got a tough lineup now," Charlie Manuel said. "Not only Manny, but (Casey) Blake. That gives them more balance in their lineup. That gives them a better hitting team. They're tough. Manny is tough, especially with the bases loaded. For some reason, he really bears down with the bases loaded.
"Once you get past (Ramirez), you've still got (James) Loney and (Russell) Martin and Blake standing in there. That's pretty good. I had interest in Blake. He was in Cleveland, and I saw him when he was with the Twins. He's pretty good. He can get big hits for you."
Including a two-run homer that capped the scoring in the third.
"I just couldn't control the damage," Kendrick said.
For what it's worth, the Mets and Marlins also lost.
In the Phillies Notebook: more on Brad Lidge, the Phillies sign a top draft pick and more.
Ryan Howard knocked in a couple runs to give him 32 home runs and 100 RBIs. He is just the second player in franchise history to have three-straight seasons with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. The other? Chuck Klein. He accomplished the feat from 1930-32: 40/170 in 1930, 31/121 in 1931 and 38/137 in 1932. Howard had 58/149 in 2006 and 47/136 in 2007.
I've been up for more than 21 hours, so I think it's time to cash out before I crash out in the pressbox.