After he threw his sixth pitch, a sinker that didn’t sink and hit Ryan Zimmerman on the hand, Kyle Kendrick turned to see Rich Dubee jogging from the dugout.
Already, a run had scored. Two Nationals were on base, and if nothing changed, Kendrick was headed for a short night Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
Jayson Werth watches his second-inning home run sail into the stands at Citizens Bank Park. The blast, his second in as many games against the Nationals, got the Phils going.
“He just said, ‘Stay aggressive. Try and get a ground ball here,’ ” Kendrick said. “I ended up getting a few strikeouts.”
Figures, considering that Kendrick had failed to strike out two batters in three of his last four starts. And so it goes. After all, this is September and these are the Phillies.
They beat the Nationals, 5-2, winning a game started by Kendrick for the first time since Aug. 31. The red-hot Phillies, winners of six in a row, keep rolling with one more game against last-place Washington before the Braves come to Citizens Bank Park and the drama intensifies.
With 13 games left, the Phillies have a three-game lead. The Big Three – Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt – will start 10 of those games. Even after a decent Kendrick start, that’s a comforting fact for the Phils.
So is this: They are playing their best baseball of the season.