Being in Philadelphia last night for the Phillies game against the St. Louis Cardinals, I was treated to a dominant pitching performance by Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
Kendrick has not been great so far in 2010, but followed up Cole Hamels dominant performance from the night before and carried it into Wednesday night. Kendrick baffled the Cardinals hitters into some weak swings and ground ball outs (9 outs via ground balls).
He scattered six hits through seven shutout innings. The Phillies offense did just enough against Cardinals starter Brad Penny as Placido Polanco hit a two-run homerun in the fourth inning and Shane Victorino hit a solo homerun in the sixth.
Wednesday night was a night for late game heroics.
In Cincinnati, the Reds Orlando Cabrera hit a walk-off homerun leading off the bottom of the tenth to give the Reds a 3-2 win over the NY Mets. Cabrera’s big swing eliminated the sour taste that Francisco Cordero’s blown save gave Reds fans.
In Cleveland, the Indians held a 4-3 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning. However closer Chris Perez could not complete the save as the Toronto Blue Jays scored three runs to take the lead.
With two outs, Aaron Hill hit a ground ball to shortstop Luis Valbuena that went between his legs, scoring Fred Lewis and continued the game. The next batter, Adam Lind connected for a two-run go-ahead homerun to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 win.
In Houston, the Astros received solid starting pitching from Brett Myers, as did the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks from Rodrigo Lopez. Both pitchers went seven innings while allowing two runs.
The game was tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth went Carlos Lee crushed a pitch from Juan Gutierrez out of Minute Maid Park for a two-run walk-off homer (it was his first homerun of the season).
Astros rookie shortstop Tommy Manzella also connected on a homerun in the second inning (a two-run shot) for his first Major League homerun.
Atlanta and Washington battled back-and-forth throughout the night. Washington tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth on a pinch-hit two-run single by Josh Willingham off Takashi Saito.
However in the top of the tenth, the Braves scored a run off of Matt Capps to win the game 7-6. Braves rookie right fielder Jason Heyward exited the game early with a sore groin (he is day-to-day).
SF Giants starter Barry Zito is finally pitching the way Giants management envisioned when they signed him away from the Oakland A’s. Last night Zito improved to 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA.
He went into the eighth inning allowing one run on seven hits. The Florida Marlins had their chances in the eighth inning off Zito as they loaded the bases with a run in and Hanley Ramirez at the plate. That was the end of the night for Zito and in came Sergio Romo.
Romo struck out Ramirez and induced an inning-ending double-play from Jorge Cantu to end the threat. In the ninth, the Marlins scored a run off Giants closer Brian Wilson, but Wilson rebounded with the tying run on third by striking out Wes Helms to end the game.
Marlins starter Nate Robertson was solid as he allowed three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings though he took the loss.
Through six innings in San Diego, the Padres and the Colorado Rockies were tied at 5-5. Neither starting pitcher was that good (Clayton Richard nor Aaron Cook). However the offenses went to sleep against both teams’ bullpens.
The game went into the twelfth tied until the Rockies Ian Stewart hit a solo homerun off Padres reliever Tim Stauffer for the game winner. It was the first run Stauffer had given up in the 2010 season.
The pitching matchup of the night seemed to be Tampa Bay Rays Matt Garza against the Seattle Mariners Cliff Lee. Lee was dominant in his first outing of the season and Garza has been dominant all season.
The game was a pitcher’s duel early on until the Mariners Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run homerun off of Garza in the bottom of the fourth inning. Many felt that would be enough for Lee.
However he gave the two runs right back in the top of the fifth. Lee would struggle in his eight innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on ten hits. Garza went eight innings and allowed just those two runs on five hits while striking out five. Garza improved to 5-1 as the Rays won 8-3.