The pink cleats, arm bands, balls, and bats were all in play once again, as the Phllies took on the Diamondbacks on Mother's Day to close out a four-game series. The matchup pitted Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick against former Athletic Brandon McCarthy. While the Fightins looked to leave Arizona with a 4-3 road trip, the Snakes eyed a series win. Here's how the matchup of young right-handers played out today.
It began with some familiar sights for the Phillies, as they suffered a 1-2-3 top of the first. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks were able to score early against Kendrick. A leadoff homerun for Gerardo Parra immediately gave them the lead. After a Didi Gregorious triple, the Diamondbacks grounded into two fielder's choices, one that saw Gregorious tagged out at the plate. Arizona found a way to score again anyway, as an A.J. Pollock single brought home Eric Chavez. 2-0 Diamondbacks.
In the second, Domonic Brown and Freddy Galvis both managed to hit singles, but no runs were scored. Kendrick rebounded with a 1-2-3 bottom of the second inning.
From that point on, Kendrick and McCarthy were locked in. Save for a spectacular homerun-robbing catch by Brown in the third, neither team could manage to put on much of a show. Jeremy Horst came in to throw a scoreless top of the eighth.
McCarthy was pulled after the eighth innings, which is exactly what the Phillies needed. Diamondbacks closer Heath Bell came in to close it out. In the top of the ninth, Chase Utley just missed a home run, and ended up on second base. Ryan Howard moved to 0-17 with 9 K in the series, but did move Utley to third. A Delmon Young double then scored Utley, and the tying run was in scoring position. John Mayberry Jr. came on to run for Young, and came back in after a Brown single. Antonio Bastardo helped push the game to extras. 2-2 Tie.
It didn't take long in extras for the Phillies to take the lead. A Jimmy Rollins single and an Utley double put two runners in scoring position, giving Howard a chance at retribution, and he delivered. With one out, Howard singled and recorded two RBIs. 4-2 Phillies.
Even after a 29-pitch performance last evening, Jonathan Papelbon closed it out rather quietly for the Phillies. With the win, they managed to split the series with Arizona and leave the West Coast with a winning road trip.
It was an impressive win for the team. They couldn't touch Brandon McCarthy, but took full advantage of a struggling closer and came up in the clutch. But the most important thing to take from this game is Kyle Kendrick. It really is amazing to look back as early as two years ago and remember the vision we had of the righty. In that time, he's received advice from so many different players, four of them being staff aces, and turned around his career. He's well on his way to an All-Star appearance, and surely deserved a W today.
The Phillies will get some much-needed rest tomorrow and take on the Cleveland Indians once more starting Tuesday, this time in Philly. Hopefully they'll reverse the trend and sweep the quick two-game series. Veteran starter Scott Kazmir will take the mound against rookie Jonathan Pettibone at 7:05. The Indians will be coming off a double-header against the Yankees on Monday, a positive sign for the Phillies in this series.
A big Happy Mother's Day to all the Phillies moms out there!
Andrew Gillen is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJGillen