Baseball. Is. Back.
After an All-Star Break that seemed to last a month and a half, the Phillies and the rest of Major League Baseball returned to regular season action. It was a disappointing showing for Cliff Lee and Domonc Brown on Tuesday night, but it was still fun to see both guys out there. They didn't have to travel far either, as tonight's series began at the home of this year's All-Star Game, Citi Field. Kyle Kendrick got the call for the game, looking to replicate his performance in Queens from April. Opposing him was Mets pitcher Jeremy Hefner. Though his numbers against the Phillies are abysmal, Hefner has been stellar since the first week of June. The Phillies would be looking to surpass the .500 mark for the first time since their series in Milwaukee.
Jimmy Rollins led the game off well with a line single up the middle. Michael Young followed up with a strikeout, but the next five batters would all reach base. First was Chase Utley, who tripled on a ball off the center field wall. A Domonic Brown single would bring home the second run of the inning. Three more singles, one a piece for Darin Ruf, Delmon Young, and John Mayberry Jr., would score another two. The Phillies would eventually bat around and give Kendrick an early 4-0 advantage.
The floodgates would remain open in the third inning. Brown led things off with a solo homerun to the right field corner. Following Darin Ruf's double, Delmon Young would single and reach second and Marlon Byrd's error, which subsequently allowed Ruf to score. South Jersey native Greg Burke would be brought into the game when Mayberry doubled to score the seventh run of the game. He immediately allowed Carlos ruiz to double and plate Mayberry. Kendrick sacrificed and Rollins walked, bringing Michael Young up to bat. He promptly homered to put the Phillies in double-digit territory with an 11-0 lead.
Kendrick temporarily lost his rythym in the fourth, when he allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach base. Marlon Byrd would then absolutely crush a ball to left, putting the Mets on the board. A double play would end the inning and leave the score at 11-3.
Chase Utley would do his part to lengthen the lead, homering off new pitcher Josh Edgin into Utley's Corner. Michael Young also scored on Utley's 13th of the season, making it 13-3 Phillies. The Mets would score another on a groundout in the bottom of the inning. 13-4 Phillies.
Kendrick's troubles would return in the sixth inning. Despite striking out Byrd to start it off, Kendrick allowed the next five batters to reach base, culminating in two more runs for the Mets and the end of KK's night. Luis Garcia would come on to clean up the inning, but not before the score jumped to 13-6.
The Phillies would stop scoring, but the Mets weren't quite finished. With Justin De Fratus pitching in the ninth, David Wright would crush one into the seats, scoring Andrew Brown and putting the score at 13-8.
The Phillies waisted no time making a splash coming off the All-Star Game layoff. With 11 runs in the first three innings, the team rolled into second place in the NL East. Kyle Kendrick has continued to struggle, but the bullpen held tight. Now a game over .500, the line between buy and sell come the trade deadline has become even more blurred. The real test, though, will come in the series against St. Louis and Detroit in the next week. Before that, they must finish up the series in New York. Tomorrow, Cole Hamels looks to continue his hot streak against young righty Zack Wheeler at 1:10.