Ian Kennedy set the tone from the 1st inning with a late life fastball and change up that were as good as any he’s had all season. In his previous three outings, which were all solid efforts, it seemed to take him a couple of innings to get smoothed out. He looked locked in from the first pitch today, and allowed only two hits through his first five innings of work.
Matt Kemp gave Ian a lead to work with in the 4th with his fourth home run of the season on a curve ball downing the zone that he went down and yanked into the left field bleachers. It was his fourth long ball of the season and second in the last three games. Derek Norris added another run in the 6th with his eighth home run of the season to give Kennedy a tiny bit of breathing room 2-0.
That second run came in handy as Phegley hit one of the few mistakes Kennedy made in the zone for a solo shot to cut the lead to 2-1 after the 6th.
The Friars got it back the very next inning though thanks to the speed of Upton, Jr. who lead off with a triple. His brother, Justin, then drove him in with a very unconventional sac-fly. Instead of it going deep in to the outfield, it went to the first baseman. Yep, a pop up into the spacious foul territory down the first base line sent the first baseman Vogt a long way and he eventually found himself back pedaling to make the catch close to the Pads bullpen down the right field line. Melvin alertly tagged up at third and scored to up the lead to 3-1.
It was an interestingly debatable topic as to whether Vogt should have let the ball drop instead of catching it. There are several variables that need to be taken into account. However, given how late it was in the game, the back pedaling angle, the speed of Upton Jr, and knowing the Pads have Kimbrel to close out the 9th I may have opted to let that one land foul and take my chances with Upton then Kemp instead of conceding the run for the out. If it is the go ahead run I almost have to let it drop, but in 2-1 game…Interesting topic!
Kelley pitched a scorless 7th, Maurer the 8th, and then Kimbrel was brought on for his 17th save of the season and converted it to lock down the win and a memorable souvenir ball for Murph’s trophy case. It was a victory the Pads needed badly, and can hopefully use as a spiring board to start a much needed run of W’s.
Shields to the mound for the friars tomorrow to start a new set against the Diamondbacks. First pitch is at 6:40, and can’t wait for you to join Uncle Teddy and me for the action on the Mighty 1090.