When you wake up this morning, your Phillies will be only 1 game under .500 for the first time since June 5.
They have won five games in a row and 13 of their last 17 to improve their record to 70-71.
And don’t look now, but after a St. Louis Cardinals loss to the San Diego Padres in a late West Coast game, the Phillies are only five games out of the second NL Wild Card spot.
And they said it couldn’t be done.
OK, I said it couldn’t be done. (And admit it, you were right there with me.)
Now don’t get me wrong. I know it’s not done yet. In fact, the odds are still stacked against them (though improving day by day) but the fact that the Phillies, who were 14 games under .500 on July 13th, have even put themselves back in the conversation is downright amazing.
Adding to the sheer wonder of it all is that one of the main factors in this Phillies resurgence is none other than the man they call Krazy K, pitcher Kyle Kendrick. (Man, I’m glad I officially got on the KK train a couple of weeks ago.) But I’m not the only one, just ask Cole Hamels.
After Kendrick had another strong outing in Atlanta about a week ago, (according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki,) Hamels did a little redecorating in the Turner Field visitor’s clubhouse, making a small change to the nameplate above Kendrick’s locker:
Old nameplate? Kendrick 38
New nameplate? Ace 38
Well, I hope KK took that nameplate with him because for the past month, on a team with pitchers named Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and yes, even, Cole Hamels, it is Kyle Kendrick who has been the staff ace.
KK is 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA in his last six starts, and 7-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 15 appearances since the All-Star break.
And he was brilliant again last night. Kendrick retired the first seven batters he faced, five of them on strikeouts. In fact, he didn’t even allow a hit until the sixth inning when he was rewarded with a standing ovation by an appreciative Citizens Bank Park crowd. Overall, Kendrick allowed two hits, one run, three walks and struck out a career-high eight in seven innings in the Phillies 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.
So what does it all mean?
Will the Phillies continue on this improbable run?
How many games must they win to really have a shot?
Will Kyle Kendrick win the Cy Young this year?
To tell you the truth, I really don’t know. (Well, I do know about that last one. Sorry, Kyle.)
But what I do know is that watching baseball is fun again in this town.
And I know that for the first time in a long time I’m up at 4:00 AM checking the standings.
And in a season that I expected would be long over by now, that’s more than enough for me!