Kyle Kendrick caught the bleak Gulf Coast forecast. There was a chance that his initial spring training start would be rained out.
“I was going to be really upset [if the game was postponed],” Kendrick said after Tuesday's start. “I felt like that little league kid. I used to cry when games were rained out. I was happy. I was excited.”
Kendrick gave up a run in two strong innings. Like Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, he attacked the plate.
“I was throwing mostly strikes,” Kendrick said. “But I feel confident heading into the spring. I’m looking forward to the season. I want to build up from last year and I hope to get us into the playoffs.” This is the first season since 2008 that Kendrick enters spring training with a spot locked up in the starting rotation.
“It’s nice,” Kendrick said. “I know people know that I can get the job done. It’s nice to be in a routine every day when I go to the ballpark.”
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The Phillies won their first game of the Grapefruit campaign Tuesday, edging the New York Yankees, 4-3, but the offense is scuffling after four games. The Phillies didn’t get their first hit until Ryan Howard singled with two outs in the fourth inning. The Phils managed just five hits, but two were long homers — one by Domonic Brown, another by Tommy Joseph.
Brown’s second homer of the spring was a titanic shot that traveled over 450 feet and cleared the batter’s eye. Brown fouled off a pair of 0-2 fastballs before he went yard.
“I feel really good,” Brown said. “I’m not trying to do anything extra with my swing. I’m trying to be patient and just put good wood on the ball. I’m not trying to over swing. If I hit the ball right, it’s going to travel.”
Utley healthy scratch from lineup
There was a semi-panic Tuesday when Chase Utley’s name didn’t appear on Charlie Manuel’s lineup card.
Rest assured, Phillies fans, it isn’t anything to worry about.
Utley was held out due to wet conditions on the diamond. Kevin Frandsen started at second base against the Yankees. Before the Phillies opened exhibition play, Manuel admitted he would be watching Utley closely — and try to avoid playing him in back-to-back games. Utley played Saturday, rested Sunday, then was back out there Monday. Utley is 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in two games.