Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was abruptly pulled on Tuesday after two innings and giving up a run on 2 hits while driving in a run himself against the Houston Astros. He was told by manager Charlie Manuel that veteran 47 year old Jamie Moyer was to be the 5th starter in the rotation and that he (Kendrick) would start the season in a bullpen role. Meanwhile, the Astros lit up high-priced reliever Jose Contreras for 3 runs on 3 hits with the reliever issuing 2 walks in the fifth inning and reliever David Herndon gave up a rare spring run in the seventh during 2 1/3 innings of work as the Astros beat the Phillies by a 5-2 score when Kendrick was pulled After 2 innings.
The Phillies are a very good team with a great shot to three-peat to the 2010 World Series, but I’ve gotta question management’s long-term thinking and sensitivity in pulling Kendrick’s plug early and how that’ll play on Kendrick’s psyche. Don’t forget that 2 seasons ago, this is the guy who was “punked — traded for a Japanese hot dog eater.”
Outside of 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s 2 for 5, catcher Brian Schneider’s 2 for 4 and leftfielder Raul Ibanez’s RBI single — the Phillies offense, essentially 7 their season-opening starting 8, took the game off.
Meanwhile, former Phil centerfielder Michael Bourn went 4 for 5 with a run scored and former Phillies 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz went 2 for 4. However, the heavy damage was done by leftfielder Carlos Lee who went 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs.
Jose Contreras has been banged around in spring exhibition games losing his 2nd and looks anything but like a reliever worth the $10 million that the Phils spent on him.
Astro starter and winning pitcher Bud Norris gave up 2 second inning runs while striking out 7 Phillies through five innings while giving up 6 hits and walking none. Over the final 4 innings, 5 Phils reached — 3 on hits and 2 on walks as 4 Houston relievers struck out 8 Phillies.
Wednesday will mark the return of Roy Halladay at 1:05 p.m. ET in Clearwater, Fla… This will be the first time Halladay has faced the Blue Jays since being dealt from Toronto in a blockbuster trade this offseason…. Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin are also slated to pitch.