You could say that Kyle Kendrick kept the Phillies in the game on a cloudy, drizzly afternoon in which he did not have stellar command. Then the beleaguered bullpen put a match to it.
That would be only half the truth.
Full disclosure: The Phillies' offense was never in this game against Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds, and so this momentum-deprived season continued Saturday at Citizens Bank Park with a 10-0 loss.
It was the sixth time the Phillies have been blanked, matching the team's total number of scoreless games for the entire 2012 season, which, if you recall, wasn't exactly a celebrated one.
Only the woeful Miami Marlins have been shut out more often.
"You can get down if you're not careful," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's what you don't want. You've got to keep together. You've got to keep plugging at it."
The Phillies (20-23) are having trouble building a bridge to .500, a record they have not seen since they were 6-6 on April 14.
"I don't think we look at it that way," second baseman Chase Utley said. "We're trying to take it game by game. I know you hear that all the time, but in my opinion that's the best way to go about it."
The Phillies couldn't do anything against Arroyo, a pitcher they used to pound with regularity. Going into last season, Arroyo was 1-7 with an 8.43 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies. In three starts since - one last season and two this year - he is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA.
The Phillies managed only five hits in 72/3 innings against Arroyo, and advanced only one runner beyond first base. Even that modest accomplishment was immediately erased when Domonic Brown was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.
Kendrick, after going seven straight starts without allowing more than two runs, labored through his six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He also walked two and hit a batter. He had not walked a batter in 20 innings before issuing a walk to Shin-Soo Choo to open the game.
"They have a pretty good lineup, and I wasn't good today," Kendrick said.
The worst of Kendrick's 112 pitches was a 1-1 sinker that he left over the middle of the plate to Ryan Hanigan with two men on and nobody out in the top of the second inning. Hanigan turned on it for a three-run home run.
The Phillies' bullpen took over in the seventh and turned a four-run deficit into a merciless beating. Four Phillies relievers - B.J. Rosenberg, Jeremy Horst, Phillippe Aumont, and Chad Durbin - combined to allow six runs on eight hits and a walk in just three innings. Rosenberg, after being recalled from triple-A Friday, gave up three runs on four hits in 11/3 innings.
"I have a big concern about our bullpen," Manuel said. "If we can't hold people, how can we win the game?"