Opinions about Kyle Kendrick tend to sour faster than milk left on the kitchen counter overnight, and after blowing a save in his last outing against the New York Mets six days ago, he knows he is not the most popular man in the Phillies' battered bullpen right now.
Kendrick, in his first bullpen appearance after making three starts in place of Cliff Lee, allowed five runs on four hits in just one inning that night against the Mets. He also walked two batters and hit another. He said afterward that he erred by not throwing a bullpen session after his May 4 start.
When Kendrick was in the bullpen last season, he still threw side sessions once every three days if he had not pitched and he failed to do that before his outing against the Mets. Kendrick has thrown two bullpen sessions since his appearance against the Mets, including one Monday. He said he typically throws between 15 and 20 pitches.
Now, he can't wait for his next chance.
"I want to get back out there as soon as possible," he said. "I'm a lot better than that."
Kendrick would also like another chance to pitch with a lead in the late innings and would like to be considered for that role if he's not in the rotation, which he obviously is not right now.
"I would love to, but you have to pitch good in that role," he said. "It's not going to just be handed to you. But, yeah, I would love to do that if it's available and if I can get their trust in that role. Right now, I know they don't have trust because I didn't pitch good enough."
Manager Charlie Manuel was asked if he'd call for Kendrick again in that kind of situation.
"I look at Kyle as a spot starter, a long man and he's a guy you use at the end if you need innings," Manuel said. "That's kind of how I look at him. That doesn't mean he can't pitch somewhere (at the end). (Pitching coach) Rich (Dubee), at times, thinks he can pitch in situations in the pen, but we've got to see it."