As ugly as things were for Kyle Kendrick last year, I still think he has a good shot to beat out Chan Ho Park, JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco and win the fifth starter’s job this spring. A big part of the reason I think so is the simple fact that the Phils win games when Kendrick pitches. Over the past two years they’ve won about as often with Kendrick on the mound as they have with Cole Hamels on the mound (Hamels has him nipped, but not by much).
As a group, the seven pitchers below have combined to go 157-120 over the past two years (a .567 winning percentage). The Phils as a team have gone 181-143 (.559). The group of seven has made about 85.5% of the starts.
Here’s the Phillies record in games started by the seven pitchers over the past two seasons:
Outstanding numbers for Hamels, Moyer and Kendrick. Blanton and Happ have also had good results in fewer starts. Eaton and Myers have both had less luck — the team’s winning percentage in the games that Myers started is particularly low.
Even in his largely miserable 2008 campaign, the Phillies continued to win games with Kendrick on the mound. Their 18-12 mark, a .600 winning percentage, was better both than their winning percentage for the year and in the games that were started by Hamels. In Hamels’ starts in ’08, the Phils went 19-14, a .576 winning percentage.
Notable also when you look at the 2008 numbers is that the Phils went a fantastic 22-11 in Moyer’s 33 starts.
The bad new is that Kendrick isn’t magic. The runs the Phillies scored offensively were not distributed evenly across all the starters — some starters have received far more runs from the offense than others. Here’s how many runs the Phillies have scored in games started by each of the seven pitchers (over the last two years the Phils have scored 1,691 runs in 324 games, about 5.22 runs per game):
Monster offensive production behind Kendrick, but Blanton also had some hitters behind him as well. The 5.24 runs the Phillies have scored in Moyer’s 66 starts over the last two years is very similar to the 5.22 runs per game the Phils have scored overall over the past two seasons.
Hamels, Eaton and Myers all have gotten less runs from the offense than the team averaged. For Myers, the average number of runs scored by the team in games that he started was close to a full run lower than the number of runs they scored overall.
Carlos Ruiz will play for Panama in the World Baseball Classic once again, but check back often.