Domonic Brown hit two more last night, homering twice for a team that’s having a whole lot of trouble scoring as the Phils topped the Red Sox 4-3.
Brown has hit five home runs in his last five games and 11 in his last 114 plate appearances going back to the start of the day on April 27. He’s been hitting regularly behind Ryan Howard, who is on-basing .289 for the year, and Delmon Young, who is on-basing .293 for the year. I think it’s likely that will be changing before too long.
The Phillies scored four runs in the game, all four of which came on solo homers. This article points out that 30 of the last 32 home runs the Phillies have hit have been solo homers.
The Phililes are 26-27 on the year after beating the Boston Red Sox 4-3 last night. The Phils have won two in a row.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple and a home run. He struck out three.
Kendrick bounces back after two bad starts back-to-back. The Phils are now 7-4 on the year when he starts. Righties are on-basing just .289 against him for the season.
Jacoby Ellsbury was the first batter of the game and tripled to center on a 3-2 pitch. Kendrick got Daniel Nava to fly to left for the first out with Ellsbury holding, but Dustin Pedroia was next and flew to center, deep enough for Ellsbury to tag and score. 1-0. Mike Napoli followed with a single to left, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia went down on a ground ball to second to end the frame.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second and started the third with the score tied at 1-1. He walked Nava with two outs and Pedroia followed with a single that put runners on the corners for Napoli. Kratz threw Pedroia out stealing second to leave Nava at third.
In 2012, opponents stole 18 bases with Kratz behind the plate and 15 were caught stealing. That’s an impressive caught rate of 45%. This year 15 runners have stolen successfully and six have been caught for a caught rate of 29%. Ruiz’s caught stealing percentage for his career is 28%, Kratz’s 40% and Quintero’s 32%.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
He started the fifth with a 3-1 lead and walked Stephen Drew to start the frame. Jose Iglesias struck out swinging for the first out before the pitcher John Lackey bunted Drew to second with the second out. Ellsbury flew to right to set Boston down.
Nava led off the sixth and homered to right on an 0-2 pitch, cutting the lead to 3-2. Pedroia was next and grounded to third. Galvis fielded and threw to first, but Howard didn’t catch it as the ball dribbled out of the top of his glove for an error. Kendrick got Saltalamacchia on a fly ball to center for the second out. Mike Carp was next and grounded back to the pitcher and Kendrick made a nice play to throw to second and start a double-play.
Nice job by Kendrick to work around the no-out error by Howard. Howard hasn’t been especially good defensively at first this year, but that was his first error of the season.
Bastardo started the seventh with the Phils still up a run. Drew doubled to left with one out and the righty Johnny Gomes hit for the pitcher Lackey. Bastardo hit Gomes, putting men on first and second with one down for Ellsbury. Bastardo struck Ellsbury out looking 3-2 for the second out and got Nava on a ground ball to second to leave the runners stranded.
Bastardo drops his ERA on the year to 2.00 with the outing. He hasn’t been charged with a run in 4 2/3 innings over his last five appearances. He’s walked too many righties — right-handed hitters are hitting just .229 against him, but with a .372 on-base percentage thanks to seven walks and a hit by pitch in 45 PA.
Adams threw a 1-2-3 eighth with newly called up Cesar Hernandez playing second base.
Adams looks good coming off an outing on Monday in which he allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning on a hit and three walks.
Papelbon started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. He walked Drew with one out and lefty David Ortiz hit for Jose Iglesias. Ortiz flew to right for the second out before Gomes moved Drew up to second with a single into right. With runners on first and second and two down, Ellsbury popped a ball down the left field line. Brown was playing deep, made a long run and dove for the ball, but it went off of his glove for a double. Drew scored from second to make it 4-3 with Gomes going to third. Papelbon got Nava to ground to first to leave both runners stranded and end the game.
Brown should have caught the ball, despite his long run. Per my previous comments, he should never, ever be allowed to dive in the outfield. The Phillies got extremely lucky that when the ball went off of his glove, it hit the stands. Brown got on it quickly, but the ball didn’t go far and Gomes couldn’t score from first.
Down two runs in the ninth, you want to have a runner on first that can score on a double if he’s the tying run. The Red Sox didn’t. Philllies got a little lucky.
Papelbon was pitching for the second day in a row and was charged with a run on two hits. Would have kept the Red Sox off the board if Brown had made the play in left. He came into the game having not been charged with a run in 18 2/3 innings over his last 18 appearances.
Overall the pen went three innings in the game, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out five. Papelbon has thrown two days in a row and threw 20 pitches in the game.
The Phillie lineup against righty John Lackey went (1) Revere (2) Frandsen (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Delmon Young (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Galvis. With Michael Young on the bereavement list and Utley sidelined, Galvis starts at third and Frandsen at second. Delmon Young starts in right, where his UZR/150 in right for the season stands at -19.0. Kratz moves ahead of Galvis in the order and rightly so, not that it matters a whole lot.
Down 1-0, the Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.
Howard led off the second and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Delmon Young followed with a single before Brown grounded to first with Young forced at second for the first out. Kratz flew to right for the second out before Brown stole second. Galvis grounded to second to leave him there.
Seventh homer of the year for Howard and fifth off of a righty. He’s on pace to hit about 21 this year.
Third stolen base of the year for Brown. He hasn’t been caught yet.
Frandsen singled with two outs in the third and stole second before Rollins walked. It put two men on for Howard and Howard struck out looking.
From 2004 to 2011, Howard struck out in about 27.4% of his plate appearances. 33.9% in 2012 and 30.9% so far in 2013.
Brown and Kratz homered back-to-back with one out in the fourth, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Galvis struck out for the second out before Kendrick reached on an infield single. Revere grounded to first to end the inning.
All the homering by Brown makes it easy to miss what Kratz has done of late. What Kratz has done of late is hit. 5-for-his-last-13 with three home runs. 308/417/615 with eight walks and four home runs in 48 plate appearances in May. Apparently it’s enough to get you moved ahead of Freddy Galvis in the order for a team that can’t score any runs.
Frandsen and Howard both struck out as Lackey set the Phils down in order in the fifth.
The lead was cut to 3-2 when Lackey walked Delmon Young to start the sixth. Mayberry ran for Young at first. He stole second and moved up to third on a ground out by Brown. Kratz drew a walk that put runners on the corners for Galvis, but Galvis grounded into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.
Lefty Andrew Miller started the seventh for Boston. Switch-hitter Cesar Hernandez hit for Bastardo and flew to center on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues for out number one. Revere singled and stole second before Frandsen walked, putting runners on first and second for Rollins. Rollins walked as well and the bases were loaded for Howard. Howard struck out looking for the second out. Righty Koji Uehara came in to pitch to Mayberry. Mayberry popped to short to leave the bases loaded.
Howard can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs, striking out with the bases loaded for the second out.
The Phils don’t seem to be real impressed with Saltalamacchia behind the plate, no matter how long his last name is. Revere’s stolen base was their fourth of the game.
Brown led off the eighth and hit a 1-1 pitch just out to right off of righty Koji Uehara, putting the Phils up 4-2. They went in order behind him.
Brown’s homer winds up mattering as the Red Sox score a run in the top of the ninth with the help of his misplay.
Revere was 1-for-4 with a stolen base. 343/387/396 in 76 plate appearances in May. He’s been a big problem a lot of the year, but it’s important to realize he’s not a big part of the problem right now.
Frandsen 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-8. Hitting just .237 for the year, but with a .370 on-base percentage, thanks in large part to four hit-by-pitches in 47 plate appearances. He’s also shown big power in limited time — he’s slugging .447 and his isolated power of .211 is better than anyone on the team with more than five PA other than Brown. Also on the isolated power front, Howard is at .187 after last night’s homer. He hasn’t been under .200 in any year of his career and has a career mark of .276.
Rollins 0-for-2 and walked twice. 2-for-his-last-9 with four walks, so it’s not his fault all the homers are solo shots behind him. 255/315/376 against right-handed pitching, though, so he still seems like a pretty odd choice to be hitting third against righties.
Howard 1-for-4 with three strikeouts, the worse of which came with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh. He went 4-for-34 (.118) from May 8 to May 18 but is 10-for-31 (323/323/516) since the end of the day on May 18. In his last 66 plate appearances since the start of the day on May 8, he’s on-based .227 with one walk, which was intentional. So it is at least partly his fault that so many of the homers hit behind him are solo shots. He’s walked nine times in 194 plate appearances on the year and four of those walks have been intentional. So in the plate appearances where he was not walked intentionally he’s walked five times in 190 plate appearances, which is about 2.6%. Coming into 2013, he had 4,562 plate appearances for his career in which he was not walked intentionally and walked in 426 of them (about 9.3%). So he’s walking less.
Delmon Young doesn’t get on base, either, although he was 1-for-2 with a walk last night to up his on-base percentage for the year to .293. I would be surprised if the Phillies don’t start hitting Brown ahead of Delmon Young and maybe Howard soon, even if it means Howard and Brown go lefty/lefty back-to-back. Cause Brown has hit five homers in his last five games and you don’t really want him doing it behind guys that aren’t going to be on base. Brown has also pounded lefties this year, posting a 310/318/667 against them in 44 plate appearances.
Brown 2-for-4 with two solo home runs. Five home runs in the last five games. 11 in his last 114 plate appearances. Still has zero walks in May (101 plate appearances) and zero walks against lefties for the year (44 PA).
Kratz 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run.
Galvis 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-19 with a single.
Pettibone (3-1, 3.21) faces lefty Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34) tonight. Pettibone hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his starts and the Phils are 6-1 with him on the hill. Lefties are hitting 314/385/471 against him, but he’s held righties to a 234/280/416 line. Lester had a 2.72 ERA through his first nine starts this season, but has allowed ten runs in 13 innings over his last two outings. He’s walked just 19 in 72 2/3 innings, which gives him a career-best walk rate of about 2.4 batters per nine innings. He’s walked just two left-handed batters all season.
Update: Lefty Franklin Morales and not Lester will start tonight’s game for Boston.