Tag: Erik Kratz

And it’s all your fault. Yes, you. Next you’ll probably ask Howard to hit lefties, and who knows what might happen then.

In a recent post I pointed out that Darin Ruf walked in 11.3% of his plate appearances in 2013, which was the best rate of any Phillie by a lot. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the guy who finished second in that category. Among the Phillies with at least 35 plate appearances in ’13, the second-best walk rate on the team belonged to Jimmy Rollins.

Remember this? Earlier this year, before the start of the 2013 season, I pointed out that after years of fans pleading with him to improve his walk rate, Jimmy Rollins had done exactly that. He walked in about 7.2% of his 6,512 plate appearances from 2000 to 2009 and in about 9.3% of his 1,724 plate appearances from 2010 to 2012. That trend continued in 2013 — here’s what the numbers look like now:

PA BB%
2000-2009 6512 7.2
2010-2013 2390 9.2

In each of the past four seasons, Rollins has walked at a rate that’s better than league average:

NL AVG BB%
2010 8.5 10.2
2011 8.1 9.2
2012 7.9 8.9
2013 7.7 8.9

The problem is he walked more from 2010 to 2013 and became a worse hitter. From ’00 to ’09 he hit 274/329/439 and from 2010 to 2013 he hit 254/323/389. More walks, but a lot less hits over the last four seasons and with less power. His isolated power from 2000 to 2009 was .165 and over the last four years it’s been .135. In 2013, it dropped to .097, which is the first time he’s had an isolated power under .100 in any season in which he got 100 plate appearances.

Rollins was best offensively from 2004 to 2008. Here’s some of what he did offensively in those years, from 2000 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2013:

Years PA Line H% 1B% 2B% 3B% HR% BB or HBP%
00 to 09 6512 274/329/439 25.0 15.9 5.4 1.5 2.2 7.7
04 to 08 3618 286/342/468 26.1 16.3 5.6 1.7 2.5 8.1
10 to 13 2390 254/323/389 22.8 15.6 4.5 0.5 2.2 9.4

His walks are up over the past four years, but his hits are way down. He hit .274 through the end of 2009 and has hit .254 since the start of 2010. His rate of hitting singles isn’t off that terribly, 15.9% of plate appearances from ’00 to ’09 and 15.6% over the last four years, but his extra-base hits have dropped dramatically. He delivered extra-base hits in about 9.1% of his plate appearances through 2009 and about 7.2% since. His home run rate has stayed about the same, but with a third of his ’00 to ’09 rate for triples over the past four seasons while his double rate has dropped from about 5.4% to 4.5%.

The Phillies traded Erik Kratz and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen to the Blue Jays for 28-year-old right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln. Lincoln was the fourth pick of the 2006 draft and has a 4.66 ERA and a 1.39 ratio over 97 major league appearances, 22 of which have been starts. The Phils acquired the 24-year-old Rasmussen from the Dodgers in the Michael Young deal in early September. I think it’s a good deal for the Phils. Lincoln has upside and has been better over the last two years, throwing to a 3.76 ERA with a 1.29 ratio while striking out 113 in 119 2/3 innings. He walked way too many hitters last year, holding opponents to a .233 average, but with a .366 on-base percentage as he walked 22 in 31 2/3 innings.

The Phils also signed 36-year-old right-handed catcher Wil Nieves and Nieves will presumably backup Ruiz. Nieves had the best offensive year of his career last season, hitting 297/320/369 with one home run in 206 plate appearances with the Padres. He’s had a negative bWAR for six straight seasons and it’s a little tough to get excited about the move. I think Kratz is better than Nieves even if Rasmussen turns out not to be a contributor for anyone. So let’s hope things work out with Lincoln.


Less than zero

There were several players from the 2013 Phils that didn’t make the cut in the most recent post of non-pitchers with a WAR greater than zero as calculated by both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. A bunch of them seem to have a good chance to play on the 2014 Phils. Here are some of them:

bWAR fWAR
Frandsen 0.5 0.0
Kratz -0.3 0.7
Galvis -0.0 0.1
Ruf -0.1 0.1
Asche -0.2 0.0
Hernandez -0.4 -0.4
Mayberry -1.1 -0.4

Kevin Frandsen comes the closest to having a positive WAR as calculated by both sites. He only played 33 innings of defense at third base in 2013 and appeared at first in 40 games for the Phils. Frandsen at first in 40 games isn’t a good sign things are running smoothly for your squad, even if you don’t have a $20 million first baseman. 2012 was the best year of his career and his on-base percentage last year dropped from .383 to .296 as he posted a 202/243/292 line against righties. He’s hammered left-handed pitching in each of the last two years, but he’s really not the answer at first and if he’s not going to play third it’s hard to see what there is for him to do other than pinch hit against lefties. Regardless of what they should do, I think it’s likely we see some of Frandsen at first early in the year if Howard isn’t ready to start the season. It seems like Ruf would be better off getting those at-bats. Presumably the addition of Byrd makes it less likely Ruf will be spending time in the outfield. Of the 26 non-pitchers on the ’13 Phils, only two had a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR greater than 0.1. Ruiz was 0.9 and Frandsen was 0.3.

Erik Kratz hit .213 and on-based .280, but with nice power. Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs seem to disagree about how much that was worth, but he seems like a lock to deliver low average and good power again in 2014. Baseball-Reference had him as a good defensive player in 2012 with a dWAR of 0.9, but that dropped to -0.1 in 2013.

Freddy Galvis is still just 24-years-old, but he has a career .269 on-base percentage in the majors to go with his .296 career on-base percentage in the minors. He excelled defensively in 2012, getting 45 starts at second base and tying with Utley for the team lead in Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR at 1.1. That dropped to -0.6 in 2013. He got about the same number of plate appearances in 2012 and 2013 and played about the same number of defensive innings. However, in 2012, he played about 92% of his defensive innings at second, where he was fantastic, posting a FanGraphs calculated UZR/150 at second of 16.3, which was fifth among the 42 players across both leagues that played at least 300 innings at second. In 2013, he played about 37% of his defensive innings at second, 30% at third, 17% in the outfield and 15% at short and his dWAR took a tumble. UZR/150 suggests he was good everywhere defensively in 2013 other than at second base. At second base his mark for UZR/150 in 2013 plunged to -20.2 in his 167 1/3 innings there. It’s a real bad sign for the Phillies when you see him at third or in the outfield as anything other than a defensive replacement.

Darin Ruf had the best isolated power on ’13 Phils for anyone other than Domonic Brown, hitting 14 home runs in 293 plate appearances. He also had the second-best wOBA on the team at .354, second only to Utley’s .356. Thanks to a much better walk rate, Ruf out on-based Brown by .024 despite an average twenty-five points lower. Ruf walked in 11.3% of his plate appearances in 2013, by far the best rate of any Phillie. It wasn’t close. Jimmy Rollins was the unlikely second-place finisher among those with 50 or more plate appearances. Rollins walked in just 8.9% of his chances. The slugging righty Ruf oddly didn’t hit lefties, though, posting a 188/309/348 line against left-handed pitching while pounding away at righties to the tune of 269/363/500. Not hitting lefties is a problem, but not as big a problem as being unusable defensively. Ruf put up a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of -1.8, which is remarkable for a lot of reasons, one of which is that he played far from a full season of defense. There were only seven NL players to tally a worse dWAR in 2013 (two of them, John Mayberry and Michael Young, played for the Phillies). Ruf appeared in just 47 games in the outfield and 37 at first base, but it’s pretty much unanimous he wasn’t good anywhere. FanGraphs has him bad at first (UZR/150 of -6.3), worse in left (-12.6) and terrible in right (-34.9). There were 59 players across both leagues who played at least 200 innings in right field in 2013 — Ruf’s -34.9 was 58th, better only than Scott Hairston. It seems likely that Ruf will hit lefties going forward. If he does and continues to hit righties like he has and draw walks like he has, he could be a very good offensive player. Just how bad he’s going to be defensively is the big question, though, and last year’s results weren’t good. The question may still be open, but part of the answer is that he doesn’t have much of a chance if he’s going to be both a butcher defensively and not hit lefties. If Howard is out to start the year and the choices at first for the Phillies are Frandsen, Mayberry and Ruf, I think the best choice for the Phils is to play Ruf everyday. When Howard is available, it may be the case that it’s in the best interests of the Phillies to platoon Ruf and Howard at first base. If you were to look solely at the numbers from the last two seasons, you might conclude that Frandsen is a better platoon partner for Howard. Frandsen is the better defensively of the two and has been way better against left-handed pitching, but I think that would be a mistake.

Not hitting lefties was a fluke, being terrible defensively wasn’t, but it’s too early to give up on Ruf. Second-best isolated power on the team, best walk rate on the team by a wide margin. Hit righties well enough and wound up with solid numbers overall despite not hitting lefties and hitting 216/314/407 over his last 188 plate appearances. He either needs to improve enormously defensively or the Phillies need to find a way to prevent him from hurting them with his glove. I think there are only two ways for the Phillies to prevent him from hurting them enormously with his glove — one is not playing him at all defensively and the other is playing him at first base.

Cody Asche arrived on the Phillie scene in 2013, hitting 235/302/389 in 179 plate appearances and 255/328/428 in his last 161 after going 1-for-17 to start his career. The Phillies seem likely to rely on him heavily at third this year — the other choices at this point look like Galvis, Cesar Hernandez or Frandsen. Frandsen can’t be both at third and at first against a lefty and the Phils sure seemed unwilling to use him defensively at third in 2013. Galvis isn’t a third baseman, although his offensive numbers have been a little better against lefties than righties early in his career. Hernandez on-based .292 against lefties in 2013 with one extra-base hit, a double, in 44 plate appearances. I think the Phils are better off giving Asche a chance if those are the choices. He didn’t overwhelm with the bat during 2013, but a lot of his negative bWAR and 0.0 fWAR can be chalked up to less than stellar defense at third. Baseball-Reference calculated his dWAR at -0.7 while FanGraphs had his UZR/150 at third at -10.6.

23-year-old Cesar Hernandez was used in an unexpected way in 2013, thrust into role of starting center fielder for 22 games, an odd choice for someone you’d think was trying to carve out a role as a backup infielder. Offensively it’s a little tough to feel like the switch-hitter Hernandez has a chance to be more of a high average guy who draws an average amount of walks given his 11 home runs in 2,385 career minor league plate appearances. He did fare well against righties in limited time, putting up a 308/372/372 line with the expected lack of power. dWAR killed his overall bWAR, though. -0.4 dWAR by Baseball-Reference despite just 257 1/3 innings for the year, about 74% of which were in center. FanGraphs has him miserable at both positions as well, although it was in limited time. -19.2 UZR/150 at second and -25.8 in center. Hernandez, Roger Bernadina, Michael Martinez and Mayberry all put up a UZR/150 worse than -25 in center for the Phils in 2013. That should be on the to-do list somewhere, even if all the list says is not to use Hernandez, Mayberry or Martinez in center.

Mayberry is the final name on the list, coming off of a year in which he was bad offensively and terrible defensively. He posted a 227/286/391 line overall and didn’t even hit lefties. He showed solid power against left-handed pitching, but without hits or walks and a 240/296/460 line. The Phillies continue to use him in center, he started 41 games there in 2013, despite the fact that he’s miserable there. Only four NL players had a dWAR worse than his -2.1 in 2013. FanGraphs gives him a negative UZR/150 in center for the fourth consecutive year. In 2013, he was at -28.8 in his 344 innings in center field, which is 42nd of the 43 NL players to play at least 300 innings at the position this season. He was good defensively in right and in left in 2013 and his best chance to be a positive contributor seems to be as a corner outfielder who hits primarily against left-handed pitching.

The Phillies signed 37-year-old right-handed reliever Shawn Camp to a minor league deal. It seems like he should have a chance to make the team out of spring training and pitch in middle relief. He was terrible for the Cubs in 26 appearances in 2013, throwing to a 7.04 ERA, but had been pretty solid in each of the five previous seasons. From 2008 to 2012, Camp threw to a 3.62 ERA and a 1.32 ratio over 335 1/3 innings in 316 appearances with the Cubs and Blue Jays.


Rate hike

Questions yesterday about whether opposing hitters were more likely to walk in 2013 when Carlos Ruiz was catching for the Phils. That part’s easy — the answer is yes, they were. The harder part is how important that information is and I’m a lot less sure about that. In order to conclude anything, we’d need to look at more complete information about who was doing the pitching, the game situation and the quality of the hitters they were facing.

Still, the overall results were a little surprising to me. The Phillies used five catchers in 2013: Ruiz, Erik Kratz, Humberto Quintero, Cameron Rupp and Steven Lerud. Here’s the total number of plate appearances each caught and the team’s walk rate with them catching:

BF % of BF BB %
All PHI 6213 100 8.1
Ruiz 3251 52.3 9.0
Kratz 2060 33.2 7.5
Quintero 718 11.6 6.4
Rupp 116 1.9 6.0
Lerud 68 1.1 7.4
Not Ruiz 2962 47.7 7.2

So Ruiz caught 52.3% of the batters and during those plate appearances, Phillie opponents walked 9.0% of the time. The other four catchers caught 47.7% of the time and in those chances opponents walked in 7.2% of their plate appearances.

Here’s the breakdown for the three catchers other than Rupp and Lerud for the eight starting pitchers on the ’13 Phils that got at least eight starts.

Pitcher BF Ruiz Kratz Quintero
Hamels 905 61.8/5.9 26.4/5.9 11.8/2.8
Lee 876 55.0/4.1 39.2/3.2 5.8/2.0
Kendrick 800 38.8/4.2 55.1/6.8 6.1/8.2
Pettibone 437 52.6/10.0 21.3/7.5 26.1/7.0
Lannan 332 57.5/10.5 10.8/5.6 31.6/5.4
Cloyd 282 33.9/11.6 50.7/7.7 -
Halladay 282 50.0/16.3 15.2/11.6 34.8/8.2
Martin 190 66.8/15.7 24.7/10.6 -

So, looking, for example, at the top line, Ruiz caught 61.8% of the batters that Hamels pitched to in 2013 and those batters walked in 5.9% of their plate appearances. Quintero caught 11.8% of the batters Hamels faced in 2013 and those batters walked in 2.8% of their PA.

Cloyd and Martin both pitched to Lerud and Rupp. Those numbers aren’t included above.

Of the eight pitchers listed above, six of them pitched to all three of Ruiz, Kratz and Quintero. Of those six, five, everyone except for Kendrick, issued walks at the highest rate while pitching to Ruiz and the at the lowest rate when pitching to Quintero (for Hamels, the 5.9% to Ruiz is a little higher, 5.903, than his 5.9% to Kratz, which is 5.858).

The other of the six that pitched to all three was Kendrick. He walked batters at his lowest rate while pitching to Ruiz and at his highest while pitching to Quintero. It should be noted that Kendrick’s time pitching to Quintero was especially limited. Quintero was behind the plate for just 49 of the 800 batters that Kendrick faced (6.1%).

The other two pitchers on the list, Cloyd and Martin, didn’t pitch to Quintero, but each of them walked batters at a higher rate while pitching to Ruiz than they did to Kratz.

I think it’s hugely important to remember there are a lot of factors at play. For example, Roy Halladay and Ethan Martin each had very high walk rates for the season, regardless of who was catching them. Ruiz caught more than two-thirds of Martin’s innings and half of Halladay’s, which surely contributed to his walk rate being high relative to other catchers on the team. While the rate that each of those guys allowed walks was higher with Ruiz behind the plate, I still think it’s a leap to attribute much of anything to Ruiz without more complete information about the game situation and the quality of hitters the pitchers were facing.

If you look back at the last few years, it’s also not true to say that batters consistently walk more with Ruiz behind the plate than with someone else catching. It was in 2012, 7.1% for Ruiz and 6.2% for everyone else on the Phils, but in 2011 he was way under the walk rate with others catching (6.4% for Ruiz and 7.2% for everyone else). In both 2009 and 2010, the walk rate for hitters with Ruiz behind the plate was just about the same as the walk rate with anyone else behind the plate (6.8/6.9 in ’10 and 7.9/7.7 in ’09).


You’re still welcome to ponder perpetual motion to your heart’s content, though

The Phils don’t seem like they’re in danger of turning a corner anytime soon, but they continue to play hard and have won three of their last four. Last night they rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Rockies 4-3.

I’m sure there’s a corner to turn up there somewhere. Just can’t see it yet.

Lee allowed nine hits in the game, but held Colorado to two runs over seven innings. The Rockies plated a run charged to De Fratus in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead, but Kratz, Ruiz and Michael Young all delivered big hits in the ninth and the Phils got a walkoff win on Young’s one-out single.

The Phillies are 56-70 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 4-3 last night. The Phils lead the four-game set two games to one. They are 8-22 since the All-Star break.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on nine hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Lee has a 4.64 ERA over his last eight starts and the Phillies are 2-6 in those games. He’s allowed 57 hits in 52 1/3 innings over those appearances.

He allowed a two-out single to Troy Tulowitzki in the top of the first, but struck Michael Cuddyer out behind him to leave him stranded.

Lee started the second up 1-0. Wilin Rosario led off with a solo homer, tying the game at 1-1. The next two batters singled back-to-back, putting men on first and second for Jonathan Herrera. Herrera popped to Utley for the first out and the pitcher Juan Nicasio bunted the runners to second and third with the second. It brought Dexter Fowler to the plate and Fowler singled to left. Nolan Arenado scored easily from third (2-1), but Brown threw home in plenty of time for Kratz to tag Jordan Pacheco out as he tried to score from second, ending the frame.

Second home run in the series for Rosario. He’s 9-for-21 against the Phillies on the year with six extra-base hits, including three home runs, and a 1.502 OPS.

Lee allows four hits in the frame, a homer and three singles. Gets one out on a bunt and another on Brown’s throw to set the Rockies down.

Lee kept the Rockies off the board in the third, fourth and fifth. He allowed a leadoff single to Charlie Culberson in the third, but got Cuddyer to ground into a double-play two batters later. Fowler doubled to left on a ball deflected by Mayberry with two outs in the fifth, but Lee got Culberson to line to Young at first to end that threat.

It was 2-2 when he started the sixth. Cuddyer doubled to left with one out, but Lee got Rosario on a softly hit ground ball for the second out and Arenado on a fly ball to center on the third.

Righty DJ LeMahieu hit for the pitcher Wilton Lopez with two outs in the seventh and singled to center. Fowler grounded out to third on a nice play by Asche moving to his left to end the frame.

De Fratus started the eighth with the game still tied. Left-handed pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon led off and was hit by a pitch. He moved to third on a one-out single by Cuddyer, putting runners on the corners for Rosario. Rosario popped up to Utley in short center. Arenado was next and singled to right. Blackmon scored to put the Rockies up 3-2, but Ruf made a nice throw to third to nail Cuddyer and end the inning.

The righties Cuddyer and Arenado both single to right off of De Fratus. Cuddyer’s was sort of a bloop and Arenado dribbled through. Second time in the game the Phils get an outfield assist for the third out of the inning.

De Fratus faces five batters in the frame, hitting one and allowing two singles to right by righties. Gets a big out of Rosario with one out and men on the corners. Gets an out on the bases on Ruf’s throw. Even with the earned run he allowed last night, De Fratus has a 1.35 ERA and 1.20 ratio in 13 1/3 innings over his last 14 appearances. Over his first 20 2/3 innings on the season he walked 13. He’s walked three in his last 13 1/3 innings.

Diekman struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth with the Phils down a run. He’s struck out nine in 4 1/3 scoreless innings over his last five times out. He hasn’t allowed an extra-base hit to any of the 46 batters he’s faced in his last 12 appearances, allowing just five singles in 11 1/3 innings. For the season, lefties are 7-for-43 (.163) against him with seven singles.

Two innings for the pen in which they allow a run on a hit batter and two singles. De Fratus threw 21 pitches and Diekman 14.

The Phillie lineup against righty Juan Nicasio went (1) Rollins (2) Young (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Asche (7) Kratz (8) Mayberry. Kratz catches with Ruiz on the bench. Young moves up to second. Mayberry in right and hitting eighth against the righty.

Utley put the Phils on top 1-0 with a solo homer to right with two outs in the bottom of the first.

They were down 2-1 when they hit in the second. Ruf led off with a single to center and moved up to third on a two-out double by Mayberry. Lee struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

Ruf didn’t have a chance to score on Mayberry’s double. Would have been out at home by a lot.

They went in order in the third. Asche doubled with two outs in the fourth, but was left at second when Kratz struck out to end the inning.

Mayberry doubled again to start the fifth. Lee was next and bunted a 1-2 pitch. Rosario fielded and threw to first, but his throw pulled Herrera off the bag for an error. Lee was safe at first and Mayberry took third. Rollins followed and walked on four pitches, which loaded the bases for Young. Young grounded to second and the Rockies turned two as Mayberry scored. 2-2 with two outs and Lee at third. Utley popped out to Arenado in foul territory to leave Lee stranded.

Unearned run for the Phillies thanks to Rosario’s throwing error. They only get one despite loading the bases with one out.

Mayberry doubles against a rigthy for the second time in five innings. 241/296/401 against righties for the season.

Ruf singled to left with one out in the sixth and moved to second on two-out single by Kratz. Righty Wilton Lopez took over for Nicasio and struck Mayberry out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins doubled to right off of righty Matt Belisle with one out in the seventh. Young lined to second for the second out and lefty Josh Outman came in to pitch to Utley. Utley flew to left to leave Rollins at second.

Lefty Rex Brothers set Brown, Ruf and Asche down in order in the eighth.

The Phils trailed 3-2 when they hit in the ninth with righty Rafael Betancourt on the mound for the Rockies. Kratz led off and doubled to left. Wells ran for him at second and moved up to third when Mayberry grounded out softly on a ball handled by Herrera at second for the first out. Ruiz hit for Diekman and doubled to left, scoring Wells to tie the game at 3-3. Betancourt walked Rollins intentionally, putting men on first and second with one down for Young. Young lined the first pitch from Betancourt into left for a hit, scoring Ruiz to give the Phils a 4-3 win.

Young’s walkoff hit would have been a double had it not won the game.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a double and walked twice. One walk was intentional. Taking a huge amount of flak for how terrible the Phillies are these days. He’s having a miserable season, but the problems are way, way deeper than that. 2-for-his-last-25 (.080) with two doubles.

Young 1-for-5 with a walkoff single. 1-for-his-last-11. 175/217/228 in 60 plate appearances in August.

Utley 1-for-4 with his 16th home run.

Brown 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-11. 4-for-his-last-21 (.190) with four singles. One walk in his last 31 plate appearances.

Ruf 2-for-4. Threw Cuddyer out at third. 3-for-11 with three singles so far in the series. Hitting .204 in his last 55 plate appearances.

Asche 1-for-4 with a double, upping his average to .200 after 68 plate appearances. 4-for-his-last-25 (.160).

Kratz 2-for-4 with a big double to start the rally in the ninth. Came into the game 1-for-his-last-19 with a single.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with two doubles. Should surely lose some time in center now that the Phillies have both Wells and Bernadina, right? Right? 5-for-his-last-12 with two walks, two doubles and a home run. Prior to those 14 plate appearances he had been 2-for-his-last-27.

Kendrick (10-10, 4.36) faces righty Chad Bettis (0-2, 5.30) tonight. Kendrick has a 6.38 ERA over his last nine starts, but was really good in his most recent outing, holding the Dodgers to two runs, one of them earned, over six innings. Bettis has a 1.77 ratio in his four starts with the Rockies and opponents have slugged .513 against him.


Seven runs a game looking like it may be the way to go for the Phils

The Phillies haven’t scored enough runs to win consistently this year, but they scored seven for the second game in a row last night as they topped the Fish 7-2. Before scoring seven runs in back-to-back days, the Phillies had scored three runs or less in 10 of their last 14 games.

Kendrick got the start and was very good, throwing a complete game and holding Miami to pair of runs.

Domonic Brown continued his amazing run with three more hits, including a two-run homer in the sixth. Brown has hit eight home runs in his last eight games and is hitting 329/340/713 with 15 home runs over his last 147 plate appearances.

Over the 15 games the Phillies have played since May 18, Brown has been more likely to homer than not homer in a given game. He’s hit more than one home run in two of the 15 games while posting a 1.434 OPS over 60 plate appearances.

The Phillies are 28-30 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 7-2 last night. They have won two in a row.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

Second straight good start for Kendrick. He’s allowed just ten hits in 15 innings over his last two starts while walking four.

He allowed a one-out single to Ed Lucas in the top of the first. Lucas moved up to second when Derek Dietrich grounded to first for the second out, but was left stranded when Marcell Ozuna lined to short.

Chris Coglan doubled to center to start the second, but Kendrick retired the next three hitters on a pair of ground balls and a strikeout to leave him stranded.

Juan Pierre singled to center with one out in the third and moved up to second when Lucas followed with a walk. Dietrich was next and he singled into right, scoring Pierre (1-0) and moving Lucas up to third for Ozuna. Ozuna hit a rocket past Galvis at third. Lucas scored (2-0) and it brought Coghlan to the plate with men on first and second. Coghlan moved the runners up to second and third with a ground out, but Kendrick got Casey Kotchman on a popup to Rollins to leave both men stranded.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Pierre singled to start the fifth and Lucas bunted him to second with the first out. Dietrich followed with a ground out to second that pushed Pierre to third with two down. Kendrick retired Ozuna on a fly ball to left to leave Lucas stranded.

Up 3-2, Kendrick set the Marlins down in order in the sixth.

The Phils led 7-2 when he set them down in order in the seventh, eighth and ninth.

Kendrick retires 15 men in a row after Pierre’s single to start the fifth.

The Phillie lineup against righty Tom Koehler went (1) Revere (2) Hernandez (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Brown (6) Delmon Young (7) Kratz (8) Galvis. Michael Young back with the team but not in the starting lineup. Galvis plays third. Revere/Hernandez is a pretty miserable combination to have at the top of your lineup.

Rollins and Howard walked back-to-back with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Brown struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Kratz singled softly to center with one out in the second. Galvis grounded into a double-play behind him.

Kratz is hitting 286/378/532 over his last 90 plate appearances since the start of the day on April 18.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the third.

Brown singled to right with two outs in the fourth. Young grounded to short behind him.

Kratz led off the fifth and homered to left-center on a 2-1 pitch, cutting the lead to 2-1. Galvis grounded to second before Kendrick lined a ball into left center that rolled long enough to go for a triple. Revere was next and slapped a single into left, scoring Kendrick to tie things up at 2-2. Revere stole second, took third on a throwing error by the catcher Brantley and scored on a ground out by Hernandez, which put the Phils up 3-2. Rollins struck out to end the inning.

Revere makes a run pretty much on his own, singling, stealing second, taking third on an error and scoring on a ground out. Career RBI number one for Hernandez. Also the first career triple for Kendrick.

Howard doubled to start the sixth and scored when Brown hit a 2-2 pitch out to right, extending the lead to 5-2. Righty Ryan Weeb took over for Koehler and Young hit a 1-1 pitch well out to left. 6-2. Kratz struck out for the first out before Galvis tripled to right. Kendrick was next and hit a ball to short. Adeiny Hechavarria fielded and came home, but not in time. Galvis was running on contact and slid in safely, putting the Phils up 7-2 with Kendrick on first. Revere moved Kendrick up to second with a single before Hernandez flew to center for the second out, deep enough for Kendrick to tag and move up to third. Revere stole second before Rollins drew a walk that loaded the bases. Lefty Edgar Olmos came in to pitch to Howard and Howard grounded out to set the Phillies down.

Second stolen base of the game for Revere. He’s stolen 13 for the year and been caught just three times.

Brown singled to right off of Olmos to start the seventh, but Young grounded into a double-play behind him and Kratz flew to right for the third out.

Lefty Dan Jennings set Galvis, Kendrick and Revere down in order in the eighth. Kendrick hit for himself having thrown 90 pitches in the game.

Revere was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases. 300/344/344 in his 98 plate appearances since the start of May.

Hernandez 0-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-23 with a double and a .217 on-base percentage so far. Doesn’t seem to have much chance to help the Phillies — not because he’s on-basing .217, but just because. Really not a guy you should let hit second in your lineup at this point.

Rollins 0-for-2 with two walks. 307/386/489 in his last 102 plate appearances. Nine walks and a .533 on-base percentage over his last 30 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. He’s walked unintentionally four times in his last 16 plate appearances. Prior to those plate appearances he had nine walks for the season in 194 plate appearances and four of those were intentional.

Brown 3-for-4 with a two-run homer. His line against lefties has been good for a while now. His line against righties is up to 277/320/572 after two hits, including a home run, off the righty Koehler last night (he also singled off the lefty Olmos in the seventh to up his line against lefties to 340/360/660).

Delmon Young was 1-for-4 with a home run. Four home runs in his last 47 plate appearances. Still hitting just 205/259/397 against righties for the season after hitting 247/279/370 against them in 2012.

Kratz 2-for-4 with his seventh home run. He’s hit 16 home runs in 293 plate appearances for the Phillies since the start of 2012. Isolated power of .228 over those seasons.

Galvis 1-for-4 with a triple. 5-for-his-last-15 with a double, two triples and a home run.

Pettibone (3-1, 3.64) faces righty Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 3.69) tonight. The worst of Pettibone’s eight starts came his last time out as he allowed four runs in five innings against the Red Sox. Lefties are hitting 320/400/460 against him for the season. Nolasco has been fantastic against righties this year — they’re hitting just 219/266/298 against him for the season.


May day after day

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.


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