Tag: Jeff Francoeur

Come to think of it, I don’t really care for how Jayson Werth has been distributed either

The Phillies played 162 regular season games in 2010 and scored 772 runs, which is about 4.77 runs per game. Not every starting pitcher got the same offensive support in their starts, of course. For example, the Phillies went 18-15 in the games that Cole Hamels started, but fared better in the games that Joe Blanton started (17-11) despite the fact that Hamels pitched much better. That has a whole lot to do with what their offense did in the games started by Hamels compared to what it did in the games that Blanton started. In the games that Hamels started, the offense scored an average of 3.76 runs per game, which is more than a full run lower than their average for the season. In the games that Blanton started, the offense scored an average of 5.89 runs per game — more than a full run more than their average for the season.

If the Phils had scored 4.77 runs in each of the 162 games they had played, they would have gone 98-64 instead of 97-65. That’s not much of a difference. But while it might not add up to a huge difference overall, it did make a difference when it came to their results based on who the game’s starting pitcher was.

The table below shows, for the six Phillies who started at least 12 games for the team in 2010, the average runs scored per game in that pitcher’s starts, the team’s actual record in their starts, what the team’s record would have been if they had scored 4.77 runs in every game started by that pitcher, and the wins the team would have added or lost if that had happened.

R per game Team actual
W-L
W-L if team
scored 4.77 in every game
Wins +/-
Hamels 3.76 18-15 22-11 +4
Halladay 4.42 22-11 26-7 +4
Oswalt 4.33 10-2 11-1 +1
Moyer 4.58 9-10 9-10 0
Kendrick 5.48 17-14 15-16 -2
Blanton 5.89 17-11 11-17 -6

So, for example, the Phillies scored 3.76 runs per game in the 33 games that Hamels started and went 18-15. If the Phillies had scored 4.77 runs in every game that Hamels started, but allowed runs exactly as they did, they would have gone 22-11 in the games that Hamels started. That’s four more wins, which is why there’s a four in the +/- column.

For me, the biggest surprise is how things evened out. The Phils may have cost themselves some games in 2010 by not putting up runs with Halladay and Hamels on the mound, but they just about made up for it by pounding the ball when Blanton and Kendrick were on the hill. As I mentioned above, if they had scored the same number of runs in every game they only would have won one more game. And that’s if they could figure out how to put .77 runs on the board.

Did you hear the one about the Phillies’ best offensive player from last year deciding he’d rather play for a team that has lost 298 games over the past three years and has made the playoffs less often in the 42-year history of its organization than the Phillies have in the last two years? And that the Phils won’t be getting a good pick back as compensation? It’s a hoot.

That said, it’s tough to be too hard on Werth. What with putting up a 1.361 OPS against the Rays in ’08 as he helped the Phils win the World Series and whatnot.

No worries, though, this article suggests that Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Scott Hairston, Josh Willingham or Juan Rivera might be the cure for what ails the Phils. I’m having some trouble getting excited about that, really especially Francoeur, Diaz or Hairston. Willingham or Rivera might be okay, I suppose.

In this article linked above, Amaro seems to suggest that Domonic Brown might not start the year with the Phils. It suggests that Amaro said that Gload might be part of a left-handed platoon in the outfield. Maybe they can put Gload and Rivera out there and give us all a chance to see just how fast Shane Victorino really can be.


Lowed down

The Phils faced Derek Lowe for the third time since the end of the 2008 regular season last night. For the third time Lowe pitched well, but this time there was no throwing error from Furcal to fuel a Phillies rally and no late drama from Matt Stairs. Lowe and the Braves got the win as the Phillies lost on opening day for the fourth year in a row.

There will be two big topics of conversation among Phillies fans regarding last night’s game. One is a miserable first two innings from Myers and another will be the Phillies lineup that featured three straight lefties and didn’t come through in the ninth against Atlanta lefty Mike Gonzalez. Myers allowed four runs in the first two innings, but pitched well after allowing a double to Yunel Escobar to start the third. The Phillies don’t have enough right-handed bats and that problem isn’t going to go away. The problem that can and likely will go away is Utley, Howard and Ibanez hitting all in a row.

Lowe was really the story of the last night, though. He was simply outstanding. He held the Phils to two hits over eight innings, one of which was a double that may have been foul and came in an at-bat where the batter should have been retired on a foul ball that went off the glove of the right fielder. The three through seven hitters in the Phillies lineup combined to go 0-for-17 in the game.

The Phillies lost their opener last night, falling to the Braves 4-1.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk, which was intentional. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and three home runs. He struck out six.

He got the first two in the first before Chipper Jones flipped a single into left. Brian McCann was next and he got ahead 2-0 and blasted a ball out to right, putting Atlanta up 2-0. Myers got Garrett Anderson to ground to first for the third out.

Jeff Francoeur hit Myers’ first pitch of the second inning out to left to put Atlanta up 3-0. Myers struck out Casey Kotchman for the first out, bringing Jordan Schafer to the plate. Schafer was making his major league debut, but Myers quickly got behind 2-0 before throwing a 3-1 pitch in a terrible spot in the middle of the plate. Schafer crushed it out to center and it was 4-0. Myers got the next two.

Yunel Escobar led off the third and bombed a 1-0 pitch high off the wall in center for a double. Myers did a nice job to leave him stranded, though. He struck out Chipper for the first out and got McCann to foul out to Feliz for the second. Anderson grounded to third to set the Braves down.

Impressive job by Myers to keep Atlanta off the board, especially with Chipper and McCann looking to drive Escobar in. Those guys have killed Myers over his career and got him in the first.

Myers got the first two in the fourth before Schafer singled up the middle. Lowe was next and he lined a ball into the gap in right-center, but Werth tracked it down to end the frame.

Myers got the first two in the fifth before Chipper drove a ball to the left of Victorino. Victorino made a long run, but the ball went just over the end of his glove and bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double. Myers struck McCann out on three pitches to turn Atlanta away.

Anderson led off the sixth and chopped a ball off the glove of Myers that bounded away from Utley for a single. Francoeur was next and hit a ball hard to third. Feliz didn’t field it cleanly and had to go to first for the first out with Anderson moving to second. Kotchman was next and hit a soft ground ball to second for the second out. It moved Anderson to third with two down and Myers walked Schafer intentionally to bring up the pitcher Derek Lowe. Lowe tried to bunt Myers’ first pitch but popped it up foul. Myers got ahead 0-2 and struck Lowe out looking 3-2 to leave the runners stranded.

Jack Taschner made his Phillies debut in the seventh against the top of the Atlanta order. He got the first two, with Escobar grounding hard to Utley for the second out, before striking Chipper out looking to end the frame.

Scott Eyre started the eighth with the Phils still down 4-0. McCann led off the inning and Eyre got behind him 3-0, but came back to strike him out for the first out. McCann’s fellow lefty Anderson was next and flew to left for the second out. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Francoeur and struck him out looking 1-2 for the third out.

Lidge started the ninth in a non-save situation with the Phils not scheduled to play today and set the Braves down 1-2-3. After Lidge got the first two, Greg Norton hit for Lowe. Lowe had allowed two hits through eight innings and hadn’t walked a batter. He had thrown 97 pitches.

Great game for the Phillies bullpen. They went three innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Taschner threw 17 pitches and everyone else was ten or less the day before an off-day.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Three lefties in a row in Manuel’s lineup three through five. I think we’ll likely see Werth moving down to break up the lefties and Victorino hitting second before too long. Victorino had a weak spring and I wonder if that was a factor. Coste almost always catches Myers, or at least he did in 2008 (Coste caught about 77% of the hitters Myers faced last season).

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first. Utley flew to the warning track in right for the third out.

Howard struck out to start the second. Ibanez was next, getting his first at-bat as a Phillie, and grounded to short. Victorino grounded to short to end the inning.

Feliz popped to Johnson in shallow center for the first out of the third. Ruiz was next and popped the first pitch of his at-bat down the first base line. Francoeur and Johnson both went after it near the foul line, but Francoeur had the ball go off his glove in foul territory. It gave Ruiz new life and he took advantage of it, doubling down the third base line for the first hit of the year for the Phils (looked foul to me). The Phils couldn’t bring him in, though, Myers grounded to short and Rollins flew softly to left.

Lowe got Werth, Utley and Howard on three ground balls in the fourth.

Ibanez slapped another ground ball to short for the first out in the fifth. Lowe struck out Victorino and Feliz to end the inning.

Ruiz grounded to short for the first out in the sixth. Dobbs hit for Myers and drove a ball to the warning track in right, but Francoeur took it for the second out. Rollins was next and he singled up the middle for just the Phils’ second hit of the night. Werth lined a 2-2 pitch back up the middle, but Lowe snared it for the third out.

Dobbs, Rollins and Werth all hit the ball well in that frame, with three big lefties due to hit behind them. Just one hit, though, with Dobbs flying out and Lowe putting Werth away.

Lowe set Utley, Howard and Ibanez down on six pitches in the seventh.

He needed just eight pitches to set the Phils down in order in the eighth. Victorino and Ruiz both swung at the first pitch and grounded out.

Lefty Mike Gonzalez started the ninth with a four-run lead. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and hit a 1-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a double. Rollins flew to right for the first out, deep enough to move Bruntlett to third. Werth was next and he smashed a single into left, scoring Bruntlett to cut the Atlanta lead to 4-1. Utley walked on a 3-1 pitch that was way outside and it brought Howard to the plate as the tying run. Howard took a 2-2 pitch just low to run the count full, but struck out looking at a 3-2 fastball that had a lot of the plate for the second out. Ibanez waived at a 3-1 slider that was out of the zone and then struck out swinging at a fastball to end the game.

Had Bruntlett not ripped a double, there would be much lamenting the right-handed pinch-hitting options for the Phils. Bruntlett, Cairo and Coste just isn’t an especially impressive group offensively and that’s going to be a problem all season long (even if it wasn’t last night).

Rollins was 1-for-4.

Werth 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Feliz 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double.

No game today. The Phils and Braves play again tomorrow night.

Update: The Start Log is now updated for last night’s game. By the game score of the opposing pitcher, I believe that Lowe’s outing last night was the best against the Phillies since the end of the 2006 season with the exception of Rich Harden’s start against them on June 26, 2008. Oakland beat the Phils 5-0 that day and Harden had a game score of 88 (Lowe 82 last night). Harden allowed two singles, both to Victorino, and struck out 11 (he walked one).


I got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat and a brand new pair of confused outfielders

Not sure exactly the nature of Charlie Manuel’s problem with Shane Victorino, but whatever it is it almost cost the Phillies a game last night. With both Victorino and Jayson Werth in the starting lineup, Manuel put Victorino in right and Werth in center. That’s just a terrible decision even if it doesn’t cost you. It almost did — with two outs in the ninth, Werth misplayed Brian McCann’s fly ball into a double and gave two Braves a chance to come to the plate as the go-ahead run. If Manuel has a message for Victorino he should deliver it, but if his message is that the team is better defensively with Werth in center it’s going to be a hard one for anybody to take seriously.

One guy not to blame is Werth, who is at least an adequate if not better defensive center fielder. There are a whole lot of guys in the league that can’t play defense like Victorino. Werth more than made up for his miscue in the field with his bat last night, driving in four of the five Phillies’ runs.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 22-18 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. All six hits were singles and he struck out two. After allowing three runs on three hits in the first, Kendrick was very good. He put up five shutout innings in a row in which he allowed just three singles and three walks. Ruiz helped him get a huge out with two men on in the sixth by picking Kelly Johnson off of second base.

In his three starts at home this season, Kendrick has allowed just three extra-base hits. Opponents are slugging .315 against him at home.

Yunel Escobar started the first with a single and went to second on a passed ball before Mark Kotsay drew a walk. Chipper Jones singled to center and Escobar scored to put the Braves up 1-0. Kotsay went to second. Brian McCann grounded to first and the runners moved to second and third with one down. Kendrick got Greg Norton on a popup to shallow center for the second out, but Jeff Francoeur followed and singled into right. Both runners scored and Atlanta led 3-0. Kelly Johnson flew to right for the third out.

Kendrick walked Gregor Blanco to start the second. The pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes tried to bunt him to second but struck out for the first out. Escobar followed with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins couldn’t handle it and Escobar was safe on the error. The Phils weren’t going to get a double-play anyway, but the possibility may have made Rollins rush. Kotsay was next and hit another ball to Rollins’ right. This time Rollins made a nice diving play to take a hit away from Kotsay, forcing Escobar at second for the second out as Blanco went to third. Chipper was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Kendrick got McCann to pop to right-center to end the frame.

Francoeur singled with one out in the third. Johnson followed and grounded to short, Francoeur was forced at second for the second out. Blanco grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Chipper singled to start the inning, but McCann followed and hit into a double-play. Norton grounded to short to end the frame.

Johnson singled with one out in the sixth and Blanco followed with a walk. Reyes hit for himself and took the first pitch for a strike. Ruiz threw to second and Johnson was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out for the second out. Blanco went to second in the ugly rundown for the Phils. Reyes shattered his bat grounding back to Kendrick to end the frame. Great job by Kendrick to field the comebacker as the barrel of the bat bounced right at him.

Huge play by Ruiz behind the plate to pick off Johnson with one out and two men on base.

Romero started the seventh up 4-3 and got the first two before Chipper singled and McCann followed with a walk. Romero struck out Norton to set the Braves down.

Gordon started the eighth up 5-3. Johnson singled with one out and Blanco followed with a ground ball to second. Johnson was forced at second for the second out. Switch-hitter Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Camillo and struck out for the third out.

Gordon’s ERA for the season is down to 3.63. He’s allowed two runs in his last 16 innings while striking out 16.

Lidge started the ninth up 5-3. He struck out Escobar to start the inning before he walked Kotsay on four straight fastballs. It brought up Chipper as the tying run. Kotsay took second on defensive indifference before Chipper hit a 2-1 pitch deep to left. Bruntlett, seeing his first action in the outfield this season after pinch-running for Burrell in the seventh and staying in to play left, took it on the warning track for the second out. McCann was next and he hit a fly ball to center field that should have ended the game. It didn’t. Werth froze, then came in before realizing the ball was over his head. It landed behind him for a double. Kotsay scored and it was 5-4 with a man on second and two outs for Norton. Norton walked to put men on first and second for Francoeur. Lidge got ahead of him 0-2 before Francoeur hit a 1-2 pitch into right-center that Victorino took to end the game.

With an assist to the Werth misplay, Lidge had to throw 26 pitches on the night. Romero 18 and Gordon 15 coming off an off-day on Monday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth started in center with Victorino in right for the Phils. To have both Victorino and Werth in your outfield and put Victorino in right and Werth in center is a poor idea. Ruiz catches. We’re going to see a lot of Werth in the series with the Braves scheduled to throw three lefties.

Victorino doubled with one out in the first and the Phils down 3-0, but Utley grounded to second and Howard struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Rollins reached on an error by Escobar with two outs in the third, but Victorino flew to left to end the inning.

Utley singled to start the fourth and Howard followed with a blast over the head of Kotsay in center and off the base of the wall for a double that moved Utley to third. Burrell struck out looking for the first out, but Werth laced a single back through the middle and both runners scored to cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Feliz moved Werth to second with a single, but Ruiz grounded to second and Kendrick struck out to leave both men stranded.

With one out in the fifth, Victorino singled and stole second. Utley grounded to second for the second out and Victorino went to third. Howard singled into right and Victorino scored to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell moved Howard to second with a single before Werth singled into left. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-3 and Burrell went to second. Feliz popped to third to end the inning.

Ruiz singled to start the sixth but the Phils went in order behind him. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and bunted into an out for the first out of the frame.

Burrell doubled to right with two outs in the seventh and Bruntlett ran for him at second. Werth blooped a single in front of a diving Blanco and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-3. Burrell might not have scored on the play even with two outs, but I would have rather seen him stay in the game anyway. Feliz grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins doubled with two outs in the eighth. Victorino grounded to second behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a double and stole his sixth base of the season. 3-for-his-last-18.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Werth was 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Brett Myers (2-3, 5.56) faces lefty Tom Glavine (0-1, 4.03) tonight. Glavine has made six starts on the year and allowed two runs or fewer in five of them. The Reds hit him hard on May 4 and he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings. In his other five starts on the season he’s thrown to a 2.59 ERA. Lefties are hitting .360 against him on the season and have hit two of the three home runs he’s allowed — lefties have actually hit him better over his career, but not at a .360 clip (lefties have hit .263 against him in his career). The former Met made five starts against the Phils in 2007 and went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. April 12, April 17, June 5, August 28 and September 14. Myers has allowed 19 runs in 24 innings over his past four starts. Twelve home runs in his last 44 innings. Righties are hitting .325 against him. He’s not pitching well. He went 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.30 ratio and four saves in eight appearances against Atlanta last season.

Manuel talks about starting Werth in center last night here.


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