Tag: kevin frandsen

And the hits are not forthcoming

The Phillies and the Braves played to a 2-2 tie this afternoon. The Phils got a nice start and three more solid innings from Sean O’Sullivan, but managed just five hits, all singles, in the game.

O’Sullivan started the game for the Phils and went three shutout innings, allowing three singles and a walk. The Braves put men on first and second on a single and a walk with one out in the first, but O’ Sullivan retired the next two hitters on a pair of ground balls to keep them off the board. He allowed a two-out single in the second and another in the third.

O’Sullivan struck out three in two scoreless innings in his first official appearance. After two appearances, he’s thrown five shutout innings in which he’s struck out five while allowing three singles and a walk (0.00 ERA and an 0.80 ratio). Again, the 26-year-old righty had a 6.14 career ERA over 193 2/3 innings in the majors before throwing to a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings for the Padres in 2013. He didn’t pitch very well last year, despite the ERA under 4.00, as opponents on-based .393 against him. He’s pitched really well in two chances with the Phils so far.

Kevin Munson followed O’Sullivan and allowed a run on three hits and two walks over two innings. Three of the first four men he faced in the fourth reached on two singles and a walk, but he held the Braves to a single run in the frame. He allowed a one-out walk to Freddie Freeman in the fifth, which was followed by a Ryan Doumit single, but Chris Johnson lined into a double-play to turn Atlanta away.

Still not a good outing for the Rule 5 pick. After three appearances, he’s allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings. That’s a 2.08 ERA, but with a much more telling 2.08 ratio as well.

Antonio Bastardo made his third spring appearance in the sixth. He allowed a two-out single, but struck Joey Terdoslavich out swinging to end the frame. He retired the first batter in the seventh before allowing a double to BJ Upton and was pulled.

Over three appearances, Bastardo has allowed one earned run on four hits and no walks over 3 1/3 innings (2.70 ERA and a 1.20 ratio).

Diekman followed Bastardo, allowing a hit and a walk over one innings and leaving with one out in the eighth and men on first and second.

Five hits and a walk over three innings in three appearances for Diekman. 6.00 ERA and a 2.00 ratio.

Brad Lincoln entered the eighth with one out and men on first and second. Sebastian Valle threw a runner out trying to steal third, but Lincoln walked the first two hitters he faced and unloaded a wild pitch before getting a popup to short to end the frame. He came back for the ninth and allowed a run on a double, a single, a Tommy Joseph passed ball and his own throwing error.

The run that scored was unearned. Lincoln still has a 0.00 ERA after three appearances, but a 1.64 ratio after 3 2/3 frames. He’s allowed two runs, both of which are unearned.

The Phillies scored two runs in the game. Kevin Frandsen singled Abreu home in the fourth and back-to-back singles by Frandsen and Cameron Rupp to start the seventh led to the second run.

Frandsen started at first and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. He came into the game 1-for-8 and is now 3-for-11 with three singles (.273).

The Phillies had five hits in the game, all singles. Rupp 1-for-3 (1-for-7 so far), Abreu 1-for-2 (.167 with five walks), Ruf 1-for-4 with a strikeout to drop his average to .294.

Clete Thomas started in center and went 0-for-3. He’s still looking for his first hit. Rollins 0-for-3.

Brown 0-for-2 with a walk, dropping his average to .125 (2-for-16 with two singles and three walks).

Utley started at second and went 0-for-2 (.167). Hernadez took over for him in the fifth and also went 0-for-2 (.111).

Split squad action against the Yankees and Tigers tomorrow.


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.


Are we there yet?

The bad news is that Phillies/Marlins games have almost undeniably taken on a somebody-has-to-win feel. The worse news is that it happened around the middle of last year. Last night it was the Phillies’s turn to win as they topped Miami 2-1, snapping a five-game losing streak and handing the Marlins their 100th loss of the season.

Miami starter Henderson Alvarez struggled in the first inning, walking three straight batters and helping the Phils push across a pair of early runs. That was all they would get and all they would need. Zach Miner started the game for the Phillies and held the Fish to a run over four innings. He was followed by four Phillie relievers who combined to throw five shutout frames.

One of the four relievers in the game for the Phils was Jake Diekman, who allowed a one-out single in a scoreless eighth. Over his last 18 appearances, Diekman has thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 72-85 on the season after beating the Miami Marlins 2-1 last night. The Marlins are 58-100. The Phillies remain tied with the Mets for third-place in the NL East. Both teams are 21 games behind the first-place Braves and trail the second-place Nats by 11 1/2.

Miner got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.

Miner drops his ERA on the season to 3.08 with the outing. The 3.08 ERA is a lot more impressive than the 1.52 ratio. Miner has allowed just 26 hits in his 26 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .263 average, but has walked 14. Lefties especially have drawn a ton of walks — they’re hitting just .241 but on-basing .395 against him for the year.

The Phillies led 2-0 when he set the Marlins down in order in the bottom of the first.

Giancarlo Stanon singled to center to start the second. Justin Ruggiano was next and lined a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left-center for a double. Stanton scored from first (1-0) and Ruggiano tried to move up to third as Brown rambled to the ball, but Brown finally got there and relayed to Rollins. Rollins’s throw to third was in time to get Ruggiano, leaving the bases empty with one down. Miner got the next two hitters on a ground ball to second and a strikeout.

Miner’s issues this season have mostly been with walks, but the only run he allowed in his four innings last night came on back-to-back hits by righties. The Phillies and Miner were fortunate to get Ruggiano at third as there was a good chance Ruggiano on third with nobody out would have led to at least a second run in the frame.

Miner allowed a one-out double to the pitcher Henderson Alvarez with one out in the third. He walked Ed Lucas with after getting the second out, putting men on first and second with two down for lefty Christian Yelich. Yelich grounded to Miner to end the inning.

Ruggiano singled to left with one out and stole second before Logan Morrison drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Miner retired Adeiny Hechavarria on a ground ball to third for the second out and got Jeff Mathis swinging for the third.

Second time in two innings that Miner allows a hit and a walk in the inning, but keeps the Marlins from scoring.

Michael Stutes threw a 1-2-3 fifth. Galvis made a nice play at third on a ball hit hard to retire Alvarez for the first out.

Wait, Michael Stutes is on the team, I hear you cry? Evidently. He was activated from the 60-day DL on Friday after missing more than two months with biceps tendinitis. Last night’s appearances was his first since June 22. He threw to a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings in his first 11 appearances on the season. From June 19 to June 22, he pitched three times and two of the outings were miserable — in the three appearances combined he allowed eight runs over two innings. Last night was his first appearance since.

JC Ramirez pitched the sixth and the seventh. Miami didn’t score in either inning and Ramirez allowed just one base-runner on a Yelich single to start the sixth.

Ramirez has just been awful this year, but he goes two scoreless innings in his best outing in a long time. Coming into last night’s game he had allowed a least one run in each of his last ten appearances, throwing to an 11.57 ERA and a 2.43 ratio in those outings.

Diekman pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single to Lucas, but got the next two.

Diekman continues to be fantastic. Over his last 18 appearances, he’s thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings. For the year, righties numbers against the lefty are still pretty concerning. Righties are hitting 305/374/402 against him while lefties have a 148/209/148 line. Lefties don’t have an extra-base hit against him in 68 plate appearances. He’s allowed just one home run on the year, which was hit by righty David Wright.

Papelbon pitched the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Hechavarria, but retired Placido Polanco on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Papelbon drops his ERA on the year to 2.52 with the outing. Compared to his career numbers, Papelbon has been better against lefties this year, but righties have gotten more hits against him than they had in the past. Righties are hitting .250 against him for the season and .221 against him for his career.

Five scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow three singles and don’t walk a batter while striking out three. Ramirez threw 25 pitches in the game and Diekman 20.

The Phillie lineup against righty Henderson Alvarez went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Frandsen (7) Galvis (8) Rupp. Frandsen plays first against the righty. He comes into the game hitting 200/244/297 against right-handed pitching for the year. Times are hard, but you really have to figure out a way not to do that. Galvis enters the game with a negative Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR for the year and a .270 career on-base percentage. Cameron Rupp makes his second career start behind the plate. Hernandez hits leadoff — he enters the game on-basing .405 out of the leadoff spot in the order.

Rollins doubled to right with one out. Utley and Brown both walked behind him, loading the bases for Ruf. Ruf walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside, forcing Rollins home. 1-0 with the bases still loaded. Frandsen was next and grounded to short with the infield back. Hechavarria took the out at first and everyone moved up a base. Utley scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on second and third. Galvis grounded to second for the third out.

Two runs in the frame for the Phils on the Rollins double and three walks. Nice job by Utley, Brown and Ruf to let Alvarez walk them all in a row.

Miner singled to center with one out in the second, but Hernandez grounded into a double-play behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the third. Utley singled to right with one out and moved up to third on a two-out single by Ruf. Frandsen grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

The Phillies didn’t have a base-runner in the fourth, fifth or sixth.

Rupp singled to center off of Alvarez with one out in the seventh, but Mayberry and Hernandez both struck out behind him.

Utley walked off of lefty Dan Jennings with one out in the eighth and the Phils still down a run. Brown flew to center and righty Ryan Webb retired Ruf on a ground ball to short.

Utley draws the walk against the lefty. He’s hitting .232 and on-basing .317 against lefties for the year. The Fish bring in a righty to get Ruf, but Ruf is still hitting just 190/311/349 against lefties for the season.

Webb was back and set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Hernandez was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 0-for-his-last-7 and 1-for-his-last-12. Hitting .286 and on-basing .352 for the year with an isolated power of .051. The high average and pretty good on-base percentage might be for real. The no power is very definitely for real. Also, he’s not a center fielder and you can’t make him one by playing him in center field. See also: John Mayberry. Hernandez’s UZR/150 as calculated by FanGraphs is -23.2. Mayberry’s is -28.9. Everyone accepts without question that Delmon Young was an abysmal right fielder. And he was. FanGraphs has his UZR/150 in right for the season at -22.2.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double. 367/446/551 over his last 56 plate appearances. 309/405/456 in 79 plate appearances in September.

Utley 1-for-2 and walked twice. He’s 11-for-his-last-31 (.355).

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 250/385/344 in 39 plate appearances since his return.

Ruf 1-for-3 with an RBI. 302/387/453 over his last 62 plate appearances.

Frandsen 0-for-3 with an RBI and left four men on base. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Kevin Frandsen . . .I’m not seeing it. 196/240/292 against righties for the year. Not a first baseman. Seems like all that should add up to not starting him at first base against a righty.

Galvis 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Freddy Galvis . . .I’m not seeing it.

Rupp 1-for-4 with a single. 2-for-8 with two singles on the year.

Hamels (8-14, 3.62) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-1, 3.14) tonight. Neither of Hamels’s last two starts have been good as he’s allowed ten runs over 13 innings. Hamels started June with a 4.86 ERA, thanks in part to allowing ten home runs in 74 innings over his first 12 times out. He ended August with a 3.58 ERA. In his 16 starts in June and August, he made 16 starts in which he threw to a 2.73 ERA and allowed seven home runs in 112 innings. He’s allowed four home runs in 28 innings in his first four starts in September. He allowed home runs to about 3.1% of the batters he faced in his 12 starts through the end of May, about 1.6% of the batters he faced in his 16 starts from June through August and has now allowed home runs to about 3.6% of the batters he’s faced so far in September. Not giving up home runs might be the cause of good pitching and it might be the symptom — whichever it is, the differences in results for Hamels over the stretches where he’s limited the home run this year have been pretty dramatic. Hand has made eight appearances in relief this year and one start. In the eight relief appearances, he’s allowed a run over 8 2/3 innings on one hit and five walks (1.04 ERA and an 0.69 ratio). His only start came against the Mets on September 13 and he allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .122 against him for the season.


Jon Niese B Goode

The Phils had no answer for Jon Niese last night. Niese threw a complete-game shutout and drove in three runs as the Mets topped the Phils 5-0.

Kendrick pitched pretty well early, but allowed four unearned runs in the sixth with the help of a huge throwing error by Frandsen. New York plated their first run of the frame on a single, the error and a sac fly before loading the bases for Niese with two outs and a 2-0 lead. Niese split the gap in left-center with a double, clearing the bases and putting the Mets up to stay at 5-0.

The Phillie offense had three hits and a walk in the game. Niese retired 17 in a row between Michael Young hits that started the second and the eighth.

For the year, the Phillies are hitting 228/296/369 against left-handed pitching, which is the worst line of any NL team other than the Marlins. The Phillies have three active players OPSing .750 or better against left-handed pitching and two of them haven’t hit very well against lefties. Mayberry is hitting 253/322/481 against them and Frandsen 255/361/392. Ruiz is the only active player on the team who has actually hit well against left-handed pitching this year, he’s at 327/410/442.

The Phillies are 60-72 on the year after losing 5-0 to the New York Mets last night. The teams have split the first two games of a four-game set and are tied for third-place in the NL East, 19 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves. The Phils are 7-3 in their last ten games, but have scored just two runs in their last two games.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

Two of the four walks that Kendrick issued were intentional and both of the batters he walked intentionally in the sixth came around to score. Kendrick has a 6.15 ERA over his last 15 starts and opponents have hit .319 against him.

He set the Mets down in order in the bottom of the first. Juan Legares lined a single to right with two outs in the second, but Kendrick got Travis d’Arnaud on a ground ball to short to set the Mets down.

He walked the pitcher Niese with one out in the third. Eric Young was next and bunted up the first base line. Kratz made a very nice play, getting to the ball and throwing off-balance to nip Young at first for the second out as Niese took second. It brought Daniel Murphy to the plate and Murphy singled to right. Mayberry threw home, but his throw was up the third base line. Niese scored to put the Mets up 1-0 and Murphy took second as the throw came home. Murphy took third on an error on a pickoff attempt by Kendrick, but Kendrick retired Andrew Brown on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

You want to try to avoid walking the pitcher when you can. Kratz’s play on the Young bunt kept the inning from being worse. Niese would have been out at the plate on a good throw by Mayberry, but the Phils didn’t get one.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Omar Quintanilla doubled to right with one out in the fifth. Kendrick retired Niese on a fly ball to left before walking Young. It put men on first and second with two down for Murphy. Murphy popped to Rollins to leave both runners stranded.

Brown led off the sixth with a single into center. Ike Davis was next and hit a ball that Frandsen gloved at first. Frandsen threw to second, but his throw was bad for an error that left Brown on third and Davis on second with nobody out for Wilmer Flores. Flores grounded to third with the runners holding for the first out. Legares was next and Kendrick walked him intentionally, loading the bases for d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud flew to center for the second out. All three runners tagged and moved up a base, making it 2-0 with two outs and men on second and third for Quintanilla. Quintanilla was walked intentionally and the bases were loaded for Niese. Niese delivered the big blow of the game, slicing a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left-center for a three-run double that extended the New York lead to 5-0. Young fouled out to Michael Young to leave Niese at second.

All four of the runs that the Mets score in the inning are unearned due to the Frandsen error, but Kendrick didn’t really excel in the frame. He walked two batters intentionally and both came around to score. Set the inning up to get the pitcher out and didn’t get the pitcher out.

Bernadina made a miserable throw on the d’Arnaud sac fly, but it didn’t cost the Phillies a lot. d’Arnaud didn’t hit the ball especially deep, but Bernadinda threw home and his throw was weak and off-line, which allowed the other runners to move up to second and third.

Zach Miner pitched a scoreless seventh, allowing a two-out walk before getting Flores on a ground ball to short.

Scoreless frame for Miner after allowing two runs on three hits and three walks over 1 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Opponents are hitting just .239 against him, but he’s walked seven in 13 innings.

De Fratus set the Mets down in order in the eighth. He has a 1.89 ERA and a 1.32 ratio over 19 innings in his last 19 appearances. The righty has been really good against lefties for the year, but righties are hitting 311/383/417 against him.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow one walk and no hits. Miner threw 17 pitches and De Fratus eight.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Jon Niese went (1) Bernadina (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Kratz (5) Young (6) Ruf (7) Frandsen (8) Mayberry. Mayberry in right, Ruf in left and Brown sidelined with his heel. Frandsen plays first with Young at third and Asche on the bench against the lefty. Asche on the bench against the lefty after providing all the offense for the Phils in the series opener.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the top of the first, but Utley struck out swinging behind him and Kratz lined to short.

Young singled softly to right to start the second. Ruf followed and grounded into a double-play. Frandsen grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third. Down 1-0, they went in order again in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Quintanilla made a nice play behind second to retire Young for the first out in the fifth and Davis made a nice diving play at first on a ball hit by Kendrick for the second out in the sixth.

Niese got an enormous amount of ground ball outs between the second and sixth innings. Young singled softly to right to start the second and Niese got a ground ball double-play behind him and another ground out behind that. Two ground outs and a fly out in the third, two ground outs and a fly out in the fourth. Three ground outs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Niese got 14 batters out between Young’s single to start the second and the end of the sixth on 12 grounds outs, including a double-play, and two fly balls.

They were down 5-0 when they hit in the seventh and went in order on two fly balls and a strikeout.

Young doubled to center to start the eighth. Ruf and Frandsen both struck out behind him and Mayberry flew to center.

17 in a row go down for the Phillies between Young’s single to start the second and his double to start the eighth.

Rollins drew a walk off of Niese with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Utley flew to center to end the game.

Bernadina was 0-for-4 with a less than fantastic throw to the plate on d’Arnaud’s sac fly. 4-for-25 with the Phillies (.160).

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-his-last-10 with two walks. Isolated power for the year is at .091. Six extra-base hits against left-handed pitching for the year and an isolated power of .063, which is worse than is career mark of .149.

Utley 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-his-last-17 with a single. 205/297/411 against lefties for the year.

Kratz 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Made a nice play on Young’s bunt in the third. 3-for-his-last-30 with four walks and a double. 088/225/206 against left-handed pitching for the year and 170/255/364 for his career, which makes it a little tough to understand why the Phils think they should be hitting him cleanup against lefties. Think eight-hitter, guys.

Michael Young 2-for-3 with a double. Phils had three hits and a walk in the game — Young had two hits and Rollins had a single and a walk. 246/307/368 over his last 365 plate appearances. 4-for-7 with a double in the first two games of this set.

Ruf 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 16-for-his-last-76 (.211) with 29 strikeouts, but also seven home runs and an isolated power of .289. The Phillies are miserable against left-handed pitching. Kratz, Young and Mayberry are part of the problem and so is Ruf. He’s oddly hitting 163/234/372 against lefties in 47 plate appearances for the year.

Frandsen 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an error in the sixth that led to four unearned runs. 9-for-his-last-72 (.125) with a double and a .299 OPS over 75 plate appearances. His numbers against lefties are no longer outstanding — he’s down to 255/361/392.

Mayberry also had a bad night against the lefty. Made a bad throw early and went 0-for-3 at the plate. 2-for-his-last-16 (.125).

Hamels (5-13, 3.62) faces righty Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00) tonight. Hamels has a 2.74 ERA and a 1.07 ratio over his last 15 starts. 1.89 ERA in five August starts, all five of which have been good, after throwing to a 2.57 ERA in five July outings. He’s thrown at least seven innings in nine of his last ten starts. Dice-K made 20 starts in Triple-A for the Indians this year, going 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.28 ratio before being released in mid-August. He was picked up by the Mets and made one start for New York, allowing five runs in five innings against the Tigers on Friday.


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.


Everybody and Indians

The Phillies were hammered the last time they saw the Indians, outscored 20-2 as they lost both games of two-game set about two weeks ago. Just about everything went well for the Phils last night as they topped Cleveland 6-2.

Pettibone pitched well. Manuel put righties Mayberry and Frandsen in the lineup against a lefty and they combined to drive in three runs in the first four innings. Up two runs in the eighth with Mike Adams unavailable, Justin De Fratus and Jeremy Horst wriggled out of a jam with one out and runners on the corners.

Frandsen ended the day hitting 467/579/933 against lefties for the year after hitting 400/426/554 against them last year. He plays first base and second base for a team that can’t hit left-handed pitching, in large part because their first baseman and second baseman aren’t hitting left-handed pitching. 412/459/526 in his last 87 plate appearances against lefties going back to the start of 2012.

The Phillies are 19-21 on the year after beating the Cleveland Indians 6-2 last night. After 40 games the Phillies are in third place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves. The’ve won three in a row.

Pettibone got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

Fifth start on the year for Pettibone. He still hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start. He’s pitched into the seventh in two of his last three times out.

He set Cleveland down in order in the top of the first.

The Phillies led 1-0 when Nick Swisher singled softly to center to start the second and moved to third on a double by Carlos Santana. Mark Reynolds popped out to Frandsen at second for the first out before Michael Brantley singled to center, scoring both runners and putting Cleveland up 2-1. Pettibone struck Drew Stubbs and the pitcher Scott Kazmir both out swinging to leave Brantley at first.

Pettibone allowed two walks and hit a batter in the third, but got Mark Reynolds to pop to Frandsen to end the frame with the bases loaded.

Pettibone threw a 1-2-3 fourth and started the fifth with a 3-2 lead. He got the Indians in order in the fifth.

Swisher singled to left to start the sixth, but Santana grounded into a double-play behind him. Pettibone walked Reynolds before getting Brantley to foul out to Michael Young to set Cleveland down.

Pettibone started the seventh up 4-2 and got the first two hitters. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Bourn and Bourn reached on a softly hit single, but Bastardo got Jason Kipnis on a ground ball to Frandsen to end the frame.

Bastardo was back to start the eighth with the Phils still up two runs. Switch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera led off and tripled high off the wall in right-center. Bastardo got Swisher looking 1-2 for the first out before walking Santana to put runners on the corners for righty Mark Reynolds. Justin De Fratus came in to pitch to Reynolds and got him to pop to Galvis at second for the second out with the runners holding. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Brantley and struck him out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

The Phillies figure out a way to get through the eighth with Adams still sidelined with lower back issues. De Fratus comes in with one out and runners on the corners and gets Reynolds on a pop-up. Worked great for the Phillies, but i don’t think that’s the formula for success. I think they would have been better off asking Papelbon to try and get five outs.

Bastardo faced five hitters in the game, allowing a walk, a single and a triple and getting two outs. It took a minor miracle for him not to be charged with runs. Opponents have hit .348 against him over his last eight appearances and he’s walked six in 5 2/3 innings.

De Fratus comes up huge in his second appearance of the season, getting Reynolds to pop out with one out and men on the corners. He’s faced two batters in two appearances for the year, striking out one and getting Reynolds to pop up in the other.

Horst also comes up big in the game, striking out the only batter he faces with two down and men on the corners. Lefties are still on-basing .429 against him for the season.

Cabrera’s ball hit off the top of the wall and rolled way away from Revere and into center.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up 6-2. Stubbs led off and bunted for a single, but righty Mike Aviles hit for the pitcher Rich Hill and grounded into a double-play. Bourn grounded to Rollins to end the game.

Again it’s Papelbon in a non-save situation after the Phillies score two in the bottom of the eighth. The Phillies have won six of the last ten games he’s appeared in by four or more runs.

Papelbon allowed two runs in an inning in his first appearance of the year. Since then he’s allowed seven hits and a walk over 15 2/3 scoreless innings in 15 appearances.

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings in the game, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out two. Bastardo threw 19 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten. There was an off-day on Monday, so nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Scott Kazmir went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Michael Young (4) Howard (5) Delmon Young (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Mayberry. Frandsen plays second with Utley on the bench. Mayberry in center against the lefty with Revere on the bench.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Frandsen hit a 1-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Michael Young followed with a walk, but Howard and Delmon Young went down behind him.

The Phillies were down 2-1 when they hit in the second. Mayberry singled with two outs, but Pettibone stuck out looking to leave him stranded.

Brown also hit the ball well leading off the inning, but Swisher made a nice play at first to take a hit away from him.

Through two innings, the righties that Manuel had inserted into the lineup (Mayberry and Frandsen) were 2-for-2 with the only hits for the Phils, a single and a home run.

Frandsen was hit by a pitch with one out in the third. Michael Young followed and hit a might-have-been double-play ball to short, but Kipnis’s throw to first wasn’t handled for an error that left Young at second with two down. Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

Young probably would have been safe at first even if the Kipnis throw had been handled there. But the error gives him an extra base.

Brown singled to center with one out in the third and moved up to second when Ruiz followed with a walk. They both scored when Mayberry doubled to the gap in left-center, putting the Phillies on top 3-2. Pettibone and Rollins went down on a pair of ground outs to leave Mayberry at second.

Three runs for the Phils in the game at that point with all three driven in by the righties put in the lineup with a lefty on the hill for Cleveland.

Frandsen was again hit by a pitch to start the fifth. Michael Young was next and hit a ball softly into center, which was caught by Bourn for the first out. Frandsen had misread it and was easily doubled off of first. Howard followed with a single, but was left at first when Delmon Young grounded to Kazmir to end the inning.

Assuming the Indians don’t get a double-play on the ball hit hard by Delmon Young and Brown still homers, the Frandsen base-running play costs the Phils two runs. Brown’s homer is a three-run shot that brings in Frandsen and Howard instead of a solo blast.

Brown led off the sixth and hit a 1-0 pitch from Kazmir out to left, putting the Phillies up 4-2. Righty Cody Allen took over for Kazmir and got Ruiz, Mayberry and Pettibone in order to end the inning.

Righty Bryan Shaw started the seventh. Rollins led off with a single and Frandsen bunted him to second with the first out. Michael Young grounded to short for the second out and Howard was walked intentionally, putting runners on the corners for Delmon Young. Young popped out to Swisher in to leave both men stranded.

Not a fan of the Frandsen bunt, even against a righty. Howard has walked nine times on the season and four of them have been intentional. 151 total plate appearances. If you take out the four times he was walked intentionally, that leaves him with five walks in 147 plate appearances, which is 3.4%.

Ruiz singled to center off of Shaw with one out in the ninth and took second on a wild pitch before Mayberry singled into center, scoring Ruiz to make it 5-2. Nix hit for Horst and lefty Rich Hill came in to pitch to Nix. Nix flew to center for the second out. Hill walked Rollins intentionally to pitch to Galvis and Galvis singled to left. Mayberry scored to make it 6-2, but Brantley threw Galvis out trying for second to end the inning.

Rollins is hitting 261/292/370 against lefties for the season. Walking him intentionally is a poor idea, even if it works.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. He’s 8-for-his-last-25 with two doubles and a home run.

Frandsen was 1-for-1 with a home run. Kazmir hit him with pitches twice. 2-for-his-last-7 with two home runs. He made a base-running mistake in the fifth, getting doubled off of first.

Michael Young 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 2-for-his-last-17 with two singles and five walks.

Howard 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. The single was softly hit to left field, but it did come off the lefty Kazmir. 2-for-his-last-22 with two singles, one walk, which was intentional and 11 strikeouts. 195/214/390 against lefties for the year.

Delmon Young 0-for-4 and left four men on base. He came into last night’s game 5-for-his-last-10. 1-for-16 at CBP so far.

Brown was 2-for-4 with his seventh home run. He also had a hit taken away by Swisher on a nice play in his first at-bat. 301/307/548 with five home runs over his last 75 plate appearances. One walk in his last 79 plate appearances. 238/300/386 against righties for the year and 314/328/600 against lefties.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-his-last-14 with five singles.

Mayberry 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Hamels (1-5, 4.18) faces righty Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.64) this afternoon. Hamels wasn’t good in either of his first two starts on the season, but has thrown to a 2.41 ERA since, holding opponents to a .186 average in those six outings. The Phils have scored ten runs in his last six starts and gone 1-5. Kluber started the year pitching in the pen for the Indians, then moved to rotation where both of his first two starts were pretty good. He came into his most recent start with a 3.06 ERA and allowed eight runs over 4 2/3 innings to the Tigers. Righties have hit .356 against him for the season.

Update: The Phillies have agreed to a minor league deal with 31-year-old right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano has not appeared in the majors in 2013 and went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.50 ratio in 35 appearances (20 starts) for the Marlins in 2012. He was pretty good as recently as 2010 when he threw to a 3.33 ERA over 129 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 36 appearances (20 starts). He walked 75 in 132 1/3 innings in 2012.


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