Tag: Kyle Kendrick

Sandy, the pitching angels have lost their desire for us

Bruce Springsteen. Sort of.

The table below shows, for each of the past five years, the four pitchers who have gotten the most starts for the Phillies that season and their WAR for the year as calculated by Baseball-Reference:

Year Pitcher Starts WAR
2012 Hamels 31 4.2
2012 Lee 30 4.2
2012 Kendrick 25 1.3
2012 Halladay 25 0.7
2012 Total for group 101 10.4
2011 Halladay 32 8.5
2011 Lee 32 8.3
2011 Hamels 31 6.2
2011 Oswalt 23 2.0
2011 Total for group 118 25.0
2010 Halladay 33 8.3
2010 Hamels 33 5.3
2010 Kendrick 31 0.2
2010 Blanton 28 -0.2
2010 Total for group 125 13.6
2009 Hamels 32 1.7
2009 Blanton 31 2.4
2009 Moyer 25 0.1
2009 Happ 23 4.0
2009 Total for group 111 8.2
2008 Hamels 33 4.0
2008 Moyer 33 2.5
2008 Myers 30 0.4
2008 Kendrick 30 -1.7
2008 Total for group 126 5.2

Important to note is that the WAR for the pitcher includes all of his appearances for the season, not just his starts. So, for example, Kendrick made 37 appearances in 2012 and only 25 of them were starts. His WAR for the year was 1.3 and that includes all 37 appearances, not just the 25 starts.

Again, the Phillies went to the World Series in 2008 and again in 2009 and they did it without outstanding starting pitching. This message will repeat. Happ (in 2009) and Hamels (in 2008) were the only two pitchers, starter or relievers, to post a WAR for the season better than 2.5 in either year.

Led by Hamels and Halladay, the top four was a lot better in 2010. Halladay, Hamels and Lee all had superb years in 2011.

Halladay was, as you may have noticed, way off in 2012. Hamels wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011 or 2010. Lee wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011, but the top for of the rotation were still better than they been in 2009 and a lot better than they had been in 2008.

It’s easy for some of us (by which I mean me) to forget that Lee didn’t throw a pitch for the Phillies in 2010. They Phillies have only had two years where Halladay, Hamels and Lee comprised the core of the rotation. One of those years was great for the Phillies until they were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round. The other was 2012, which is best forgotten if at all possible.

Halladay came into 2012 having not put up a WAR worse than 5.9 since 2008 — in ’08 he was an All-Star, finished second in Cy Young voting in the AL (losing to Indian and 22-game winner Cliff Lee) and seventh in WAR for pitchers across both leagues. Last year his WAR was 0.7, which is the worst mark of his career since he threw to a 10.64 ERA as a 23-year-old with the Blue Jays in 2000.

Rollins won his fourth Gold Glove.

The Phillies picked up the $5 million option on Ruiz and declined the $5.5 million option on Polanco. They will pay Polanco a $1 million buyout. The same article suggests that free agent Juan Pierre is not likely to be back with the Phillies.

This article suggests that Worley will stay in Philadelphia to rehab his elbow coming off of surgery.

This article suggests the Phillies have $135.35 million committed to ten players for next season, including Lee ($25 million), Halladay ($20 million), Howard ($20 million), Hamels ($19.5 million), Utley ($15 million), Papelbon ($13 million), Rollins ($11 million), Ruiz ($5 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million).

That’s $40 million committed to Halladay and Howard. In 2012, Howard’s Baseball-Reference calculated WAR was -1.2 and Halladay’s was 0.7.

This article quotes Amaro suggesting that that center field will have to be addressed externally. The writer goes on to list possible candidates, including Bourn, Pagan, Upton, Victorino, Hamilton, Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dexter Fowler.

This article looks at potential corner outfielders, including free agent Juan Pierre, Nick Swisher, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter, Ryan Ludwick, Jonny Gomes, Rual Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki, Delmon Young, Josh Willingham and Alfonso Soriano.


Nat that it matters

Kyle Kendrick delivered another outstanding start last night, throwing seven scoreless innings as the Phils topped the Nats 2-0. Ruf provided all of the offense the Phils would need in the game with two-run triple in the top of the second.

The Phillies had one base-runner after the fourth inning, which came on a two-out walk by Mayberry in the fifth.

After the game, Manuel suggested the Kendrick was in the rotation for 2013, barring some major acquisition.

The Nationals clinched the NL East during the game. Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win over Atlanta went final shortly after Brown grounded to second to end the top of the ninth.

The Phillies are 81-79 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 2-0 last night. They are in the third place in the NL East, 15 games behind the first place Nats and have two games left to play. They have won three in a row.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.90.

Kendrick ended June with a 5.35 ERA for the season. From the start of July to the end of the year, he made 20 appearances (13 starts) in which he threw to a 2.64 ERA over 85 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .215 against him in those outings.

He set the Nats down in order in the bottom of the first.

He started the second up 2-0. Michael Morse and Ian Desmond singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for Danny Espinosa. Espinosa went down on a soft ground ball to first for the second out, moving the runners up to second and third. Kendrick walked righty Kurt Suzuki to pitch to the pitcher John Lannan with the bases loaded. Lannan grounded to short to end the inning.

Washington went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Suzuki singled to center with one out in the fifth. Lefty Roger Bernadina hit for Lannan and flew to center for the second out. With Jayson Werth at the plate, a wild pickoff attempt by Kendrick went for an error that allowed Bernadina to move up to third. Kendrick got Werth looking 2-2 to end the inning.

Kendrick’s throw to first wasn’t that bad. It looked like Wigginton got a little tangled up with the runner and had trouble trying to get to it.

Bryce Harper doubled to center to start the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman was next and hit a popup into shallow right field. Utley ran it down with his back to third, which allowed Harper to move up to third with one out. Adam LaRoche was next and Kendrick got the lefty on a popup to Martinez at short for the second out. Harper held third and was left there when Kendrick struck Morse out looking 3-2.

Kendrick gets out of one out, a man on third and the lefty LaRoche at the plate. He made a beautiful pitch to Morse that tailed in to catch the outside of the plate to end the inning.

Second time in two innings that Kendrick strikes out a good hitter with runners on for the third inning.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

De Fratus started the eighth. Switch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi hit for the pitcher Ryan Mattheus and flew to left for the first out. Werth followed with a single to left and moved up to second when Harper walked behind him. Zimmerman flew to center for the second out on a nice diving play by Mayberry. Horst came in to face the lefty LaRoche and struck LaRoche out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

Mayberry saves the day and keeps the Nats off the board with the diving catch.

De Fratus faces four batters. He got two outs, one on a line drive to left and the other on a diving play by Mayberry that easily could have gone for a hit. The other two batters reached on a single and a walk. He hasn’t throw a full inning in any of his last four outings.

Horst strikes out the only batter he faces in the game, dropping his ERA on the year to 1.19. Lefties are hitting 178/260/200 against him for the season.

Aumont set righties Morse and Desmond down to start the ninth and got the switch-hitter Espinosa on a ground ball to second to end the game.

Aumont earned career save number two with the 1-2-3 frame.

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. De Fratus threw 15 pitches and Horst and Aumont were both under ten. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Frandsen (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Ruf (8) Martinez. Wow. That’s lacking some of the elements you would hope to see in a starting lineup (example: major league players). Rollins on the bench with Martinez at short. Wigginton at first for the sidelined Howard. Ruf in left. Frandsen leads off against the lefty with Mayberry hitting second.

Frandsen singled to left to start the top of the first, but Mayberry hit into a double-play behind him. Utley flew to left for the third out.

Ruiz started the second with a walk. Utley popped out for the first out before Brown moved Ruiz up to second with a single to center. It brought Ruf to the plate with two men on and he blasted a ball to left-center, just out of the reach of Harper as Harper crashed into the wall. It went for a triple and both runners scored to put the Phils up 2-0. Martinez grounded to second with Ruf holding for the second out. Kendrick struck out swinging for the third.

Another big hit for Ruf. Martinez can’t bring the runner home from third with one out.

Frandsen singled again to start the third and again Mayberry grounded into a double-play behind him. Utley fouled out to Zimmerman at third for the third out.

Mayberry hits into his second double-play in two at-bats, erasing Frandsen’s single for the second time.

Wigginton singled with one out in the fourth. Brown followed with a triple that put runners on second and third with one out for Ruf. The lefty Lannan walked the already-tripled righty Ruf, loading the bases for Martinez. Martinez grounded to first. LaRoche fielded, tagged first for the second out and threw home to get Wigginton to complete the double-play.

Martinez again can’t get it done with a runner on third and less than two outs. If he doesn’t watch out he’s going to get a reputation as someone who’s not a great offensive player.

Brown 2-for-2 with a double in two at-bats against the lefty through four innings. He ends the day at 191/291/340 against lefties for the year in 55 plate appearances.

Mayberry walked with two outs in the fifth. Utley struck out to leave him at first.

Righty Craig Stammen started the sixth and struck out Ruiz, Wigginton and Brown in order.

He was back for the seventh and struck out Ruf, Martinez and Kendrick in order.

Stammen faces six batters in the game and strikes out all six.

Righty Ryan Mattheus set the Phils down in order in the eighth.

Righty Drew Storen set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.

Frandsen was 2-for-4 with two singles that were followed by Mayberry bouncing into a double-play. He is still hammering away at left-handed pitching. 403/431/548 for the year (in 65 plate appearances).

Mayberry 0-for-3 with a walk and hit into two double-plays. 3-for-his-last-31 with 11 strikeouts.

Utley 0-for-4. Made a very nice play on the popup for the first out in the bottom of the sixth, which changed the inning. 3-for-his-last-15 with three singles. 317/440/413 over his last 83 plate appearances. Prior to his 3-for-his-last-15 he had hit 354/493/479 over his last 67 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk. Came into the game 5-for-his-last-9. 10-for-his-last-32 with two doubles and two home runs.

Wigginton 1-for-4. 211/281/349 over his last 196 plate appearances.

Brown 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 5-for-his-last-29 (.172).

Ruf 1-for-4 with a two-run triple and a walk. Career walk number one is intentional. 9-for-27 on the year with two doubles, a triple and a home run. 5-for-12 against lefties with a walk, three extra-base hits and seven RBI.

Martinez 0-for-3. He’s 7-for-his-last-24 (.292) and hitting .168 for the season.

BJ Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86) gets career start number one in a bullpen game tonight against lefty Gio Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89). Got ‘em right where we want ‘em. Rosenberg threw three innings his last time out, which was his longest outing of the year. Six of his 20 appearances at Triple-A this season came as a starter. Righty Tyson Brummett is on the active roster for the Phillies as of Sunday — Brummett made 44 appearances this year between Reading and Lehigh Valley, eight of which were starts. Righties are hitting .199 against Gonzalez for the year. It will be his fifth start against the Phils this season — 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.08 ratio so far.

Update: Lefty Tom Gorzelanny and not Gonzalez tonight.


Kendrick confirms he is not Cy Young, putting at ease the minds of millions who found it suspicious they had never seen him and Young in the same place at the same time

Kyle Kendrick didn’t have much last night, allowing three home runs and five runs to the first eight batters he faced and leaving after just two innings and two batters. The Phillies made it almost all the way back from the 5-0 hole, though. De Fratus started the ninth with the Washington lead cut to 5-4, but was hit hard in the frame and the Nats went on to win 8-4.

Kendrick pointed out after the game that if he was awesome every start he’d be Cy Young. Not sure that’s true, actually, but if his point was that last night’s effort lacked awesomeness, I think we’re all on board.

The bullpen pitched very well until De Fratus ran into trouble in the three-run top of the ninth for the Nats. After Kendrick left after just two innings, Rosenberg, Lindblom and Horst combined to throw six scoreless frames in which they allowed a single and a walk and struck out six.

Former Phil Jayson Werth battled the fans all night, but wound up with the last laugh, singling home a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth to extend the Nationals lead.

The Phillies are 78-77 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 8-4 last night. They have lost three of their last four and are in third place in the NL East, 16 games out of first. They are 5 1/2 games out for the Wild Card and have seven left to play.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went two innings, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all home runs. He struck out one.

Kendrick has allowed 11 runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last three starts.

Jayson Werth was the first batter of the game and walked on five pitches. Bryce Harper was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Kendrick out to center, putting the Nats up 2-0. Kendrick got the next three Washington hitters, getting Ryan Zimmerman on a ground ball to short for the first out, striking out Adam LaRoche for the second and getting Michael Morse on a fly ball to left for the third.

Ian Desmond led off the second and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left center. 3-0. Steve Lombardozzi was next and hit a ball to Utley that Utley didn’t handle for an error, putting Lombardozzi on first when Kurt Suzuki hit a 1-2 pitch out to left. 5-0. The pitcher John Lannan grounded to Rollins for the first out before Werth singled to center. Harper grounded to Howard with Werth forced at second for the second out. Harper stole second before Zimmerman grounded to second to end the frame.

Three home runs allowed by Kendrick to the first eight batters he faces.

LaRoche walked to start the third and moved to second on a single by Morse. That was it for Kendrick. Rosenberg took over and got Desmond to hit into a double-play. Lombardozzi lined to short to leave LaRoche at third.

Rosenberg started the fourth down 5-1. He walked Lannan with one out, but struck out Werth and Harper to leave the pitcher at first.

You want to avoid walking the pitcher when possible.

Rosenberg threw a 1-2-3 fifth with the lead cut to 5-2.

Rosenberg was fantastic in the game, getting a double-play in the third and allowing just one walk over three scoreless innings. Three innings is the longest outing of his career. He has thrown ten scoreless innings over his last seven appearances.

Lindblom set the Nats down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Lindblom faces six batters and gets all six, dropping his ERA with the Phillies to 3.68 after 24 appearances. Opponents are hitting .175 against him since joining the Phils, but he has walked 15 in 22 innings. He has a 1.29 ERA over his last 14 appearances and has struck out 19 in 14 innings.

He was pitching for the second straight day and threw 29 pitches in the game.

Horst started the eighth with the Nats up 5-3. Zimmerman led off and singled to left. Horst struck LaRoche out swinging for the first out and got Morse to ground into a double-play behind him.

Horst faces three batters, allows a single then strikes out the lefty LaRoche and gets the righty Morse to ground into a double-play. He’s been charged with seven runs on the year over 27 innings, but only three of them have been earned. He’s had success against both righties and lefties in limited time with the Phils this year, so it seems like there are lots of reasons to expect significant contributions from him out of the pen in 2013.

De Fratus started the ninth with the Phillies down 5-4. Desmond led off and walked. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Tyler Clippard. Desmond stole second before Tracy grounded to short for the first out with Desmond holding. Suzuki was next and singled softly to left on a ball deflected by Pierre, moving Desmond up to third. De Fratus struck Espinosa out swinging for the second out before Suzuki stole second. It put runners on second and third for Werth and Werth singled into center, scoring both runners to extend the lead to 7-4. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Harper and Harper tripled into the right field corner, scoring Werth to make it 8-4. Zimmerman struck out looking to leave Harper at third.

Werth was loudly booed during the game and especially in his ninth inning at-bat. While waiting in the on-deck circle, he faked throwing a foul ball to fans behind the Nationals dugout and then rolled the ball into the dugout. Flipped his bat dramatically after his two-run single, proving once and for all the wisdom of the seven-year, $126 million deal the Nationals gave him to hit .256.

De Fratus faced five batters in the game and they went walk, out, single, out single. Walking the leadoff man is never a good idea and it hurt De Fratus last night. All three of the guys who reached base against De Fratus in the game (Desmond walk, Werth and Suzuki singled) were right-handed. His line looked a little worse than it was cause of the two-out triple by Harper off of Bastardo that scored Werth, adding a third run to De Fratus’s line.

Like Lindblom, De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day. He threw to a 0.00 ERA over his first seven appearances with the Phillies, allowing two hits and three walks over six innings. In his last three appearances he has allowed four runs on four hits and a walk over 2 1/3 innings.

Bastardo faces two hitters in the game, allowing an RBI-triple to the lefty Harper before striking the righty Zimmerman out. Over his last 17 appearances, Bastardo has struck out 28 in 12 2/3 innings while throwing to a 1.42 ERA and an 0.95 ratio.

Overall the pen goes seven innings in the game, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Lindblom and De Fratus have each thrown two days in a row and both of them threw a lot of pitches last night. Lindblom threw 29 and De Fratus threw 27. Rosenberg was pitching for the first day in a row and threw 42 pitches in the game.

It seems like Rosenberg would surely be unavailable tonight and Lindblom and De Fratus at least questionable. Could be an issue if Cloyd doesn’t go nine. That’s a joke, but he went eight his last time out. So we’ll see.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Ruf (8) Frandsen. Ruf starts in left for the second game in a row, both of which came with lefties on the mound for the Nats.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.

They started the second down 5-0. Howard led off and was hit by a pitch. The next three Phils went in order.

Frandsen doubled to left to start the third. Rosenberg was next and bunted. The catcher Suzuki fielded the ball and threw it into left field in an effort to get Frandsen at third. That proved to be ineffective. Frandsen scored, cutting the lead to 5-1, and Rosenberg was safe at first on the error. Rollins flew to center for the first out before Mayberry moved Rosenberg up to second with a single. Utley was next and he singled, loading the bases for Howard. Howard struck out and Ruiz grounded to the pitcher to keep the Phillies from getting more.

Howard really isn’t so good against lefties these days. One out and the bases loaded would have been a nifty time not to strike out.

With one out in the fourth, Ruf hit a ball down the third base line. Zimmerman made a nice play to record the out, though, fielding and making a long throw to first in time to get Ruf for the second out. It cost the Phillies a run, cause Frandsen was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch into center for a triple, his second extra-base hit in two at-bats. Rosenberg was next and he dribbled a ball back up the middle that went for a single. Frandsen scored to cut the lead to 5-2. Rollins grounded to third to end the inning.

Zimmerman’s play on the ball hit by Ruf costs the Phillies a run. The ball Frandsen hit to center should have been caught. It was fairly deep, but Harper turned the wrong way going back on it and couldn’t recover.

Frandsen has monster numbers against lefties for the year and they got better thanks to 2-for-2 with a double and a gift triple off of Lannan in his first two at-bats last night. He’s now at 429/462/592 against lefties for the year.

Lannan set the Phils down in order in the fifth.

Ruiz walked to start the sixth. Brown struck out behind him for the first out. Righty Ryan Mattheus came in to pitch to Ruf and got him to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Mattheus got Frandsen and Schierholtz, hitting for Lindblom, to start the seventh before Rollins lined a 3-1 pitch out to right. That cut the lead to 5-3. Mayberry struck out swinging for the third out.

Utley doubled to right off of righty Tyler Clippard to start the eighth. Howard struck out swinging for the first out before Utley took third on a wild pitch. Ruiz walked, putting two men on for Brown. Brown got to hit against the righty Clippard and hit a 2-2 pitch well to right. Werth took it on the warning track for the second out, though. Utley scored, cutting the lead to 5-4. Ruf followed and singled softly to right, moving Ruiz up to third. Pierre ran for Ruf at first. Clippard struck Frandsen out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners at the corners.

Brown didn’t miss by much. Howard strikes out against the righty for a big first out.

The Phillies were down 8-4 when righty Drew Storen set them down in order in the ninth. Nix hit for Bastardo and struck out swinging for the first out.

Rollins 1-for-4 with his 23rd homer of the year. He’s 1-for-his-last-18. 249/322/486 with 21 homers over his last 438 plate appearances.

Mayberry 1-for-5. 2-for-his-last-18 with seven strikeouts.

Utley 2-for-4 with a double. He made an error in the second that led to an unearned run when Suzuki followed with a homer. 305/423/463 in September.

Howard 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 7-for-his-last-41 (.171) with 16 strikeouts.

Ruiz 0-for-2 and walked twice. 5-for-his-last-32 (.156).

Brown 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and an RBI. His line against lefties for the year is down to 140/245/256.

Ruf 1-for-4 and grounded into a double-play. Zimmerman made a nice play on his ball in the fourth to take away what might have been another hit. 3-for-9 with a home run so far for the year. Phils face another lefty today in Gio Gonzalez, so Ruf seems like a good bet to get another start.

Frandsen 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, both off the lefty Lannan. Had a big chance against the righty Clippard in the ninth and struck out for the third out.

Cloyd (2-1, 3.86) faces lefty Gio Gonzalez (20-8, 2.84) tonight. Cloyd was fantastic in his last outing, needing just 88 pitches to hold the Mets to a run over eight innings. Lefties are still hitting an ugly 295/380/523 against him for the year. Gonzalez has allowed more than two earned runs once in his last eight starts (he allowed three in the other). Opponents are hitting just .204 against him for the year.


Can do Kendrick

The Phillies continue to win and win behind fantastic pitching. Kyle Kendrick’s amazing run continued last night as he allowed a run on two hits over seven innings while striking out eight as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 for their fifth-straight win.

The Phillies are 13-4 over their last 17 games. In nine of the 13 games they’ve won they’ve scored four runs or less. In four of those 13, including last night’s game, they scored three runs.

Brown hit a two-run homer off of Miami starter Wade LeBlanc in the bottom of the fifth. The Phils added a third run later in the same inning when Martinez doubled, moved to third on a ground out by Kendrick and scored on a wild pitch. Kendrick took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed just one run in the game, which came in the top of the seventh when Carlos Lee led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out and came home to score on a sac fly.

The bullpen went two scoreless frames after Kendrick left. Over the last four games the bullpen has thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings.

Kendrick was fantastic in the game, but it was arguably just his third-best start of his last six. He threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins on August 14 and eight shutout innings against the Brewers on August 19. Since the start of July, Kendrick has now thrown to a 2.09 ERA with an 0.97 ratio over 64 2/3 innings in 16 appearances (nine starts).

The Phillies are 70-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 last night. The Phils lead the series one games to none and have won five in a row. They remain in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals. For the first time since July 26, Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds report gives them a chance of making the playoffs that’s greater than 0%. It’s 1%. They are five games back for the Wild Card and have 21 games left to play.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight.

He struck out Justin Ruggiano and Jose Reyes in a 1-2-3 top of the first.

Struck out Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs in a 1-2-3 second.

He walked Rob Brantly with one out in the third. The pitcher Wade LeBlanc was next and bunted Brantly to second with the second out. Kendrick got Bryan Petersen on ground ball to Utley to end the frame.

Kendrick struck Ruggiano out again in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He set the Marlins down in order again in the fifth.

The Phillies led 3-0 when Brantly singled to center to start the top of the sixth. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher LeBlanc and walked on five pitches, putting runners on first and second for Petersen. Petersen hit a ball softly towards second and Utley made a nice play, charging and throwing to first for the first out as the runners moved up to second and third. Ruggiano was next and Kendrick struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out before walking Reyes on five pitches to load the bases for Stanton. Kendrick struck Stanton out swinging 1-2 to leave them loaded.

Biggest at-bat of the game for Kendrick and he gets Stanton swinging. Ruggiano can’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs as Kendrick strikes him out for the third time in the game. Utley made a nice play to get the first out of the inning for the Phils.

Carlos Lee led off the seventh with a double to left. He moved up to third when Dobbs grounded to second for the second out and scored on a sac fly to deep left off the bat off Donovan Solano, cutting the lead to 3-1. Brantly flew to left for the third out.

De Fratus started the eighth with a two-run lead. Righty Austin Kearns hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Petersen singled to right before De Fratus struck Ruggiano out looking for the second out. Diekman came in to pitch to Reyes and got him on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

Not sure you need to bring a lefty in there to face the switch-hitter Reyes, but it worked out for the Phils. Reyes’s numbers are a tiny bit better against righties than lefties this year (287/348/446 vs righties and 265/337/404 against lefties). For his career he’s been better against lefties than righties — 300/355/438 against lefties and 288/337/442 against righties. So I’m not sure you need to go out of your way to bring a lefty in there.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day. He faced three hitters, struck out two and allowed a single to Petersen, which is the only hit he’s allowed in his first four appearances.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and got him out, dropping his ERA on the year to 4.43. He was also pitching for the second day in a row.

Bastardo started the ninth and struck Stanton out on a wild pitch that allowed Stanton to take first. Lee was next and Bastardo got him to ground to Martinez at third. Martinez went to second to start the double-play that cleared the bases. Bastardo struck the lefty Dobbs out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Bastardo gets the ninth after Papelbon pitches in both games of the double-header on Sunday. Bastardo was pitching for the second day in a row. Over his last 11 appearances, he’s allowed one run in nine innings on six hits and a walk while striking out 20. 20?

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings in the game, allowing one single and striking out four.

All three of the pitchers that appeared have thrown two days in a row. De Fratus threw 13 pitches in the game, Bastardo seven and Diekman two.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade LeBlanc went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Mayberry hits second against the lefty. Wigginton plays left the day after going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. Kratz catches and Martinez plays third.

Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first, but Mayberry hit into a double-play behind him. Utley followed that with a double to left, but was left stranded when Howard struck out swinging.

Howard is hitting 183/234/338 against left-handed pitching for the year with 35 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances.

No run for the Phils despite a single and a double in the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the second, third and fourth.

Wigginton led off the fifth and walked on the ninth pitch of his plate appearance. It brought Brown to the plate and he hit a 3-1 pitch down the first base line and out for a two-run homer, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Kratz popped to Reyes for the first out of the inning before Martinez doubled to left. Kendrick moved Martinez up to third with a ground out to first for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Martinez scored on a wild pitch, putting the Phils up 3-0 before Rollins struck out swinging to end the inning.

Wigginton gets on base by walking in a long at-bat before Brown homers off of the lefty.

Martinez gets a big hit, doubling to left. Kendrick moves him up to third with a ground ball on the right side, which allows Martinez to score on the wild pitch.

Mayberry singled off of lefty Dan Jennings to start the sixth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Brown drew a walk off of Jennings to start the seventh with the led cut to 3-1. Righty Ryan Webb took over for Jennings and got Kratz on a fly ball to left for the first out and Martinez on a popup to first for the second. Schierholtz hit for Kendrick and popped to Reyes to leave Brown stranded.

Lefty Mike Dunn set Rollins, Mayberry and Utley down in order in the eighth.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a single. 6-for-his-last-30.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 300/374/500 in 147 plate appearances since the trades.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 5-for-his-last-13.

Howard 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 167/254/315 over his last 63 plate appearances.

Wigginton 0-for-2 with a big walk ahead of Brown’s home run. 2-for-13 in September with four walks.

Brown 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in the game. 5-for-his-last-16 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Kratz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-10. 184/200/327 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 5-for-his-last-12.

Halladay (9-7, 3.87) faces righty Nathan Eovaldi (4-11, 4.44) tonight. Halladay’s left/right splits for 2012 are very similar to the same numbers for his career with the exception that righties have hit for more power against him this season. Eovaldi came from the Dodgers to the Fish in the Hanley Ramirez trade at the end of June. He’s thrown to a 4.85 ERA in his eight starts with the Marlins and opponents have hit .294 against him.


What’s whatever the opposite of the matter is here?

The Phillies went 45-57 in their first 102 games this year before trading two of their better hitters and replacing them with lesser offensive players. After they did, the team took off, going 21-14 in their 35 games since the deals sent Victorino and Pence packing.

So what’s going on?

What’s going on is that since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence, the offense has gotten worse. Just like you would expect. But. The pitching has gotten enormously better. Enough better to offset the offensive dropoff and carry the team.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence:

W-L RS/Gm RA/Gm SP ERA SP Ratio RP ERA RP Ratio
Thru 7/29 45-57 4.20 4.56 4.07 1.24 4.53 1.38
After 7/29 21-14 4.09 3.51 3.02 1.15 4.08 1.14
Total 66-71 4.17 4.29 3.80 1.22 4.42 1.32

The Phillies scored 4.20 runs per game before they traded Victorino and Pence. In the games they’ve played since they traded them, they’ve scored 4.09 runs per game.

The Phillies were 12th in the NL in runs scored in August and went 17-12. They went 17-12 not because they were a good offensive team, but because they were fourth in the league in runs allowed.

In the games that the Phillies played before trading Victorino and Pence, they allowed an average of 4.56 runs per game. Since they traded that duo, they’ve cut more than a run off of that. They’ve allowed 3.51 runs per game in the 35 games they’ve played since Victorino and Pence left. Going into today’s games, the Nationals were the NL team that had allowed the fewest runs per game in 2012 with 3.56 per game.

So 3.51 per game is impressive.

The bullpen has been better over the past 35 games than they were over the first 102, dropping more than half a run off of their ERA while their ratio has plummeted. Remember that they were terrible for a long time there, though, and the 4.08 ERA they’ve thrown to in the last 35 games isn’t exactly fantastic. If the Phillie bullpen had thrown to a 4.08 ERA for the entire year, that would be eleventh-best in the NL. As it is, their 4.42 bullpen ERA overall is twelfth-best.

The improvement in preventing runs has a lot more to do with the starting pitching than it does the relievers. Two points on what the relievers have done over the past 35 games, though, as they have thrown to a very impressive 1.14 ratio:

  • Over the last 35 games, the relievers have allowed just 59 hits in 86 innings. That’s an amazingly low hit rate of 6.17 hits per nine innings. Going into today’s games, Cincinnati’s bullpen had the lowest rate of hits allowed per nine innings for the season in the league at 7.27.
  • They have walked a ton of hitters in the same 35 games — 39 in 86 innings. That’s a walk rate of 4.08 per nine innings. Going into today’s games, only three NL teams had seen their relievers walk more than four batters per nine. The Dodgers had walked 4.07 per nine, the Brewers 4.18 and the Cubs 4.56 (Chicago relievers had walked 201 hitters in 396 2/3 innings). Here’s the list of Phillie relievers with a walk rate of 4.19 per nine or worse for the season: Schwimer, Sanches, Horst, Aumont, Bastardo, Stutes, Diekman, Rosenberg, Lindblom, De Fratus. Those ten pitchers have combined to throw 165 1/3 innings for the Phillies this year in which they have allowed 96 walks. That’s a walk rate of 5.23 per nine.

Again, the improvement overall in preventing runs has a lot more to do with what the starters have done than what the relievers have. The starters throw more than 70% of the innings for one thing, so even if the improvement of each of the groups had been about the same, the impact of the improvement by the starters would be much greater.

But the starters have improved more in the past 35 games than the relievers.

Here’s a look at what the guys in the rotation did before and after the trades of Victorino and Pence:

GS

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

ERA

Ratio

Hamels

20

138.67

121

56

51

39

138

3.31

1.15

Blanton

20

132.67

139

73

67

18

115

4.55

1.18

Lee

17

118.33

119

53

52

23

112

3.95

1.20

thru 7/29

Worley

17

102.00

109

49

44

36

91

3.88

1.42

Halladay

14

89.33

88

43

43

16

72

4.33

1.16

Kendrick

13

75.33

82

42

38

25

55

4.54

1.42

Valdes

1

2.00

2

3

3

2

2

13.50

2.00

Total

102

658.33

660

319

298

159

585

4.07

1.24

GS

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

ERA

Ratio

Halladay

7

48.00

43

16

16

9

37

3.00

1.08

Lee

7

50.33

49

16

14

3

49

2.50

1.03

Kendrick

7

42.67

37

15

14

7

28

2.95

1.03

after 7/29

Hamels

6

44.67

39

12

11

8

40

2.22

1.05

Worley

6

31.00

45

20

18

11

16

5.23

1.81

Cloyd

2

13.00

11

4

4

2

14

2.77

1.00

Total

35

229.67

224

83

77

40

184

3.02

1.15

Over the first 102 games of the season, Hamels was the only pitcher on the team who started at least one game for the Phillies and threw to an ERA under 3.88. Over the last 35 games, the rotation as a group has thrown to a 3.02 ERA.

Worley hasn’t been good in his six starts since the Phillies traded away Victorino and Pence. In the 29 starts not made by Worley since the trades, though, the rotation has a 2.67 ERA with a 1.05 ratio — every one of the five guys who has started at least one of those games has been very good. That group includes Halladay, Hamels, Lee and, more surprisingly, Kendrick and Cloyd.

The Phillies are going to win a huge percentage of their games in which their starters throw to the 3.02 ERA and a 1.15 ratio like they have since the trade. The Nationals have the best rotation in the NL in 2012 — they’ve thrown to 3.25 ERA for the year with a 1.17 ratio. In 2011, you may remember, the Phillies won 102 games behind a fantastic starting rotation. That group led the league with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.11 ratio. Nobody else was close — the Giant rotation had the second-best starter ERA for the year at 3.28.


Catch of the day

The Phillies managed just four hits last night, wasting another strong performance from Kendrick and falling to the Reds 2-1.

The Phils pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth on a double, a hit by pitch and two walks, the second of which forced in Utley to put the Phillies ahead. Jay Bruce, who homers every day, hit a two-run homer off of Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth for the only other scoring of the game.

The Phillies had two huge chances to add more runs, one in fourth and another in the fifth.

In the fourth they led 1-0 with the bases loaded and one out. Schierholtz hit a ball into center that Drew Stubbs charged and gloved on a hop. He was credited with a catch, but the ball clearly hit the ground. Chaos reigned on the bases and Mayberry was doubled off of second to end the frame.

Kratz led off the fifth with a single, but Kendrick could not bunt him to second with the first out. The no-bunt proved to be critical when Rollins followed with a double that only moved Kratz up to third. Frandsen couldn’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs and Utley grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

The Phillies are 65-71 on the year after losing to the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 18 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer by Jay Bruce. Kendrick struck out three.

Kendrick has a 2.78 ERA in 57 2/3 innings over 15 appearances (eight starts) since the start of July. Six of his last seven starts have been good and he’s thrown to a 2.95 ERA with a ratio in those seven outings. He’s dropped his walk rate since the start of July, but mostly this is about hits. From the start of the season through the end of June, opponents hit .298 against him with a BABIP of .332. From the start of July through last night, they have hit .212 against him with a BABIP of .235.

Drew Stubbs was the first batter for the Reds in the bottom of the first. Kendrick got ahead of him 1-2, but walked him 3-2. Wilson Valdez was next and grounded to short with Stubbs forced at second for the first out. Valdez stole second and then moved up to third when Brandon Phillips grounded softly to Frandsen on a nice barehanded play for the second out. Ryan Ludwick flew to left to leave Valdez at third.

Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second. Utley made a diving play to take a hit away from Scott Rolen and threw to first for the third out.

Ryan Hanigan singled to left to start the third. The pitcher Mat Latos was next and bunted, but Kratz fielded the ball and threw to second to force Hanigan for the first out. Stubbs was next and singled to left, putting runners on first and second for Valdez. Valdez grounded to Rollins with Stubbs forced at second for the second out, dropping his average on the year to .199. With Phillips at the plate, Kratz picked Latos off of third to end the inning.

Horst for Valdez was a good trade for the Phillies (in case you were wondering).

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Kendrick started the fourth. Bruce reached on an infield single with two outs, but Kendrick got Frazier on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Hanigan singled to left with one out in the fifth and Latos bunted him to second with the second out. Kendrick struck Stubbs out swinging 2-2 to leave him there.

Ludwick singled to right with two outs in the sixth. That brought Bruce to the plate and Bruce hit a 2-1 pitch from Kendrick out to right, putting the Reds up 2-1. Kendrick struck Frazier out swinging to end the inning.

Third game in a row that Bruce has homered. He hit one in the last game of the Reds’s series with the Astros and in each of the first two games so far against the Phils.

Lindblom pitched the seventh. He got the first two before lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Latos. Paul doubled to left. Lindblom struck Stubbs out swinging to leave Paul at second.

Lindblom has allowed a run on two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings over his last seven appearances, which has dropped his ERA with the Phillies from 7.88 to 5.02. Opponents have hit just .176 against him with the Phils, but with 11 walks in 14 1/3 innings.

Rosenberg started the eighth. He got the first two before walking Ludwick. Denis Phipps ran for Ludwick. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Bruce and walked him, too, putting runners on first and second for righty Todd Frazier . Righty Justin De Fratus came in to pitch to him and Frazier walked as well, loading the bases for Rolen. Rolen flew to right to leave them loaded.

Three straight walks for the pen after getting the first two hitters to start the inning.

Rosenberg faces three hitters, getting the first two out before walking Ludwick. He’s been charged with five runs in two innings over his last three appearances. Lefties are 3-for-10 against him for the year with seven walks.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and walked him. First action for Diekman since July 29. He has walked 16 in 21 1/3 innings for the year.

De Fratus faces two hitters, walking one and getting Rolen on a fly ball with the bases loaded. He was pitching for the second straight day and has now gone 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the year, allowing no hits and two walks.

The number of walks that the bullpen is allowing is getting a little out of hand. Coming into the game, Phillie relievers had walked 36 batters in 78 1/3 innings over the last 31 games. That’s about 4.14 batters per nine, which is too high.

Overall the bullpen went two scoreless innings last night, allowing a hit and three walks.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day and threw 13 pitches. Lindblom 17, Rosenberg 17 and Diekman five.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mat Latos went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Schierholtz (8) Kratz. Schierholtz in right with Brown in left. With Pierre on the bench, Frandsen hits second.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Howard started the second with a single to left. Mayberry and Brown went down on a pair of fly balls for the first two outs. Schierholtz was next and hit a 3-2 pitch well down the first base line, but Bruce made a nice play running into the wall in the right field corner for the third out.

Kratz and Kendrick struck out as the Phillies went in order in the third.

Utley doubled to center with one out in the fourth. Howard was hit by a pitch behind him and Mayberry walked, loading the bases for Brown. Brown walked on four pitches, forcing Utley in to put the Phillies up 1-0 with one down and the bases still loaded for Schierholtz. Schierholtz lined a ball into center. Stubbs charged and trapped the ball, but nobody on the bases knew what was going on. Stubbs threw to second to double-up Mayberry for the second out and end the inning. Howard had stayed at third thinking the ball was caught, so the Reds threw home anyway.

Stubbs clearly didn’t catch the ball in center. Think it’s safe to say there was some confusion on the base paths on the part of the Phillie runners.

Bad call to give Stubbs the catch when he didn’t make one, but I think the Phillies are doubled-up either way. Mayberry ran from second to third while Howard held third. If it’s a catch, Mayberry is easily doubled off of second. If it’s not, Brown is forced at second and Howard is out at home (or Mayberry is out at third, but they can’t both be there). Would have been nice to get one clear call, but I think the result winds up the same either way.

Kratz singled to center to start the fifth. Kendrick struck out trying to bunt him to second for the first out before Rollins chopped a double over Frazier and into right for a double, moving Kratz up to third. Frandsen grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Utley grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.

Kendrick can’t bunt the runner to second with the first out and it costs the Phils a run when Kratz doesn’t score from first on the double. After that, the Phillies don’t score after putting runners on second and third with one out. Frandsen grounds out to third for the second out with the runners holding.

The double was career hit number 2,000 for Rollins.

Latos got the Phillies in order in the sixth.

The Reds were up 2-1 when he did it again in the seventh. Nix hit for Kendrick and flew to left for the third out.

Righty Jonathan Broxton set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman, who is sadly unhittable, started the ninth for the Reds with a one-run lead. Howard led off and struck out. Mayberry drew a walk and Wigginton hit for the lefty Brown. Wigginton hit a 1-2 pitch well to left, but Heisey took it in front of the warning track for the second out. Polanco hit for Schierholtz and struck out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Mayberry is now a walking machine against left-handed pitching. He’s up to two now in 144 plate appearances.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs to start September. 261/320/499 with 16 home runs over his last 381 plate appearances.

Frandsen 0-for-4. Couldn’t bring Kratz home from third with the second out in the fifth. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles and a walk.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double. 4-for-his-last-27 (.148).

Howard 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 6-for-his-last-36 (.167).

Mayberry 0-for-2 with two walks. 287/343/484 in 172 plate appearances since the start of July.

Brown 0-for-2 with a walk, a strikeout and the RBI for the Phils. 0-for-his-last-17 with a walk.

Schierholtz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-15 going back to before he went on the DL. 189/244/297 in 42 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Kratz 1-for-3 with a single. He’s 6-for-his-last-16.

Halladay (8-7, 4.02) faces righty Mike Leake (7-8, 4.45) this afternoon in a rematch of the game the teams played on August 20. Halladay didn’t make it out of the fifth inning in his most recent start, allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings against the Braves. Coming into that game, Halladay had walked ten in 88 1/3 innings over his last 14 starts. Opponents are hitting .338 against him over his last three starts. The Phillies faced Leake on August 20 and pounded him, plating seven runs on ten hits over 4 1/3 innings. He’s had two starts since then and both of them have been good.


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