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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

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From last thread...

Another alternate lineup...

Utley
Werth
Howard
Burrell
Jenkins
Feliz
Ruiz
Bruntlett
Kendrick

Now I don't love it (too right-hand heavy at the bottom and I'm not thrilled about batting Ryno 3rd), but isn't this better than batting Pete Happy 2nd?

Originally, Manuel’s two-hole criteria appeared to hinge on a blend of speed and contact. Obviously, on-base prowess has never been a factor for Cholly up at the top. Dobbs, Werth, Bruntlett and Ruiz have taken turns. They all have "some" speed to justify the selection. So what's the deal here? Feliz doesn't have speed. What's the reason? Hottest-hitting Latino?

Phils' overall stats out of the No. 2 hole:

BA - .259 (12th)
R - 6 (tied for 7th)
OBP - .328 (8th)
SLG - .431 (8th)
OPS - .759 (8th)

The real issue at the top of the lineup has actually been Howard out of the No. 4 hole:

BA - .180 (16th)
R - 7 (tied for 5th but Phils at 8th best)
OBP - .333 (10th)
SLG - .400 (15th)
OPS - .733 (13th)

This game though is on Kendrick. Banged up Astros lineup that really only has punch right now from the middle of the lineup (Berkman-Lee-Tejada). Kendrick just can't give up free passes tonight to either Bourn or Loretta. If he gives up 2 or 3 walks to these guys, he won't get through the lineup twice.

JW: If Feliz's hits against Oswalt came in games in which Oswalt pitched well overall, then this move makes sense. Some hitters just own some pitchers.
If all of Feliz's hits came in games in which Oswalt was knocked out early, then the move may not be wise. I see that those 25 ABs vs. Oswalt came in 15 games over 6 years. That's not even 2 ABs per game, which makes me think they came in games in which Oswalt didn't last very long (i.e. EVERYONE was hitting him)

Dave X: Thanks for clarifying on your "Eaton will suck" prediction. I agree that his ERA+ will wind up around 85-90 and his ERA around 5.00. It should be noted that would be a substantial improvement over last season.

MG: Note that Lee & Tejada are both righties. If KK stays true to form he should neutralize them while having his problems with Bourn & Berkman.

Would be nice too to see the Phils' offense though give Kendrick some decent support early. Might help to keep Kendrick from nibbling some much if he knows he can make a mistake pitch and not put the Phils down a run or two.

If Eaton ends up with an ERA around his career numbers (say 4.75 ERA) or so in 25-30 starts, Eaton will win 11-12 games. That will be just fine. Frankly, it will be better that what I expect from Moyer or Kendrick this season.

MG: Does Zito look as bad as they say he does? He lost again today ...

From last thread:

Mike Cunningham: That's a typo, right? You didn't actually mean Feliz in the 4 hole. That's crazier than the 2 hole. If you're desperate for a righty, you move up the red hot Pat Burrell into the 4 hole, move Howard down to 5th and suffer through Feliz in the 6 hole.

I would move Burrell into the 4th hole while Howard is in his slump. And have Feliz bat 6th. But for tonight only (if Jenkins is batting 2nd in your scenario) I'd have Feliz bat 4th.

.900+ slugging is pretty good.

And Burrell has NEVER hit Oswalt.

Mike: Burrell has had all of NINE at bats against Oswalt. You really think that tonight Feliz is a better hitter than Burrell? Really??

MG: He might win more than that. Despite the revisionist history on this board that says he won 10 games because of huge run support, in fact, Hamels, Kendrick and Moyer all had BETTER run support than Eaton's 5.62 per game and he won 10 games.

KK's BB/K ratio is off the charts bad at the moment. 8/1!?! Wow. He needs to pitch well tonight.

I predict Bourn will be on 2nd shortly.

Clout, my conclusion would be that Feliz came off the bench in some of those games. I mean, wouldn't it be odd if, in the 15 games that Oswalt faced the Giants (and Feliz played in), Oswalt failed to make it through the lineup twice more often than not? What's his lifetime ERA against the Giants? Also, I think you have to be wrong about the 15 games, because b-ref says that Oswalt's faced the Giants just ten times in his career.

4 strikes, 2 balls so far Jeltz.

Are you watching on ESPN gamecast? I got tired of ESPN, because I feel like they are slow / inaccurate. I watch on Phillies.com now

How does Bourn run in that uniform? He looks like he's wearing pajama pants. . .

Hmmm... got Bourn on my fantasy team... how do I root... ;-)

Even injured(?), Bourn can fly.

Damn, can't even throw him out in a pitch out.

Me too, CJ...I hope he steals a lot and gets stranded.

Sucks to have a guy steal on you who looks so visibly pained.

Wow, fortunate K for KK.

I like to see Bourn do well... so long as that doesn't lead to an Astros run.

I don't believe for a second that Bourn is hurt. At least, not his legs.

Tray: I must be misreading BB-Ref. 10 games makes a lot more sense. Oswalt allowed 73 hits and 17 BB in 59 IP vs. SF, which isn't so hot. Maybe he's afraid of orange and black.

Carlos Lee is a beast. He hit it too hard for it to be a homerun.

That 1-2 pitch by KK was more of a strike than the one that Berkman got called out on.

If he's going inside like that on Lee, it's got to be way down. Bad pitch.

Boy, had KK hit that corner on ball 2 or ball 3 against Lee...

But, that's why they say this is a game of inches. We were close to getting out of the inning with no runs... but they were awfully close to getting 2 runs!

Kendrick has definitely replaced Eaton in both the "will be happy anytime we get a win in one of his starts" category and the "most likely to be demoted for Kris Benson" category. I know I'm more biased than most against him, but he just doesn't do anything for me as legit major league pitcher.

Not a bad inning from Kendrick - he got some of the close calls he failed to get early on in Shea. Utley or Ruiz make a better throw and he may have gotten out cleanly.

Mixed bag of a first inning from KK. Two Ks, which is good; however, he gave up 1 single and 1 straight-up rocket. KK's pitching is like real-estate, it's all about location, location, location.

PS Pete Happy IS batting second. I thought it might be a belated April Fool's joke.

Jeltz, the single was, to be fair, a ground ball that didn't get out of the infield.

Pete Happy = GIDP, if not for Werth's underrated speed.

Werth stays hot.

Pedro, no DP here. Come on dude.

Well, I guess Feliz didn't get his MONSTER numbers against Oswalt by being patient... if that at bat is any indication.

Jack: What Kendrick did for me was pitch great last year, something Eaton didn't do.

Absolutely, Sophist. If Chase makes that play, it's a 1-2-3 inning...but he didn't and then Lee hit an absolute cruise missile. Frankly, I'm surprised that ball didn't go through the fence.

An absolute TON of empty seats at the Zen tonight...no giveaways?

Come on Ryno - just take a walk to get to Pat the Bat.

Anyone else thinking that?

Jack: What did he do for you last season?

That's the way to do it Ryno!

There we go Howard

HA! Shows you what I know

Bad pitch by Oswalt there. Wonder why he didn't pitch (unintentionally) around Ryno to go after a guy that he OWNS? Of course, this is a different Manchine than Oswalt is used to.

Geeeez-us... Burrell is locking in early on the count.

Nice AB, nice job by Howard. Terrible 3-2 pitch by Oswalt, though.

Clout: Came up big for us by pitching above his level and getting lucky. Got the most run support in the league which is why he got 10 wins. I'm not saying he wasn't real important for us last year; he was. But I have no expectations for him to be that successful again, because he hasn't indicated he has the talent for it.

Wow...Manchine is just locked in at the plate right now, period.

No one seems to "OWN" Burrell this year. And, again, let me point out that Burrell has all of 9 ABs against Oswalt. Hardly a sample size to get excited about.

Burrell, 1-1 vs. Oswalt tonight
Feliz, 0-1 vs. Oswalt tonight

So much for trends...

There's what the Phils need: Howard to start hitting at all really but especially with runners on. If he were even hitting .250 with runners on this team would have lots more runs.

Jack: That's not the same as he's not "a legit major league pitcher."

@CJ -- Above... at NO point did I say Feliz was a better hitter than Burrell.

And Burrell still has yet to hit Oswalt.

If an Individual Batter match ups against a particular pitcher doesn't matter, you might as well take the numbers and names off their backs. And stop giving out Cy Young and MVP awards.


Jack: You're honestly suggesting Kendrick's success was based on run support?

A 3.87 ERA gets you a lot of wins no matter how many runs your team is putting up.

KK needs a quick inning.

Alright then, semantics.

He's a below-average major league pitcher.

Jack: If Kendrick was "lucky" to win 10 names last season, what was Eaton, who had far less run support?

Mike C: I don't think anyone is saying individual numbers vs. a pitcher don't matter. They absolutely matter. But context matters more.

That'll do, KK, that'll do.

Mike: That wasn't scored a hit by Burrell?

Clout: I'm not sure what your point is.

Jeltz: He got the quick inning, eh?

Maybe if I tell him to hit a home run, KK will do it?

Now that looked like KK of yore

KK is throwing strikes. HUGE positive.

ESPN boxscore has it as a hit for Burrell.

CJ: Matt Cain last year had a 3.65 ERA and went 7-16. Pretty safe to say run support is a HUGE factor in won-loss records.

Jack: Well, you said KK was lucky last year to win 10 games. A logical question then is: If Kendrick was "lucky" last season, what was Eaton, who had far less run support?

1-2-3 with a minimum of pitches, Jack. Now he needs to start doing it consistently.

They said on the air it was an infield single for Burrell

Clout: Eaton was both bad AND unlucky last year. Hopefully, he will reverse that trend this year.

Solid AB from Ruiz. Thought he worked the walk, but Oswalt got a close-call.

I apologize. I was writing that when the "hit" happened and before it was scored a hit. I'm listening online. And heard Franzke say berkman was pulled off the bag.

Since Burrell and Infield single doesn't compute, you'll have to forgive me.

Re: Manchine's infield single - it was a shot between 3rd and Short, which Tejada fielded going to his right. He had no play at first, so he threw to second, where Ryno was safe.

Infield single is absolutely the right call there by Burrell. No debate.

What Houston pitcher was the first player in history to throw a 9-inning no-hitter and lose?

My guess is Nolan Ryan.

Clout: I don't get what you're trying to prove- that Kendrick wasn't lucky, or that Eaton was, or wasn't. What do they have to do with each other?

My point was that if you look at Kendrick's underlying numbers, including a low K rate and a lower than average BABIP, an ERA of 3.87 looks unsustainable. Shockingly, his ERA hasn't been low this year. His 10-4 record was inflated because of general luck on the pitching side and high run support on the hitting side. Does anyone not think that run support is a huge part of W-L records?

What part of what I just said are Clout and CJ trying to argue?

Ken Johnson, for the Colt 45's...forgot that the Astros weren't always the Astros.

What just happened to KwicK out Kyle?

Last night's trivia question was about the Colt .45s. Pretty badass name for a club.

I think the trivia answer is Kick the Bucket Darryl Kile.

Also, that's a bad walk to Loretta; he stayed on his game, though, and got the grounder he needed.

Jack: The Luck part. If KK's record was lucky then Eaton's must be even luckier, no? Which means the Phillies had a helluva lot of luck last season by your reasoning. Either that, or you're wrong about the luck.

That curveball was FILTHY.

Can't do much about that. Burrell even tried to time it, but wow. Just smile and move on.

I would say, yes, Kendrick got quite lucky last year. When you don't strike people out, and opponents hit .280 off of you, you aren't going to have too many seasons in which you win 71% of your games and have a sub-4.00 ERA. On the other hand, an otherwise below average pitcher can certainly have a good year, simply because an inordinate number of batted balls wind up going into fielders' mitts instead of falling for hits.

Kendrick has below average stuff for a major league pitcher. To succeed, he needs to be at the top of his game, throwing strikes low in the zone and inducing lots of ground balls. He seems to be doing that reasonably well tonight but, at this point of his career, I don't believe he's capable of doing it on a nightly basis.

Chase looks really uncomfortable out in the field right now, no?

I agree Chase does look uncomfortable--in that don't hit it to me kind of way. Lacking in a little fielding confidence lately.

maybe he's just a little gassy.

bap: I wish you were wrong, but I'm afraid you're right. KK was very fortunate to pitch out of a lot of trouble last year and I think we all (or at least I) thought that he could do that consistently. But you can't put major leaguers on base consistently and not expect them to score. As you said, he needs to throw sinker after sinker to induce ground balls to be successful. And right now, he doesn't seem capable of throwing low strikes every time out to the bump.

Add Jenkins to the list of Phillies hitters who look pathetic right now. And, unlike Howard, I'm not entirely confident that Jenkins will ever snap out of it. His numbers have been on a downward trend for the past few years.

Let's not forget that Kendrick never went through AAA. I just think he listened so much in the off season how he was going to go into the Sophomore Slump, it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. He doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but neither does Moyer. Kendrick needs to learn that he has to pitch for contact and induce groundball outs. Stop trying to strike everybody out. It's fascist.

bap: But at least he struck out in a good way last night.

Lots of first pitch swings on Oswalt. I mean: what is our garden gnome doing swinging at a first pitch inside (maybe inside corner). Is he suddenly a power hitter that's gonna yank it into the cheap seats? Really. For him, on the first pitch? That's one to take. When he doesn't the most likely possibility is, like, a pop out to the third baseman.

And why is Kendrick hacking at the first pitch. Give yerself a breather, kid.

I will say that Kendrick looks very good so far tonight.

Michael Bourn goes yard? It really must be the Apocalypse...

Of course right after I say that he gives up a home run. Screw this, I'm going back to saying he sucks, it was working way better.

He hit a homer the other night, too. Must be trying to be Rollins...

I always said Bourn had more pop than most people believed...he can definitely hit 10-15 homers a season playing every day.

You have to wonder whether in a few years we all regret that it was Bourn who was traded in the Lidge deal instead of Victorino.

Meh, Bourn = Willie Mays Hayes. He should be doing push-ups every time he hits a pop-up.

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