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Friday, April 26, 2013

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Good game, go Phillies

Phillies formula for a win: Ridiculously dominant effort by SP and just enough runs from the offense. That's sustainable, right?

"just enough runs"?

nepp last year when they scored 4 or more they won at a more than .600 clip

Might Kendrick be for real?
Might Howard not be as dead as we thought?

I tuned in shortly in the 4th inning, and KK was dealing. His stuff was sharp and he was pounding strike zone against heart of order, including a K of LHB Duda. Awesome that he kept it going for a CGSO.

Upcoming match-ups, with how the outcomes look on paper:

Pettibone-Marcum (L)
Hamels-Niese (W- Chooch Returns)
Halladay-McAllister (W, assuming 'The Sinker King' is for real)
Lee-Kazmir (W)
Kendrick-Sanabia (W)
Pettibone-Nolasco (L)
Hamels-Fernandez (W, but people here will be on suicide watch most of this game)
Halladay-Slowey (W- Ruiz and O will not let Slowey embarrass them twice)

So like MG, I've got them 6-2 over their next 8, making them 16-16 going into the west coast trip, where they will be slaughtered (right now they've got Bumgarner-Lincecum-Cain lined up against them, followed by Corbin-Kennedy-Cahill-McCarthy).

Then again, I had them winning 3 of 4 against the Pirates. So there's that.

Animal Sanchez from el tigers 17 Ks in 8 vs braves.

So, the Pirates just made us their bitch but we manage to win the opener against the Mets and all is right in the world again?


Okay then.

Nepp- What have ya done for me lately?

Great Game KK!
Always special to see a homegrown Phil pitch a CGSO.

"This is the 31st time in his last 45 starts he's allowed two earned runs or fewer."

45 starts?! Wow, I hadn't realized his streak had gone back that far. That's really impressive. And six of those 14 starts of 3+ ER were all in June of last season.

NEPP - No but the Pirates rallied in 2 games and they are the same bunch of sad sacks the Phils have wailed on the past few years either.

Phils faced their 2 best starters and the Pirates were playing pretty well coming in & starting to hit the ball pretty well.

This isn't a Pirates' team that will struggle to win over 70 games this year. Good shot at .500 and maybe even a bit better if they catch some breaks & have a relatively healthy year.

"So, the Pirates just made us their bitch"

What would constitute "making [someone] their bitch"? Taking advantage of the worst bullpen in the MLB in the late innings twice in a row?

That was a pretty evenly played series this week (not a compliment, both teams looked pretty bad) with the Phils' bullpen being the difference between 1-3 and 3-1.

aren't.

The game I don't see the Phils winning is Sunday. LHP starter (Niese) who has been pretty tough vs Phils at Citi against Hamels who has had his struggles vs Mets.

You know, for a guy that Jack and most of the other usual geniuses here said couldn't possibly succeed at the major league level, you'd have to say KK's done OK for himself.

You know, for a guy that Jack and most of the other usual geniuses here said couldn't possibly succeed at the major league level, you'd have to say KK's done OK for himself.

Posted by: clout | Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Amazing how good he's been...SINCE HE UPPED HIS SO/9 rate.

Odd how that works. Its almost as if there's a correlation between the two.

i'd keep kk and build a young team around him and hamels and biddle.

Posted by: bullit | Friday, April 26, 2013 at 09:55 PM

Sounds like a plan.

KK with his 2nd CGSO. Shame on him! It took more than 100 pitches!

Right now, KK >> Cliff>> Doc >> Cole.

Hard to believe, Harry.

MG- you got them winning tomorrow?

In this corner, from the main line, Ground Ball clout.
In the opposite corner , from the northern New England, K's are good for KK NEPP.

Make it a clean fight boys.
Gong.

Niese has given up 7 ER in 11 IP at Citi in two starts so far. He pitched much worse at home last year than on the road. In 2011 he had a 3.54 ERA at home.

Against the Phils, he's been pretty good no matter where he's been. Overall he's got a 3.63 ERA against them in 13 starts. Doing some quick math, based on what he's done at CBP, he's got a 3.47 ERA against them in NY.

Nice game from KK. We sure needed it. A few more wins will cure the malaise on BL.

"This is the 31st time in his last 45 starts he's allowed two earned runs or fewer."

Nice little 4th starter the Phils have there.

Iceman - It's a toss up tomorrow but I do think the Phils split Sat/Sun. and take 2 of 3 this series.

I wouldn't bet either way although the Phils at +130 is somewhat attractive. Pettibone tomorrow means at least 3 IP out of the bullpen & possibly more with Adams questionable.

Pettibone also threw largely fastballs his last outing and the Mets' lineup has a bunch of guys that are dead-fastball hitters including Buck & Duda.

This start is where losing Lannan hurts. I could easily see Lannan keeping the Mets in check for 6 IP. Maybe even keeping to them off the board or to just a run if he was on.

Best-case scenario for Pettibone is 6 and 3 tomorrow. Ideally the Phils can score an early run (or maybe even two if I dare dream) against Marcum in the 1st and then get to him in the middle innings to chase him by the 5th or 6th.

Mets' middle relief is shaky and Marcum is supposedly going to be on a bit of a shorter lease tomorrow. Can't see him going over 100 pitches and probably less if he isn't that effective.

MG rocks (if I gambled - I don't). Thanks for the very cool insights.

Surprised that no body brought up that TMac called Papelbon 'cinco ocho' in the 8th inning? tonight.

If he would just cute down on the amount of nonsense he says like that where he tries to be funny/creative and often fails, the broadcast would be improved.

I did notice when I listen to him on basketball that his 'carnival barker' routine with the funny/creative nonsense is largely kept in check simply because of the flow of the game with minimal down time for superfluous banner.

Still think under it all TMac is kind of an angry dude with a short fuse too. Anyone who is overly pleasant is often trying to compensate in some way.

Waiting to see if TMac goes Michael Douglas in 'Failing Down' next year (at least as far as TMac would by dropping an obscenity directed at Sarge) when Sarge is yammering away about some idiotic thing not letting TMac get a word in while the Phils are getting beat on the road in a meaningless late Aug/early Sept game.

MG- agreed on Pettibone. I didn't love what he did in his first start, but hopefully in a big park he can keep the ball in the yard. I feel better about Sunday than tomorrow, actually- Niese hasn't been great, Chooch will be back and Hamels has looked very good his last two starts. No reason he shouldn't be able to shut down their lineup.

On the other hand, Marcum has had success against the Phils (3.51 ERA)- I know we're not supposed to take that into account, but he's the type of soft-tossing change up expert that has baffled this lineup since I can remember. I really hope Manuel gives Nix another start tomorrow because Marcum is the type of pitcher (soft-tossing HR-prone RHP) that he should kill. Bench Mayberry. This would be a good guy to let Revere back in the lineup against as he's not likely to blow stuff by him and strike him out.

Hopefully Marcum isn't fully stretched out and has some command issues tomorrow leading to an early exit and a few HR balls served up. Phils need to score to win tomorrow.

Iceman - Both Revere and Adams were 'day-to-day' on the broadcast. I would be surprised if we see either one this weekend unless Cholly is forced to use them.

Try to get through the next 2 days without using them and then the Phils have a needed off-day on Monday.

KK keeps it up, he might earn himself a nice little contract extension later this year.

If he does maintain consistency, I think you definitely want to do that, IMO.

Mayberry replacing Revere is something that would not be a hardship at all over the weekend.
Bot if Adams is unavailable, that could hurt.
Gotta give KK credit, he did give the pen an extra day of rest. Don't think we can expect that out of the rookie tomorrow.

"Waiting to see if TMac goes Michael Douglas in 'Failing Down' next year (at least as far as TMac would by dropping an obscenity directed at Sarge) when Sarge is yammering away about some idiotic thing not letting TMac get a word in while the Phils are getting beat on the road in a meaningless late Aug/early Sept game."

When I think of you possibly publishing a book, the best case scenario is that it's filled with random stuff like this that has me laughing for five minutes.

What are the chances that the Phils are getting the exact same pitching match-ups against the Marlins as they did a few weeks ago, except for Pettibone replacing Lannan?

It's going to be an equally frustrating series on the offensive end, with hopefully a little more success against Slowey this time. They aren't hitting Fernandez or Nolasco.

I'm not sure how far ahead you can place bets for baseball games, but that Pettibone-Nolasco match-up is free money. Clean out your life savings right now and double your money, folks.*

*Using the same strategy I did when talking about the Garcia/Halladay tilt last week.

"The Phillies' rotation has been excellent the last cycle through. They have a 2.04 ERA, but this was the first win."

Brutal week for teh pen. Kendrick going all Doc Halladay on the Mets can't hurt.

"Still think under it all TMac is kind of an angry dude with a short fuse too. Anyone who is overly pleasant is often trying to compensate in some way."

Spit-take funny.

Not sure why anyone chooses the Phils broadcast when they play teh Mets. Hate teh laundry but, Darling and Hernandez are aces.

Kendrick is the Rodney Dangerfield of the starters. Tell you what, he's no superstar, but he's a helluva lot better than fans give him credit for. As for Howard, just get him some warm weather. And, on a religious note, on Sunday, Chooch will be resurrected. Amen, brother!

Vance Worley: 0-3, 6.38 ERA. Wha-happen to the Vanimal!

Ben Revere = epic fail. Nice work Ruben.

vanimal has eaten too much suchi.

Add Kendrick to the list of trade deadline candidates. Such a bad team; so many good players.

Dragon, as one of the Vanimal's biggest boosters here, I am at a loss to explain what's going on.

I haven't actually seen him pitch, so I have no opinion on what may ail him. Could be anything, or just a bad stretch.


Sophist, KK, if he keeps pitching the way he has, has a lot of trade value. the problem is I don't trust this FO to get even equal value in return if they moved him.

He's pitching like a #3 on a championship team right now, so what's that worth in either prospects, near-ready MLB or MLB level players?

Assuming he keeps it up, he's an extremely valuable commodity.

BTW, has anyone noticed that Jack's immortal Braves are 4 - 6 in their last ten games?

And 3 - 6 in their last 9 games.

Popping in to say two things:

1) I missed a great game, it sounds like. Very impressed with KK. CGSO? Did I read that right? Good for him - and for the team!

And a HR by the Big Piece? Yaaaaaayyy!

2) Had just time enough to read your remarks about my daughter's school play before running off last night. Hi-lar-i-ous! Thanks for the laughs & the good wishes.

I don't actually see the show 'til tonight, but I could hear it last night. I don't think a trade for prospects will be necessary. I think they kicked butt like they always do (great director).

In addition, the vaunted Braves offense has been shut out 3 times in the last 9 games.

I can only imaging the wailing from the PPP on BL if the Phillies got shut out that often (they HAVE been shut out 3 times this season).


No, the Braves are coming back to earth a bit. They're a good team, but we knew that before the season.

The Phillies need to focus on the Mets. If they can somehow win the next 2 games they can leapfrog them in the standings.

Baby steps.

GBrett, how's the play go?

KK developed a 3rd pitch and upped his SO rate...most guys never manage that and he did. Awesome job by him and he's having a solid career as a result.

Also, an interesting note....Pitch f/x categorizes his changeup as a splitter now thanks to the downward movement (technically its a split-change due to his grip...same grip Doc uses coincidentally). So he's a sinker/splitter/cutter guy now. Much, much more than the guy who basically threw a sinker and crap when he came up. I wonder if he would have ever developed if he wasnt an emergency callup in 2007 or would he have languished in the minors. Its pretty significant that he got to spend a ton of time learning from guys like Doc and Clifton rather than our somewhat maligned minor-league coaches.

While I remain dedicated to my official stance of season = over, you will never have to suffer through me whining/trolling like NEPP has apparently decided to do. Dumping on the phils for psst losses after a kk cgso? Pathetic.

"...same grip Doc uses coincidentally"


NEPP, do you really think it's a coincidence?

KK's SO/BB rate by year:

2010: 1.71
2011: 1.97
2012: 2.37
2013: 3.00


GB%

2010: 44.5%
2011: 45.3%
2012: 46.3%
2013: 48.0%

He's actually turning into the GB pitcher that everything thinks he is based on him being a sinkerballer.


Its fun to watch it happen...and its a tribute to Dubee and our Aces that have helped him along the way. Still, its KK and him working hard to improve himself. Good for him and its great that we have at least one more year of team control after this one.

NEPP, do you really think it's a coincidence?

Posted by: awh | Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 09:37 AM

Not one bit...given that Dubee taught them both the same grip and is known as a changeup specialist. Dubee changed Doc's changeup when he came here from Toronto and KK followed suit. We all teased KK about following Doc around like a puppy a few years back but it clearly helped.

Well, according to Gelb, the Phillies are "evaluating" No-D Young in RF:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130427_Phils_evaluating_Delmon_Young_s_readiness_in_right.html


Yes, they're honestly evaluating him.

From the article: The Phillies believe Young needs more time in right field, a position he has not played since 2007.

Yeah, it might be a while.


Also, Adams has a hip injury now? That's not good.

NEPP, yeah, not good news about Adams.

But, Chooch is coming:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130428_Return_so_close_for_Ruiz__he_can_almost_taste_it.html


Interesting comment from RAJ about Chooch:

"More than anything else, [Ruiz] brings a lot of leadership to our club. Just having that there I think can help us. It certainly can't hurt us.""


Seems, perhaps, Chooch's impact is more than his bat, and that maybe we've been underestimating his impact in the clubhouse?

The improved Kyle Kendrick:

2010: 10.9 K%, 6.4 BB%, 44.5 GB%, 122 FIP-*
2011: 12.3 K%, 6.3 BB%, 45.3 GB%, 118 FIP-
2012: 17.2 K%, 7.3 BB%, 46.5 GB%, 110 FIP-
2013: 17.7 K%, 5.9 BB%, 48.0 GB%, 91 FIP-

*FIP- works like ERA+, except in reverse. Less than 100 is good, greater than 100 is bad.

In summation, up K-rate, maintain low walk rate, increase groundball rate slightly, you'll become a better pitcher. Exactly what many KK detractors were saying about him after his awful 2008 campaign and poor 2010 campaign.

And, it certainly looks right now like we were largely correct. Clout will act like the Kyle Kendrick we're seeing now is the Kyle Kendrick we've always seen, but that's simply not the case. From 2007-2010, he was a bad/very bad pitcher. In 2011, he was largely the same pitcher, but had lots of success on balls in play. Since then, he's severely increased his use of the changeup, which has helped him not be a batting practice pitcher against LHH, and it's helped increase hi strikeout percentage.

He's not a #3 pitcher in pretty much any rotation.

**He's NOW a #3 pitcher in pretty much any rotation.**

Fatti, I think you are misrepresenting what clout was stating at the time.

I know, because I was around these parts, and I posted a number of times on the subject.

And, you need to remember the context:

There were many here at the time who said that KK would/could never succeed at the MLB level. One of the stats they posted at the time to bolster their argument was K/9. They also criticized Kk for his velocity.

clout and the rest of the KK defenders (myself included) merely suggested that there were other pitchers in MLB history who had succeeded with K/9 rates as low as KK's was at the time. I posted numerous times citing those examples (Randy Jones was one - 3.4 career K/9 - won the CY in a season his K/9 was 2.7) and asking why KK could not experience success.

IIRC clout was critical of the naysayers because - at the time - they were declaring unequivocally that KK would wash out.

The fact that KK has improved his repertoire is really irrelevant to the discussion, because we'll never know what would have happened had he not developed the other pitches. KK might have failed or he might have succeeded anyway.

Oh sure, you can have an opinion, but it's pure speculation, because the fact remains that, albeit few, there have been successful MLB pitchers with low K/9 rates, and there have been many who have washed out.

We can't ever know to which category KK would have fallen.

BTW, what is the cutoff point?

that is, what is the cutoff point that makes a pitcher's K/9 rate "low" or "too low" for him to succeed?

3.5 K/9? 2.5 K/9? 4.0 K/9? 4.5 K/9?

I'd be interested to know what other posters here think.

awh, Randy Jones pitched in the 70s. A much different era. The fact of the matter is, when KK had a very low K-rate, he was a marginal starter.

Look, I don't remember exactly what everyone was saying about KK back in 2007 (because I wasn't here then), but I know that I, along with a bunch of posters, stated that if he were able to strike out more batters, he would become a better pitcher, and would become less reliant on batted ball luck to get through starts. Lo and behold, that's what happened.

Your argument that we don't know if he would have gotten better even if he hadn't developed the changeup and increased his strikeout rate is ridiculous. Lots of study on pitching in this era has shown that success is largely correlated with strikeouts, limiting walks, and keeping the ball on the ground as often as possible.

KK has improved in 2 of those areas (Ks and GB%) and maintained what has always been a strength in limiting walks.

This was not hard (nor controversial) to predict, nor is it surprising to watch it unfold.

BTW, what is the cutoff point?

that is, what is the cutoff point that makes a pitcher's K/9 rate "low" or "too low" for him to succeed?

3.5 K/9? 2.5 K/9? 4.0 K/9? 4.5 K/9?

I'd be interested to know what other posters here think.

Posted by: awh | Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 10:31 AM

It's dependent on the league at the time. IN the 70s, the average K/9 was much, much lower than it is then. Strikeouts have been on a huge upswing over the past 20 years, and are at an all time high right now. Which means that, in THIS league, strikeout numbers in the 4s, which used to be fine for pitchers in lower strikeout environment, just don't cut it.

awh, the play seemed to go very well, thanks.

I've read before that Chooch is a great clubhouse presence, that he can be goofy and make the guys laugh, and that he's a great leader.

As for D. Young, I did read that they want more time to let him re-acclimate himself to RF. But in the piece I read yesterday, the quote - I think it was Proefrock - seemed to make the assumption that Young is a good defender who just needs time to get used to playing RF again.

(If I can, I'll look for the quote again.)

Fatti, why is era relevant. the naysayers were citing one statistic - K/9. They were not discussing GB%, the were not citing K/BB.

K/9 was it for some of these guys.

For instance, the 2005 Twinkies had the third lowest team ERA in MLB, despite having the 6th lowest K/9. Well, to put it in context they had an MLB best walk rate which led to the highest K/BB in MLB.

clout's point was that there were other factors that were going to determine whether KK could be successful, not just K/9, and by citing his GB rate you have pretty much confirmed that.

Thanks.

New thread, yo!

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