Blog Archives

The Phillies Pitching Problem

The Philadelphia Phillies are finishing this season in last place primarily because of poor starting pitching.

Cole Hamels did have a wonderful season and Cliff Lee was on his way to a solid year before going down with an elbow injury at the end of July.  Outside of their two horses the starting staff has given almost nothing to Ryne Sandberg.

Philly is the first MLB team since 2012 with two pitchers making 30 starts and finishing with an ERA+ of less than 85.

 

Year   Lg                    Tm                                   #Matching
2014   NL Philadelphia Phillies         2      A.J.  Burnett / Kyle  Kendrick
2012   AL     Cleveland Indians         2 Ubaldo  Jimenez / Justin  Masterson
2012   AL    Kansas City Royals         2        Bruce  Chen / Luke  Hochevar
2012   NL  San Francisco Giants         2         Tim  Lincecum / Barry  Zito
2011   NL         New York Mets         2      Chris  Capuano / Mike  Pelfrey

 

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/26/2014.

 

 

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Kyle Kendrick first time All-Star

Kyle Kendrick posted a sub 3.00 ERA and 3-to-1 K/BB rate in the 2nd half while earning his first roster spot on an MLB All-Star team.

While besting his career high in strikeouts by 32 this year the Phillies 7th round pick in 2003 is their ideal #4 starter for next year.  A $4.5 million invoice for a quality starter in a big market is a nice get for the Philadelphia management.

Happy 40th (belated), Mike Lieberthal!

Mike Lieberthal was a big-time prospect for the Phillies while playing in Reading and Scranton in the early ’90s. I appreciated that even though I was an annoying little kid running around the stadium he was always gracious enough to honor my autograph requests.

Lieberthal averaged only 6 HRs/550 ABs in the minors but developed the power stroke at The Vet and scorched 31 HR in his age 27 season. There have been only 4 catchers in MLB history to go 30 HR, 30 2B and .300 Batting Average in a season (astonishingly short list below).

Unfortunately Mike’s career in Philly overlapped exactly with the doldrums of the team, ala Don Mattingly in The Bronx. The Fregosi, Dykstra, Schilling led Phillies won the pennant the year before Mike got the call-up. Over the next 13 years as Lieberthal caught pitches originated from the palms of Matt Beech and Mike Mimbs the squad shockingly posted 8 losing seasons. Mike left for LA after the ’06 season and the Phillies commenced their run of 5 consecutive NL East crowns. “If I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”

Rk Player Year HR 2B BA Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Gabby Hartnett 1930 37 31 .339 29 CHC NL 141 578 508 84 172 3 122 55 0 62 1 14 0 0 0 0 .404 .630 1.034 *2
2 Roy Campanella 1951 33 33 .325 29 BRO NL 143 562 505 90 164 1 108 53 0 51 4 0 0 19 1 2 .393 .590 .983 *2
3 Mike Piazza 1997 40 32 .362 28 LAD NL 152 633 556 104 201 1 124 69 11 77 3 0 5 19 5 1 .431 .638 1.070 *2/D
4 Mike Piazza 1998 32 38 .328 29 TOT NL 151 626 561 88 184 1 111 58 14 80 2 0 5 15 1 0 .390 .570 .960 *2/D
5 Mike Lieberthal 1999 31 33 .300 27 PHI NL 145 574 510 84 153 1 96 44 7 86 11 1 8 15 0 0 .363 .551 .914 *2