Cy Redding

Tim Redding a.k.a. Cy YoungTim Redding had a 6.97 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP in nearly 21 innings heading into tonight’s start against the Phillies. New Yorkers clamored for his removal from the Mets’ starting rotation, but he was left in for his start tonight because, for whatever reason, he of the career 4.98 ERA has a 3.29 career ERA against the Phils in about 66 innings of work.

That trend held true yet again as Redding logged six strikeouts in seven innings. All of his strikeouts came on the Phillies’ 3-through-6 hitters (Utley, Howard, Ibanez twice, and Werth twice). Timmy walked none and allowed only three earned runs on six hits. He should have given up nine runs on fifteen hits.

Here’s a look at his location:

Mostly in to right-handers, away from left-handers — standard, really.

Prior to his start tonight, the most swinging strikes Redding had induced in any start this season was four. In 33 starts last season, he induced double-digit swinging strikes in seven of them (21%). In seven innings against Redding, the Phillies swung and missed eleven times: five on fastballs, three on sliders, one apiece on a curve ball and change-up, and one unknown (hey, Pitch F/X isn’t perfect).

This has to be an unexplainable phenomenon, like a near-death experience. The Phillies have the best offense in the National League yet get spellbound almost every time by a guy with a career ERA hovering around 5. That said, the Phillies were fortunate to muster up enough strength to push three runs across the plate, forcing Redding to exit with the game tied.

When Redding was signed by the Mets in the off-season, nobody questioned why the team had interest in a scrub pitcher; they knew. They knew that Tim Redding was absolute utter garbage against everybody else, but he transforms into a hybrid of Nolan Ryan and Greg Maddux (and Jeff Bagwell, which explains the facial hair) against the Phillies.

As a fan, it’s frustrating to feel that your team is helpless against such a shoddy pitcher. As an analyst, it’s frustrating to have no clue where to start explaining why Redding enjoys this limited and very specific success.

I wish he’d just disappear. I know A-ball pitchers with more talent than Tim Redding.

Update: Phillies win in ten innings, 6-3, thanks to a three-run golf shot by Raul Ibanez off of LOOGY Ken Takahashi in the top of the tenth. Kenny looked close to tears on his way out of the game. Tim Redding can do a lot of things against the Phillies, but preventing Ibanez from punishing mediocre relief pitching is not one of them.

Ryan Madson got his second save in as many opportunities since officially taking over as the Phillies’ closer. The Phillies take the series 2-1, increase their lead in the NL East to four games, and finish their road trip 7-3. Their MLB-best road record is now 23-9 (.719).