Odds and Ends After Thursday’s Win

Ryan Howard went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, the 19th time he has struck out four or more times in a game. Click here for the rest.

Roy Oswalt wasn’t sharp, but the Padres came into the night with the second-worst offense in the league, averaging 3.33 runs per game. Even worse, they had been shut out four times in 18 games. Oswalt and the Phillies’ bullpen made it five.

Antonio Bastardo was impressive. Charlie Manuel needed him to pitch multiple innings to allow Ryan Madson a night off, and Bastardo looked very sharp. Despite allowing a walk and a hit in one and one-third innings, he struck out two batters in impressive fashion, bringing his K/9 up to 12.4. His 4.5 BB/9 won’t fly over a larger sample of innings — if Bastardo can improve his control, the Phillies may have yet another late-innings weapon in the bullpen to go along with Madson and Jose Contreras.

David Herndon was, as usual, not impressive. As depressing as this is to realize, he is a poor man’s Kyle Kendrick. Herndon has struck out only two hitters while walking five in eight innings of work. There really is no reason why the Phillies should be carrying him on the roster, especially since they seem intent on keeping Kendrick around.

Contreras needed 26 pitches to get through the ninth inning. A tight strike zone didn’t help, but it marked the fourth appearance in which Contreras needed 20 or more pitches to get three outs. Thankfully, he is five-for-five in save opportunities. Maybe a day off will let him recharge the ol’ batteries.

Overall, Phillies hitters did a much better job of working counts, making the starting pitcher throw more pitches, and getting into the opposing team’s bullpen earlier. Previously, I had written that the Phillies were doing poorly in that regard, but they forced Padre pitchers to throw 174 pitches to 42 hitters, an average of 4.1 pitches per batter. Phillies hitters drew seven walks in total, a season-high.

The Phillies improve to 12-6 with Cole Hamels slated to start tomorrow against Clayton Richard at 7:05 ET.

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12 comments

  1. Jonathan

    April 22, 2011 01:03 AM

    “Poor man’s Kyle Kendrick” may be the ultimate insult to an MLB pitcher.

  2. El Bastardo

    April 22, 2011 03:53 AM

    Kyle Kendrick = Post 2008 Brad Lidge

  3. COAL HAMLETS

    April 22, 2011 05:38 AM

    Nope, Lidge actually wasn’t too bad in 2010… although it’s hard to say how he’ll do this year when/if he returns to the team.

    Kendrick is just not good in general, and I don’t think the Phillies should have brought him back in the off-season. Herndon may or may not have the potential to become a better pitcher than Kendrick, but he’s still young enough to hold out a little hope.

  4. Jim

    April 22, 2011 07:47 AM

    Herndon needs to go down to AAA and we need to bring up someone who can strike people out. Between him, Kendrick, and Baez we have far too many contact pitchers, and sadly salary requirements dictate that we are likely stuck with KK and Baez for the long haul.

  5. COAL HAMLETS

    April 22, 2011 09:01 AM

    But the whole KK problem could have been avoided by either trading him or releasing him in the off-season, and he’s definitely not worth the $2.5 million he’s now making

  6. Joe Redden

    April 22, 2011 09:32 AM

    I’ve found that I really enjoy watching the Phils play this year. That being said, I simply want to jump-kick my TV when Herndon or Kendrick come into the game. My wife was actually able to tell the difference in my mood the moment they entered the game. I had to explain to her that while I love the Phillies, they have this wierd fascination with pitchers who don’t belong in the majors. I just don’t understand why Herndon, Kendrick, and holy hell, Zagurski are on the ballclub. Does anyone else remember Matheison and Worley?

  7. Aaron H

    April 22, 2011 12:37 PM

    I think Worley should stay in AAA in the Pigs’ starting rotation-if any of the current starters go down with an injury, I’d want Worley to be the first one called up-NOT KK. He’s the most major-league ready starter this point, and the Phils would be wasting his talent if they put him in the bullpen just for long relief.

  8. Josh B

    April 22, 2011 02:26 PM

    Why is it that every time Howard comes up in a big situation I get flashbacks to last october against Wilson? The result seems to be the same every time…

  9. Richard

    April 22, 2011 02:39 PM

    You mean, when he had an excellent at-bat against a tough pitcher who gave him nothing to hit, striking him out on a perfectly unhittable pitch?

    These recent at-bats seem nothing like that to me.

  10. Josh B

    April 22, 2011 05:04 PM

    No not exactly. You just don’t keep the bat on your shoulders for a pitch that close, if you represent the final out of the season. A borderline strike over the plate is not a perfectly unhittable pitch. These at-bats do seem like that to me. Ryan struck out 12 times in the nlcs.

  11. Jon

    April 22, 2011 05:33 PM

    If you don’t think a pitch is a strike, you shouldn’t be swinging at it. If Wilson’s third strike drops out of the zone and Howard flails at it, he gets mocked for that. If Howard can’t get a good swing on it and he grounds out weakly to second, he gets mocked for that.

    Sure, right now we expect nothing but success, but remember this is still a game where even the best hitters fail over half of the time (and as we’ve established here, Howard isn’t one of those)

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