What We Know: 30(+2) Games In

The Phillies are 14-18, five games back of first place in the East, and were just swept out of their home ballpark by the Mets in three games. There wasn’t a whole lot to like about the most recent series, one in which the Phillies saw a lead slip away in each game (and sometimes more than once in the same contest).

If there’s a positive, it’s that the team has hit. With double-digit hits in six of the last 12 games, I’m personally almost confused by this thing called “offense” existing at all. Following Wednesday’s game, the Phillies’ collective OBP is above .300 for just the fourth time all season. To the points.

Games 21-32 Recap

  • Record: 5-7
  • RS: 58; RA: 64
  • Notes: Cliff Lee returned from the DL; Jim Thome hit the 15-day DL and Erik Kratz was recalled; Joe Savery was optioned with a corresponding move TBA as of this posting
  • Kyle Kendrick has allowed 16 baserunners in his last two appearances (6+ IP)

The velocity was there. The stuff was crisp and darting as always. Doc rebounded from a
tough start against Atlanta to spin seven fine innings against the Mets, despite surrendering
a lead for the second straight start. Encouraging.

His season line of .225/.233/.268 is still ugly, but JMJ has at least struck the ball better in the last few games (as per the eye test, anyway). It’ll take a serious hot streak to get his
numbers to approach latter-2011 status, though.

  • Crap to Pap

It’s the Bridge to Lidge, only 157 times worse.

Jon Papelbon is having a nice season, Jordany Valdespin or not. Everyone else in the Phillies’ ‘pen, well, can’t really have the same said about them. Peripherally, David Herndon has done some good work, but he’s hurt; Stutes is also hurt; Schwimer and Savery have been up and optioned already; Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls are walking too many guys, Jose Contreras is still old and Brian Sanches is gasoline.

This says nothing of Kyle Kendrick, yet to earn about $6 million of the $7.5 million owed him over the course of the 2012-13 seasons. As tweeted earlier last week, since his debut season of 2007, only two other Major League pitchers with at least 400 innings under their belts have a lower K/9 than Kendrick: Paul Byrd (who last pitched in the Majors in ’09) and Aaron Cook. He was ineffective in his first start in place of Lee, good enough in the next two and an absolute disaster in relief Wednesday. Kendrick’s deal is, to me, the most puzzling move of the past offseason, and certainly doesn’t look to be on the way to being one of the more valuable ones.

Cole Hamels has a 7.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That leads all qualifying Major League
pitchers. He remains a free-agent-to-be.

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