The Tuesday 10: Domonation Station
The 10 is back and cozy in its usual home. Moving into a new apartment, as it turns out, can be a preposterous hassle! I’ll spare you the details, but most of it involves me being holed up in said apartment, growing a Justin Vernon beard and breaking up wood planks for fires and warmth. It was a dark time.
Now, however, I am reconnected to the outside world – and in possession of a razor – and resuming my duties as attendant to the 10. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that I’d want to talk about Domonic Brown, and unless you’re Sports on Earth’s Jon Bernhardt, you probably enjoy reading as much as you can about the month that was for the ascendant Brown.
Now, I know nothing about Game of Thrones. I’ve neither read a word of the books nor subscribed to HBO, so I’m left in the dark. Which is fine, considering it was still plenty funny to see people from all reaches and corners of my Twitter feed reacting to some crazy event/thing that happened on the show. As I was writing this, Brown homered in Monday’s game. It’s just what he does.
Anyway, enough of this mularkey. Let’s get to some dingerfacts.
10. A Bolt of Lightning
Brown’s hardest-hit homer was this shot off Marlins righty Alex Sanabia, clocked at 110.8 MPH off the bat, according to HitTracker. Brown’s average HR velocity in May was 102.3 MPH. This Mark Trumbo homer was the fastest recorded dinger entering Monday (120.1 MPH).
9. I’m Flippin’ Out, Man
There is a not-insignificant group of fans and other people associated with baseball that hates fun. Specifically, some people just cannot stand a bat flip. They think it shows a pitcher up. Or something.
My response is as follows:
Sorry if I’m showing you up.
Really, though, I think there’s more embarrassment caused by serving up a towering, second-deck grazing bomb than by Brown tossing his bat in the direction of the dugout. He doesn’t even look at Fiers! This is awesome and if you don’t think so you’re a dummy.
8. On the Rebound
In six games from May 7-12, Brown did not homer. His season line rested at .250/.301/.417. After his 3-for-4 night Monday, Brown’s line has risen to .291/.329/.592, which means that in just 76 PA, the difference has been +.041/+.028/+.175. Worth noting that, even after all this, Brown’s BABIP for the season is below .290.
7. Dom and Ryan
Brown’s AB per HR is down to 12.1, which is about half an at-bat ahead of Ryan Howard‘s 2008 pace. That season, Howard hit .251/.339/.543, arguably his worst season rate-wise pre-breakdown. Is there anyone who wouldn’t take that from Dom as an end-of-season triple slash? He would need to undergo a fairly serious correction – which hardly seems possible these days but is, in fact, a real possibility, as it is for all – but that would still far exceed the expectations of the vast majority of the population.
Moreover, what would it take to get Dom into the All-Star Game? Brown trails quite a few NL outfielders if you’re going by rWAR, and his slow start likely will have an impact on his vote totals that will mitigate the surge he’s likely to get via this offensive outburst. At least, if he manages to stay near the top of the home run leaderboard, he can garner enough attention to get in and be a Home Run Derby participant. Imagine the raw power on display against batting practice fastballs. Good times.
6. The News Geyser
Everyone took notice of Brown’s hot month. So I’ll cap the 10’s Brown-a-palooza with links to some pieces from outside the Philly sphere.
- Jay Jaffe at SI.com
- Tom Ley at Deadspin (from an analytical standpoint, this one’s actually pretty lacking, but cool exposure I guess!)
- Bill Barnwell at Grantland
- Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs
- David Schoenfield at ESPN
Give these fine people a click and a read if you (somehow) haven’t gotten your fill yet.
5. Something Else For a Change
Alright, alright, I can only go on for so long about Brown right now. Brown won NL Player of the Month for May, but he very easily could have been joined by teammate Cliff Lee as Pitcher of the Month. Lee was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 45 May innings, striking out 33 and walking eight. Arizona’s Patrick Corbin, he of the manifold Fifth Element jokes who was voted as said PotM, pitched 35.1 IP with a 1.53 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 13 walks…but went 5-0. Eh. It’s kind of a weird thing to quibble over, but would’ve been neat to see teammates take home the honors.
It may be a bit diminished somewhat by Roy Halladay‘s injury and Cole Hamels‘s subpar first third, but Cliff Lee has continued to be nothing but excellent in his time with the Phillies. He’s now made 86 starts for Philadelphia, logging 611.2 IP, 593 strikeouts and 93 walks with a 2.80 ERA. His second stint with the club has yielded a 146 ERA+ in 532 IP. He’s really been very, very good, and regardless of whether he gets moved this July, it feels like each start should be savored.
4. Okay, One More Brown Thing
I just can’t resist.
Have a video of Dom hitting seven HR in seven games: right here.
3. Runnin’ Kyle
Kyle Kendrick – in the midst of pitching a complete game and lowering his ERA to 3.12 – hit a triple. Yep. He became the fifth Phillies pitcher since 2000 to slug a triple, joining Hamels in ’11, Cory Lidle in ’06, Robinson Tejeda and Vicente Padilla in ’05. Man, this is a weird season.
2. Weird Batting Order Things On My Mind
- What is it about Cesar Hernandez that makes him immediately slide into the No. 2 spot? Is it that he’s not Michael Martinez?
- How much longer can Howard stay No. 4?
- Phillies lead-off hitters have a .595 OPS…which is .001 ahead of those batting 9th (entering Monday)
- Three of the first four spots in the order have a combined OBP below .300 (also entering Monday)
It’s pretty clear that Charlie deviates from the thought patterns of those who think the batter in the No. 2 spot should be a team’s best hitter. And as long as he continues to bat Brown 5th or 6th, he just continues to play by his own rules. Not that the roster he has before him is rife with hitting talent these days, anyway.
1. Bending the Rules
I’m going to cheat and end with something that’s more than a week old, and it’s this glorious .gif, much in the vein of the Yu Darvish .gif featured a few 10s back. You’ve probably seen this already but I just have no regard for that.
Miggy Cabrera is real good, y’all.
Okay! That’s It!
We made it to the end of another 10, guys! High five!