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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Game 85: Kendrick pitches well? Phillies lose (37-48)

The Phillies dropped the first game of their 3-game set with the Braves on Friday night.  The game was a pitcher's duel that featured 0 runs for either team until the 8th inning.  Kyle Kendrick was able to go 7 shutout innings, and he actually looked like a pretty good pitcher.  However, the offense was no help as Tim Hudson held the Phillies to just 4 hits and a walk over 7.

In the top of the 8th inning, Fredi Gonzalez sent Juan Francisco up to the plate. The Phillies commentators made it sound like Juan Francisco was a huge power threat, and without looking it up at the time, I took them at their word.  So, when Manuel removed Kendrick for LHP Antonio Bastardo, I was fine with it since Kendrick is awful against LHBs, especially powerful ones.  Upon looking up Juan Francisco, I'm not so sure this was a great move.  Francisco owns a career .745 OPS.  He wasn't a threat, and Kendrick was pitching pretty well. He was also at 89 pitches, so it wasn't like he was dead tired.

The result was the Braves yanking Francisco out of the game for Matt Diaz who owns a career .865 OPS against LHPs.  Bastardo has reverse platoon splits, so it's not the worst move of all time, but Matt Diaz exists solely to hit against LHPs.  Diaz singled, in an above average leverage situation, and gave his team a 7% increase to their chances of winning the game.  The rest of the inning would have been Bastardo's anyway, but maybe the lead off man doesn't reach base, and Brian McCann never reaches the plate.

1 comment:

Robby Bonfire said...

Interesting re Ruiz thrown out at the plate, in that it brings to mind a game I saw years ago, in which Eddie Mathews threw out Willie Mays, who was breaking for home plate with the pitch, on a grounder to third. So that, from this, it is easy to conclude that trying to score in this situation is damaging in a close game, and I recall the Braves beat the Giants that night, 4-3, so that the out at home plate was the difference in the game.

Truly amazing how Charlie Manuel manages as though no data of this or any other kind has ever been compiled, and that the sport of baseball was introduced on the planet, maybe 10 days ago. He remains beyond inept and pathetic, in his approach to the game and his stuck-in-the-mud employers are a disgrace to the sport they treat like a municipal bond investment firm where there might be some kind of reckoning, 30 years hence.