2013 Game Recaps

Four blasts lead Phils to second straight win over Sox

The Phillies (26-27) broke out the power bats on Wednesday, slugging four solo homers in their 4-3 victory over Boston (32-22) at Citizen’s Bank Park. With the win, the Phillies are guaranteed at least a split in their four-game, home-and-home series against the A.L. East leading Red Sox.

Four runs seems to be the success marker for the Phils this season. When they score four runs or more in a game, they are an incredible 18-5, as opposed to just 8-20 when scoring three runs or less.

Kyle Kendrick did not have his best stuff, but was strong throughout six innings as he earned his fifth win of the year. He allowed just two runs on four hits in his six innings of work, and was backed by a rare power display from the offense.

Brown continues surge, now among league leaders

Brown blasted his 12th and 13th homers of the year on Wednesday against Boston. (Photo: AP)

Brown blasted his 12th and 13th homers of the year on Wednesday against Boston. (Photo: AP)

Left fielder Domonic Brown took home his first ever National League Player of the Week award last week, so what does he do to start this week? How about four home runs in three games, including two solo bombs to right field today. His first home run gave the Phillies the 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, and his second, which came in the eighth, proved to be a crucial bit of insurance for the team come the ninth.

Brown now has five home runs in his last five games, giving him 13 on the season to go along with 32 runs batted in. He has eight homers in the month of May, and all of the sudden he sits in a tie for second place in the National League in round-trippers (with Carlos Gonzalez), and is just one longball behind Justin Upton for first place. Tonight was Brown’s second career two homer game, with the other coming in June of 2011.

Solo shots aplenty for Phils

In addition to Brown’s two solo home runs in the game, Ryan Howard and Erik Kratz also went yard in the win. Both of their home runs were of the solo variety as well. Howard took a ball just over the flowerbed in left in the second inning for his seventh of the year, and Kratz homered right after Brown did in the fourth. It was the second time Brown and Kratz had gone back-to-back since Saturday, when they did it against Washington.

Of the Phillies’ 25 home runs in May, 23 have been solo.

Kendrick provides another quality start

Kendrick may not have dazzled tonight, but he was certainly solid against a tough A.L. team, and pitched in stark contrast to his previous two outings. The 28-year-old worked through six innings and gave up just two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three. He threw exactly 100 pitches in the game, 66 for strikes.

Kyle Kendrick threw six innings of two-run ball to help the Phillies to the 4-3 win.

Kyle Kendrick threw six innings of two-run ball to help the Phillies to the 4-3 win.

The right-hander faced trouble in only a few innings tonight. He did allow Jacoby Ellsbury to score right off the bat in the first after a leadoff triple, but kept the Red Sox out of the run column until he gave up a solo homer to Daniel Nava in the sixth. His only other threatening inning was the third, but he was able to strand runners on the corners to end the frame unscathed. Kendrick did walk three men tonight, and has walked 11 in his last 17 innings, but today it did not come back to haunt him.

Kendrick now has eight quality starts this season, to go along with a 3.27 ERA. His first start of the year and his last two before today were the only ones in which he did not go six innings and allow three or fewer runs.

Howard continues to struggle, Papelbon continues to soar

Despite clubbing his seventh home run of the season, Howard continued what has been a truly dismal stretch. He ended the night 1-for-4 with the home run and three strikeouts, including a three-pitch strikeout with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh. He left a team-high five men on base.

Howard has now struck out in 12 of his last 19 at bats, giving him a total of 60 this year. That is good enough (or bad enough really) for third most in the National League.

The home run broke a 16 game, 61 at bat homerless drought for the Big Piece, who is in grave danger of having his worst home run total through the end of May in his career (he had eight in 2010, seven this year.)

Howard might be pretty cold, but Jonathan Papelbon is as hot as any pitcher on the team, and continued to get the job done in the ninth inning on Wednesday. For the second straight day he saved the ballgame for the Phillies against his former club, making him 11 for 11 in save opportunities this season. He did allow a run in the ninth on a bloop RBI double to left, but worked his way out of the two on, two-out jam to preserve the second straight win for the Phillies over the Red Sox.

Up Next…

The Phillies will look to sweep their brief, two-game set with Boston, and take three of four from the Sox on Thursday night at Citizen’s Bank Park. They will send Jonathan Pettibone to the hill, who is looking to continue his great start to his major league career. Pettibone will enter Thursday’s game with a 3-0 record and 3.21 ERA. He will be opposed by the southpaw Franklin Morales, who is making his first start of the season for Boston. The Phillies catch another break with Boston’s pitching, as Morales was moved into the rotation in place of Jon Lester, whose start was moved back to Friday against the Yankees.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Jimbo

    May 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I’ll go ahead and play semi-devils-advocate here on Dom. He’s still not there yet, in fact, he has a long a way to go to reach his potential and to be moved up in the order. His OBP is only .294, which is awful. He still shows no patience at the plate, he hasn’t walked AT ALL in May. Not once. He is also a huge liability in the field, nearly costing us the game in the final inning. He looks lost out there sometimes.

    All in all, thing are looking up for Dom power wise, which is great because this team could use some power, but he still has the same fundamental problems that lead to him staying in the minors for so long.

    • Brooks

      May 29, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      That is a semi devils advocate?
      The ONLY bright spot for this Phillies Noffense this year and you’re dissing the man? Get a grip big fella – I have waited and waited and cursed the ground this guy walks on for a few years now. It tickles me silly to see him doing this well and enjoying the game.
      I’m looking forward to people getting on base in front of him, moving him up in the lineup just a tad (like hitting 3rd!).

      • Jimbo

        May 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm

        Him being the only bright spot is more of a reflection on the team and not on Dom. He still needs work. No one with a .262 avg and .294 OBP hits third. I’m glad he’s got the power, and hopefully it will translate into more confidence, but he needs to work on his patience at the plate.

      • Brooks

        May 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm

        right Jimbo, look at the team – who should be batting third?

      • Jimbo

        May 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm

        Michael young until Utley gets back.

      • schmenkman

        May 30, 2013 at 12:20 am

        @Jimbo, depends on how you measure discipline. One way is to compare the % of balls in the strike zone that he swings at, with the % of balls outside the strike zone that he swings at.

        When I checked yesterday, he had swung at 76.3% of balls in the zone, and 33.7% of balls outside the zone. The bigger the difference between the better, and that 42.6% difference was the 27th biggest in baseball, out of 171 qualifiers.

        He’s being aggressive, but still relatively selective.

        Which is no surprise, we know from previous years that he has a good eye. He’s still seeing 3.77 pitches per PA, not far from the MLB average of 3.82.

        Pretty soon now, pitchers will adjust and pitch around him more. I expect the walks will return then. In the meantime, finding fault with a 120 wRC+ from a 25 year old is just looking for negatives, IMO.

      • Jimbo

        May 30, 2013 at 12:26 am

        @schmenkman , if I’m looking for negatives your looking for positives. His UZR is -4, dwar is -0.3, overall war is 0.8. Hitting 13 home runs before june will certianly bumps some stats up, like woba and wRC but the proof really is in the pudding for Dom when you look at his raw stats combined with his uncomfortableness in the field.

      • schmenkman

        May 30, 2013 at 12:32 am

        As for MYoung, if the April version somehow returns, he’d be fine in the 3 spot. But for the year so far, he’s now down to .258/.347/.354, for a 95 wRC+ overall.

        So if the objective is to have the best overall hitter at 3, based on the season so far that would be Brown until Utley comes back.

      • schmenkman

        May 30, 2013 at 12:34 am

        I thought the topic was Brown’s hitting with respect to the lineup.

        No argument on his defense.

      • Brooks

        May 30, 2013 at 8:00 am

        Cholly has been using the piss poor combination of Rollins, Utley, Young then Howard – it has not been working.
        Regardless of Young’s stats in April, and I do mean only his batting average, there was very little production which indicates the man is not hitting with men on base (how many DP’s now? 14??).
        I’m old enough to remember seeing an accomplished hitter back in the 70’s (maybe earlier) who had over 200 hits but only 1 maybe 2 homeruns and only 60 some rbi. Maybe it was Al Oliver but how innefective! I guess I’m too old to remember exactly who. Perhaps if he could score while on base but that figure too was below 90 runs. Lefty, Chuck – this guy was a National Leaguer – any ideas?

      • DaveP

        May 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

        “He shouldn’t be hitting third because his defense is terrible!” – jimbo

      • James

        May 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        He shouldn’t hit third because his avg is .262, OBP is .294 and his OPS+ is 108

      • Lefty

        May 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        Brooks, It wasn’t Al Oliver, he had good doubles power, and over 200 HR’s. I’m not sure who you mean. Any idea what team, or division?

      • Lefty

        May 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        James, his season numbers don’t tell the story. His last six games are his trending numbers and they are ridiculous. 5 HR’s, 8 RBI, .364 OBP and… wait for it … a 1.091 Slugging % for an OPS plus of 282!

        282! Will it last forever, of course not. But IMO recent trends are the way to properly set a lineup, not what the season stats tell you. You need to win now, take advantage of the hot hand.

      • schmenkman

        May 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

        @James, his OPS+ is actually 117, but more importantly, what Lefty said.

  2. Brooks

    May 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    This is scarin me – we could be tied for second place in the NL East after tomorrow night but wait, I’m going to the game… sorry guys.

  3. Chuck A.

    May 30, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Everybody likes to complain about Ryan Howard’s defense …I’ve even heard that he has “old man skills” out in the field… but even I, one of his biggest supporters, was amazed that his error last night was his first in something like 70 some games dating back to last year.

    And while we’re on the topic of defense AND Domonic Brown…. he should have caught that ball in the 9th last night. Yeah …he was in the “no doubles defense” and had to come a long way…but it really was a pretty catchable ball.

    All in all, though we got a W against a very good team. KK showed a lot of grit out there as well. Let’s nail down this series tonight…we catch a break (hopefully??) by missing Lester.

    • Lefty

      May 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

      I have noticed that Brown sees balls that he has to range to his left to get, much better than to his right. I think it’s a peripheral vision thing, I really do. He didn’t break the wrong way, he did everything right, but when he got there, for at least the second time this year that I remember, he just flat out missed it. Overall I’ve been very pleased with his play out there, he may never be the greatest, but he’s exceeded my expectations from a couple years ago.

      Go Phils!

    • Brooks

      May 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

      The only problem I ever had with his defense was his throw to second base – has he had the occasion to be part of that double play setup yet? I know when Michael Young played first the other day there was a perfect toss to second then back again for the DP – good stuff.
      Actually Chuck, I can foresee a GG in Howards future

    • Frank

      May 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Howard sucks.

      • Chuck A.

        May 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

        That was informative, frank. Tell us, in your opinion, exactly WHY he sucks.

      • Terrence

        May 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        Seriously? Does he really need to expain himself? It’s pretty obvious if you’re watching the games. He looks lost at the plate and shows it 75% of the time. He doesn’t walk. Forget baserunning and throwing because he can’t do those either. Last night he showed that he can’t catch. Anything left? The only bigger dud in the lineup is Delmon Young, but he’s making 1/25th of what Howard is making.

      • George

        May 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        Terrence: If anyone said “Terrence sucks,” you’d probably want an explanation. If we’re going to have a serious discussion here, opinions should indeed be explained so that a legitimate debate can occur. There’s no point to just saying “X sucks.” That’s like yelling down a bottomless pit; you don’t even get an echo.

  4. Lefty

    May 30, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Go with confidence Brooks! Bring us home a winner pal. And even if they lose, don’t fret.

    I got news for everybody- For all the problems this team has, we’re still in this thing!!

    5.5 games back, with 109 games to play, and plenty of head to head match ups. The Bravos above us are the same team that fades toward the end every year, and then there are those “on paper best team in baseball” Gnats whose offense is WORSE than ours. Who cares if 1/2 of our fan base doesn’t think we’re that good compared to other years, we’re IN this divisional race. It doesn’t matter how good or bad we are, it only matters how good we are relative to the competition.

    And they haven’t shown us anything special. The big bad Nats, meh, they hit worse than we do, I see a .500 team. The Braves have their share of injuries too, and they strike out like they’re trying to set a record or something, they’ll fade. Only one team in the last 20 years has struck out 1500 times, one- the 2010 Diamondbacks, (65-97 record) and the Braves are well on their way to at least 1480.
    9.1 K’s per game is their average, think about that. They will fade.

    I have a great feeling about the energy and youth that is starting to show through for the Phils, Galvis, Mayerry, Pettibone, DeFratus and Stutes, and Mr. Brown. Heck even Revere is playing tougher now. And I think Hernandez could be a heck of a player. A mix of old vets and youngsters = good recipe for success.

    Once you make the playoffs it’s a crapshoot, and all teams have a chance to win it. Old Tugger used to say, “Ya Gotta Believe” and his teammates did, and the fans did, and glorius things happened.

    • Brooks

      May 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Lefty, you’re like a breath of … well, you get my drift!
      Tell you what, I am going with an open mind and some (dare I say it) hope. It would be cool, after all the duds we’ve seen to take 3 of 4 from the AL East leading Red Sox, regardless of who is pitching. Missing Clay B meant absolutely nothing, missing Lester I hope will bring some good tidings.
      I liked what I saw from Adams last night, he looked full in command. Paps on the other hand, lets just hope this was his dud for the week as perfection goes, he slipped up but not too much (thanks Dom).
      Any chance Delmon is on the bench? I’ll take Nix at this point over Delmon.

  5. Chuck A.

    May 30, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I’m pleased with Brown’s defense as a whole and compared to a few years ago, too. All I’m saying is that he should have caught that ball. He was the Player of the Game….and should have been… but those two HR could have very easily been negated if Paps wouldn’t have shut the door when he did.

    Brooks – Delmon needs to be on the bench or better yet, off this roster. Plain and simple. Can we all just start a petition for his release and take it to RAJ’s desk??? Seriously…this dude is a waste of space.

  6. schwalmy

    May 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Lots of comments on how great Dom Brown is preforming but this is what has been expected of him for years!!! I think a bigger note from last night was the middle infield of the future was on display in the late innings Galvis and Hernandez!!!! I really hope thats our starting 2B&SS next year cause Hernandez can really hit and field!!!!

  7. Dave

    May 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I’m trying to temper my excitement over Brown. Let’s see if he can keep it up for a full season. He’s been the only bright spot this year. We’ve gotten next to nothing from the 5 acquisitions that Amaro brought in…Young, Young, Revere, Adams, Lannan and we’re still right around .500. If they even start to contribute something along with Howard….hmmm. Just trying to stay semi-positive.

    • hk

      May 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Imagine where the team might be if not for the empty suit in the GM’s office. Actually, since baseball-reference.com shows that those 5 players have combined to total -0.4 WAR, the team might be better off with an actual empty suit serving as GM.

      • Manny

        May 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        Lol. Sad but true.

    • hk

      May 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Dave,

      We both overlooked Amaro’s off-season acquisition of Chad Durbin. When you add Chad to the mix, the players RAJ acquired have cumulatively been worth -1.0 WAR so far this year. Amazing.

    • George

      May 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Dave:

      You can’t fault Amaro for Lannan’s or Adams’ injuries, and they were at least decent when on the mound.

      Revere should probably be blamed on the scouts. But he’s also starting to show a little bit of hitting ability, finally.

      Of course, that still leaves the two Youngs. In the case of M, there really wasn’t much else available, although the job could possibly been split between Galvis and Frandsen. In the case of D, Amaro definitely made a pathetic decision which we all hope he’ll very shortly rectify.

      • Chuck A.

        May 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        If Amaro doesn’t get rid of Delmon soon….as in NOW or very close to now….he will lose any credibilty he still has with me. I’ve supported his decisions over the years and I will STILL stick to some of the unpopular ones. I even sort of endorsed the Delmon experiment…with the caveat that if Delmon didn’t produce that he’d be cut loose. Well… that time has come and I wonder just what it’s gonna take for him to make that decision.

      • hk

        May 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        Chuck A.,

        I suppose you won’t be happy to hear that Delmon is batting clean-up tonight.

      • Chuck A.

        May 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        hk – WTF ???!!!

  8. Fritz

    May 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Guys just enjoy Brown and think about the possibilities with Chase in the lineup with the new Dom. I’m going Sunday and I’m thinking about a W.

  9. jeff orbach

    May 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Brooks,

    Could it have been Bill Madlock?

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