Series #16 Preview: Nats vs Phillies

After what seems like an
eternity, the Nats are finally home after their 10-game three-city west coast
road trip in which MLB thoughtfully did not include an off-day until the return
trip home. The Nats ended the trip 4-6 and even though they battled Cy Young
winning pitchers, injuries and most of all themselves, it was a somewhat
disappointing result as they could have easily been 6-4, if not better. I could
go into much more detail but we covered this pretty extensively on the Podcast
last night and that’s a much more complete conversation. Check it out if you haven’t
already.

It’s hard to believe that it’s
Memorial Day weekend and the Nats are facing the Phillies for the first time
this year, while having already faced the Marlins, Braves and Reds twice. The
Phils roll into the Nation’s Capital with a 23-24 record having a disappointing
start to the year accompanied by a troubling injury to Roy Halladay and less
than stellar production from Cole Hamels. Even with those two issues, the
starting pitching had been middle of the road with the rotation ranking 17th
in WAR, and 15th in ERA/FIP. The bullpen is a whole other kind of
awful, ranking 26th in ERA and WAR while ranking 29th in
FIP. The offense hasn’t been doing the team any favors either, ranking 26th
in MLB in OPS with a combined .690.  

Game 48: Friday, May
24, Nationals Park, 7:05pm, Kyle
Kendrick
RHP (4-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. Jordan
Zimmermann
RHP (7-2, 1.62 ERA)

Dave said it best
this morning that the only thing that could possibly explain Kyle Kendrick’s
season so far is that he stole Roy Halladay’s soul. But really, Kendrick has
been the Phillies best starter behind Cliff Lee, sporting a shiny 2.82 ERA
(3.72 FIP) along with his 4-2 record in ten starts. In his most recent start,
against Cincinnati, Kendrick went six innings giving up four runs on eight hits
and four walks. It was the first time this season that he’d given up more than
two runs in a start since he opened the season against Kansas City.

Kendrick relies
on a Sinker (86-93, 90avg) 60% of the time while mixing in a Changeup (79-86,
83 avg) and a Cutter (84-89, 87 avg). He also has a Slider (78-80, 79 avg) that
he threw 4.5% of the time in 2012 but has only thrown it nine times thus far in
2013.

In 19 career
appearances (17 starts) against the Nats, Kendrick is 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA and a
1.375 WHIP. Current Nats should be salivating to see him on the mound with how
many have performed against him previously. Just to name a few, Zim has
compiled a .984 OPS against Kendrick over 37 PA’s while Desmond and Harper sit at
1.328 and 1.571 over 24 and 14 PA’s respectively.

Current
Nationals vs. Kyle Kendrick:

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="PA" class="tooltip" tip="Plate Appearances
When available, we use actual plate appearances from play-by-play game accounts
Otherwise estimated using AB + BB + HBP + SF + SH,
which excludes catcher interferences.
When this color click for a summary of each PA.” align=”center”>PA

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="batting_avg" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="Hits/At Bats
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played
Bold indicates highest BA using current stats
Gold means awarded title at end of year.” align=”center”>BA

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="onbase_perc" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="(H + BB + HBP)/(At Bats + BB + HBP + SF)
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>OBP

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="slugging_perc" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="Total Bases/At Bats or
(1B + 2*2B + 3*3B + 4*HR)/AB

For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>SLG

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="onbase_plus_slugging" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="On-Base + Slugging Percentages
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>OPS

AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
Ryan Zimmerman 37 33 10 7 0 1 2 2 4 .303 .378 .606 .984
Adam LaRoche 25 21 3 1 0 0 0 4 3 .143 .280 .190 .470
Ian Desmond 24 23 10 2 1 2 5 0 2 .435 .458 .870 1.328
Danny Espinosa 22 19 3 1 0 0 0 3 5 .158 .273 .211 .483
Bryce Harper 14 12 6 3 0 1 2 2 0 .500 .571 1.000 1.571
Roger Bernadina 14 12 2 0 0 0 0 2 3 .167 .286 .167 .452
Steve Lombardozzi 12 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500
Kurt Suzuki 10 8 3 0 0 1 2 2 1 .375 .500 .750 1.250
Chad Tracy 5 5 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 .400 .400 1.000 1.400
Craig Stammen 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Denard Span 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1.000 1.000 4.000 5.000
Tyler Moore 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 1.000 1.000 4.000 5.000
Jordan Zimmermann 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000
Total 178 157 46 15 1 8 17 17 22 .293 .373 .554 .927
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2013.

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Every time Jordan
Zimmermann comes up in my Series Previews, it’s a really easy job. The man has
been the epitome of consistency this season. In his last outing was a tough
luck loser at San Diego, but created some of that tough luck himself with a
baserunning mistake that negated a runner in scoring position and had the
throwing error that led to the game deciding, unearned, second run.

Zimmermann’s career
numbers against Philadelphia are not great. In six career starts he’s 1-4 with
a 5.06 ERA and a 1.656 WHIP. Of current Phillies only Howard and Rollins have
more than a game-worth of PA’s, and both have historical OPS’ of .919 and .808 respectively
against Jordan. It will be interesting to see how these batters fare against a
Jordan Zimmermann that is clearly better than he has ever been right now.

Current
Phillies vs. Jordan Zimmermann:

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="PA" class="tooltip" tip="Plate Appearances
When available, we use actual plate appearances from play-by-play game accounts
Otherwise estimated using AB + BB + HBP + SF + SH,
which excludes catcher interferences.
When this color click for a summary of each PA.” align=”center”>PA

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="batting_avg" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="Hits/At Bats
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played
Bold indicates highest BA using current stats
Gold means awarded title at end of year.” align=”center”>BA

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="onbase_perc" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="(H + BB + HBP)/(At Bats + BB + HBP + SF)
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>OBP

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="slugging_perc" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="Total Bases/At Bats or
(1B + 2*2B + 3*3B + 4*HR)/AB

For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>SLG

<th onclick="" onmouseout="" onmouseover="" style="background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;" data-stat="onbase_plus_slugging" class="tooltip hide_non_quals" tip="On-Base + Slugging Percentages
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played” align=”center”>OPS

AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
Jimmy Rollins 13 12 3 0 0 1 3 1 2 .250 .308 .500 .808
Ryan Howard 11 9 2 0 0 1 2 1 3 .222 .364 .556 .919
Laynce Nix 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200 .200 .200 .400
John Mayberry 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
Freddy Galvis 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Humberto Quintero 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Kevin Frandsen 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Erik Kratz 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Kyle Kendrick 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 59 50 13 2 0 2 8 7 8 .260 .373 .420 .793
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2013.

Game 49: Saturday, May 25, Nationals Park, 7:15pm, Jonathan Pettibone RHP (3-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Dan Haren RHP (4-5, 5.54 ERA)

Drafted out of high school in the third round of the 2008 draft, Jonathan Pettibone was never a Baseball America top prospect and began the 2013 season as the Phillies’ #4 prospect. In six minor league seasons he went 33-31 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.226 WHIP, 6.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. In six starts this season he has yet to allow more than three earned runs, but has also only made it through the 7th completely once. His most recent start saw him go 5.1 IP vs Pittsburgh allowing two runs, both solo shots, on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Pettibone leans heavily on his Four-Seam Fastball (86-93, 90 avg) and peppers in a Changeup (79-87, 83 avg), Slider (81-89, 86 avg) and occasionally a Two-Seam Fastball (84-93, 90 avg). He is a true rookie and has not faced the Nats or a current National to this point in his career.

In the five games before the outing in San Diego, Dan Haren looked much better than he had early in the season. Over that stretch averaging 6.2 IP with a 3.38 ERA, a 3.8 K:BB and a OPS against of .625. The game in San Diego wasn’t great but could very well just be a blip attributed to some back pain. We should know pretty quickly after first pitch which Haren the Nats have gotten that evening.

Haren only has four career starts against Philadelphia and is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.409 WHIP. He hasn’t fared much better against current Phillies either. Former Ranger Michael Young has seen him the most with 61 PA’s and holds a .775 OPS. Rollins and Howard have OPS’s of .800 and .833 in 10 and 6 PA’s respectively.

Current Phillies vs. Dan Haren:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Michael Young 61 58 19 3 0 1 11 2 10 .328 .344 .431 .775
Delmon Young 24 24 8 2 0 0 2 0 3 .333 .333 .417 .750
Humberto Quintero 11 11 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 .273 .273 .455 .727
Jimmy Rollins 10 10 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 .300 .300 .500 .800
Laynce Nix 8 8 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 .250 .250 .375 .625
Ryan Howard 6 6 1 0 0 1 3 0 3 .167 .167 .667 .833
Ben Revere 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
Kevin Frandsen 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 141 136 40 11 0 3 18 4 25 .294 .312 .441 .753
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2013.

Game 50: Sunday, May 26, Nationals Park, 1:35pm, Cole Hamels LHP (1-7, 4.45 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg RHP (2-5, 2.66 ERA)

Cole Hamels had a rough start to the season and while he has had stretches of success he hasn’t entirely looked himself. The most notable issue is the uptick in walks this year, his walk rate sits at 3.45 while his career number is 2.3. In his most recent outing he took the loss but threw a stellar six innings; giving up two runs on seven hits, while striking out ten and walking none.

Hamels is a four pitch guy who relies on his Fastball (87-96, 92 avg) 50% of the time and splits the remainder of his pitches between a Changeup (79-86, 83 avg), a Cutter (83-92, 88 avg) and a rare Curveball (72-79, 76 avg).

The Nats have seen Hamels 24 times thus far in his career and he has performed remarkably well; going 13-5 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.093 WHIP. Current Nationals have combined for a .742 OPS against him. The standouts being LaRoche with a 1.210 OPS in 27 PA’s, Bryce Harper with a .928 OPS in 15 PA’s and Denard Span with a 1.071 OPS in 8 PA’s.

Current Nationals vs. Cole Hamels:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Zimmerman 65 60 17 3 0 2 5 5 13 .283 .338 .433 .772
Adam LaRoche 27 25 8 1 0 4 7 1 7 .320 .370 .840 1.210
Ian Desmond 27 26 5 2 1 1 2 1 8 .192 .222 .462 .684
Danny Espinosa 20 18 3 1 0 0 0 2 8 .167 .250 .222 .472
Bryce Harper 15 13 5 1 0 0 1 1 1 .385 .467 .462 .928
Chad Tracy 12 11 3 0 0 1 1 1 2 .273 .333 .545 .879
Denard Span 8 7 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 .429 .500 .571 1.071
Steve Lombardozzi 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Kurt Suzuki 6 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
Roger Bernadina 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .333 .000 .333
Zach Duke 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Moore 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 204 188 47 9 1 8 18 12 48 .250 .305 .436 .742
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2013.

With Detwiler ailing from a back issue the Nats will use the off day to keep at least a portion of the rotation on regular rest, pushing Stephen Strasburg back to the mound. Another starter who hadn’t looked himself for most of the season, that story changed when he set foot on the field in Petco Park and continued on to his most recent start against San Francisco. The Nats ended up losing in extras but Stras threw seven solid innings holding the Giants to one run on five hits while striking out seven and walking three.

In three career starts against the Phillies Stras is 0-1 with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.047 WHIP. Not many current Phillies have actually faced Strasburg for more than a game, the lone exception being Jimmy Rollins who is 1-8 with a homerun against Stras; good for a .625 OPS.

Current Phillies vs. Stephen Strasburg:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Jimmy Rollins 8 8 1 0 0 1 2 0 4 .125 .125 .500 .625
Ryan Howard 4 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833
Laynce Nix 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Kevin Frandsen 2 2 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 .500 .500 2.000 2.500
John Mayberry 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 1.000 1.500
Domonic Brown 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 30 29 6 1 0 2 6 1 8 .207 .233 .448 .682
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2013.

Headed to Nats Park? Grab your Nationals Tickets here!

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