Kyle Kendrick Continues to be the Phillies’ Best Pitcher

Two and a half years ago, Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum squared off in Games 1 and 5 of the NLCS. At the time, they were probably the two best pitchers in baseball. Halladay won the Cy Young that year, and Lincecum led his team to their first of two World Series in three years. Kyle Kendrick was an afterthought.

Fast forward to today.

Halladay may be deceased. Lincecum looks like a boy and is an average pitcher at best. And Kendrick is among the league leaders in ERA. My, how times have changed.

Kendrick beat Lincecum last night, 6-2. He pitched seven innings, gave up two runs, six hits and no walks. His ERA is 12th in the league– 2.45. And you need to look no further for explanation than Kendrick’s pitch chart:

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 7.50.41 AM

That’s Cliff Lee-like consistency. Kendrick threw 55 sinkers, all with nearly a one-foot break at 91 mph. His changeup kept hitters off-balance with the same break but with a 5-9 mph decrease. If we compare Kendrick to, say, Halladay, we’ll see the difference a bit of consistency can make. Here’s Halladay’s sinker from Sunday– more range in the speed and break (also, slower):

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 8.09.55 AM

And here’s Lincecum’s pitch chart from last night:

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 7.48.18 AM

Timmay had little horizontal break on his pitches and almost no consistency or differentiation between certain pitches. He does rely more on vertical movement than most, but still, these charts are a good snapshot of the difference command and consistency can make for a pitcher.


  1. Candy from the Oak

    May 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

    he needs to buy his girl some fun bags

    • Christina Lurie's Left Tit

      May 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Yeah, I do wonder what Mrs. KK would look like with some DDs. And I don’t mean Dunkin’ Donuts. If you catch my drift.

  2. Kendrick’s cutter or screwball or whatever that pitch is that he throws directly at left handed batters knees and cuts back over the plate is a filthy pitch…

  3. BigMikeySmallz

    May 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Mrs. KK probably makes more money than young Kyle. She was on Survivor and owns a nightclub in Center City. She can (and probably should) buy her own DD’s. That said, if young Kyle continues to be consistent and can mix the cutter in a little more, we might be talking about him as a potential all-star… and that would land him a big, fat contract. Ricky Bo, last night, said that KK has moved from being a #5 starter to a solid #3 on virtually any team in MLB… and I can’t disagree.

  4. i have always liked kendrick as a #4 or # 5 pitcher and that is because that is how i see him. i really dont think he anything more than that. still, he is having a phenomenal year and has been one of the bright spots for the phils this year.

  5. ThePhillyFlash

    May 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I’ve never trusted Kendrick any further than I can throw a SEPTA bus. However, at present, even I can see and accept that he’s established himself as the top dog in the Phillies rotation. Talk about fate throwing one hell of a curve.

  6. I believe his ERA is 21st in the league not 12th.

  7. Holy shit! My son posted facts about sports??? GTFO!

    Good job son, this helps people understand how and why Kendrick is now allowed to speak to the rest of the SP’s on the team instead of being kept in a closet until every 5th day. That boy goood!

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