Wait, Kendrick Is Good?

Kyle KendrickKyle Kendrick had another quality start last night, even though he didn’t have his best stuff early.

He has evolved into a pretty good pitcher over the past few years. Kendrick is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts this season and 22-19 with a 3.46 ERA in 77 appearances (46 starts) from 2011-13. Kendrick’s 3.46 ERA in that span ranks 25th out of 89 qualifying pitchers (minimum 300 innings) in baseball. That is better than Roy Halladay (3.48), Matt Garza (3.52), Zack Greinke (3.57) and a host of other pitchers making a heck a lot more than Kendrick’s $4.5 million salary this year. Kendrick’s 1.24 WHIP is 35th.

A reporter mentioned last night that Kendrick, who has a 1.54 ERA in his last five starts, has been a stopper recently, helping the Phillies win following a loss (or losses) in his previous three starts. Kendrick smiled awkwardly, like, “Uh, did you just call me a stopper?” This is a guy that fans have loved to mock and boo. I asked him about that in spring training. He said he wasn’t sure why he remained an object of scorn in Philadelphia. I offered the possibility that fans might not be able to forget the 4.96 ERA he carried from 2008-10, so anytime he pitches poorly it’s like, “There goes Kendrick again.”

“Maybe, but that’s tough if that’s the way it is,” he said. “I’m not that same pitcher anymore.”

Maybe a few more good months this year and they will notice.

“I’ve always kind of expected this out of me,” Kendrick said last night. “I know it hasn’t been there in the past like I’ve wanted, the fans have wanted it, my teammates, the coaches, the organization. But I expect this out of me. Hopefully now I can be consistent like that and every time out give us a chance to win the game. That’s the main thing as a starting pitcher. I’m feeling comfortable and confident I can do that every time out.”

Kendrick will have his bad starts, but he has become more of a sure thing. Charlie Manuel often said Kendrick pitched a “Kyle Kendrick type of game” when he allowed three or four runs in six innings. But these days a Kyle Kendrick game is more two or three runs in seven innings. (He is 10-5 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 19 starts.) The Phillies need that, especially with Halladay’s inconsistencies.


I think one of the best stories over the last 2 seasons has been to watch Kyle become a good pitcher. He will probably never be an ace, but he is solid. With an actual offense behind him, I could see him win 14-16 games in a season. IMO, Kyle is not one of the problems with this team, he is one of the solutions.

great article – I have said it since day one that KK (somewhat undeservingly) has gotten a bad rep. For years Charlie moved him from starter to bullpen to starter to bullpen and expected consistancy out of that. In recent years Kendrick has shown that if you allow him to have consistant starts, he will put up above average numbers for a No. 4 or No. 5 starter. It’s exhausting to hear Phils fans boo a player over their past stats when they remain silent for the players who actually deserve to hear their frustations.

I have always loved Kendrick and felt he got screwed over early in his career like most young pitchers in this organization do. How quick the fans forget the 80’s and 90’s where KK would have been the ace of the staff and an all-star for the Phillies. The man does his job and works his butt off. He keeps his mouth shut and has done everything he has been asked including the mop up and long inning stints out of the pen. He is not a hall of famer, but guess what, neither is Lee, Hamels and few other “big name” players on this team. Honestly if I am GM Kendrick is one of the few guys I hold onto come the fire sale in July. I for one welcome a couple of years to retool. The window on this group is closed…damn near sealed IMO. The sooner we all accept that and move forward the happier we (most of us) will be. Sure ticket sales will drop from the post 2008 Red Sox….Err…Phillies fans, but they’ll be back. Those hacks just aren’t going to stick around for a rebuild (as expected), but trust me, they will come running back wearing their fresh new red Phils gear on a crisp October day down the road….

I’m one of many to love/hate KK. Fans have referred to Krafty Kyle & Krappy Kyle. In the past you’d never know. Over last two yrs its mostly Krafty. If he keeps it up, he can be King Kyle!

Even when he wasn’t all that great he was notching double-digit win totals. That is something a lot of starters never do.

KK is a touch and feel pitcher, not a power arm. When he does not have it, he gets lit up. When he does, he is quality. He is the poster child for a #4 or #5 MLB starter. I’m glad we have him and developed him. He’s a great story.

MLB’s preview of the game last night had four words strung together I thought I’d never see, “Red hot Kyle Kendrick.”

Tell KK to keep his fingers out of his mouth and he will have another fan. That is such a crude, disgusting, and dirty habit. Harkens back to his pacifier days. Not sure why umpires allow the “fingers in the mouth” habit. I thought this was a no-no in baseball.

There ain’t no cryin’ in baseball!

I’m not sure who’s been mocking KK, but I’ve always thought he has always given us exactly what was expected if not more. The guy came directly from AA to win 10 games with a 3.87 ERA in 2007 and has only been sent back (to AAA) once. He’s been reliable over the long haul and has proven to be a solid back of the rotation starter. This year, he’s a front of the rotation starter! At least for now. Cut him some slack Philly, this kid goes out and does his job to little fanfare – thats the Philly blue collar way, isn’t it?

Not to mention, he’s been bounced between starting and the bullpen countless times and never have the fans heard him whine about it – true class act

I just love fans being so generous as to now “concede” Kyle is a good #4 or #5. He has been more than that to this team. He is the stopper in residence until such time when either Halladay or Lee or Hamels can take their heads out of their asses and pitch consistently enough to take over the job. .

He has matured but most of all they have let him start and are not jerking him around between starting and long relief. In that ball park you need a good sinker ball pitcher.

Kyle has gotten better over the last 3 years, he made a great jump from double a, won some games (had great run support) he had some difficulty the next couple years because he could not get leftys out consistently. Leftys killed him many a game. To his credit he has developed into a better starter and now is good, I expect the phillies to win his starts I expect the phillies to win hamels and lee as welll, Halladay and who pitches next not the same feeling (Pet tibone et al) But KK Is fun to watch he battles

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