clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesdays With Mitch: Kyle Kendrick has rebounded nicely

New, 30 comments

The Rockies' offseason acquisition has turned a bit of a corner since his awful start to the year.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 10th Purple Row edition (and 115th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we lean into pitches without regret. Let's get into it...

The Rockies' 2015 season began on April 6th in Milwaukee with a dominating, 10-0 win over the Brewers. It was an all-around good day for the Rockies, but was a great day for their starting pitcher. Kyle Kendrick, forced into Opening Day duties because of injuries, pitched like an ace. Seven innings, no runs, six strikeouts, no walks. Most Rockies fans realized that this performance would not be the norm from Kendrick, but it did provide plenty of hope that he could bring stability to a rotation that desperately needed it.

Then Kendrick made his next five starts. They went something like this:

  1. Nightmare (5 IP, 8 ER)
  2. Dumpster fire (4.2 IP, 6 ER)
  3. Decent! (7 IP, 4 ER)
  4. Atrocity (4.1 IP, 8 ER)
  5. Please make it stop (5 IP, 6 ER)

Yeah. Yeah, that's 32 runs in 26 innings in five starts. He was awful.

So naturally, the columns, the blogs, the talk shows, the tweets, the comment sections, the illiterate Facebooking, they all turned Kendrick into a pinata. He was Jeremy Guthrie 2.0. He was proof that Jeff Bridich has no idea what he's doing. He was the worst free agent signing in the history of baseball. The Rockies' best pitcher is the worst pitcher ever. (Lots of fans mistook Kendrick as the Rockies' ace because he started Opening Day). #MonfortsMustSell. This franchise is a joke!

And again, it was kind of hard to argue with a lot of that sentiment. He was really bad in that stretch of five starts.

But in his eight starts since then, Kendrick has turned a bit of a corner. I'm not campaigning for a Kendrick All Star berth or anything here. I'm just saying a lot of the Kendrick Dooms Day scenarios now seem overblown. These numbers suggest we can feel fairly confident in Kendrick delivering a solid start when he takes the mound against the Diamondbacks tonight.

Date

Opponent

IP

ER

BB

Strikeouts

HR

May 12

@ Angels

7.0

2

0

5

0

May 17

@ Dodgers

7.0

1

5

1

0

May 22

Giants

6.1

4

3

4

1

May 27

@ Reds

7.1

4

1

1

2

Jun 1

Dodgers

5.1

5

2

1

2

Jun 7

Marlins

7.0

2

1

4

0

Jun 12

@ Marlins

6.2

2

2

4

1

Jun 17

Astros

5.0

4

3

1

2

So since May 12th, Kendrick has a 4.18 ERA in eight starts. Nothing too exciting, but adjusting for the fact that five of those starts came at Coors Field means that that ERA is probably pretty close to league average. Most encouraging, though, has been the innings Kendrick has given the Rockies of late. The "innings-eater" term became a punchline with Kendrick when he sucked, but he's gone 6 1/3 innings or more in six of his last eight starts. He's finally striking out more than he's walking and has a very solid 1.27 WHIP in those eight starts. The home runs remain a concern, but... well yeah, so the home runs remain a concern.

But really, when you look at this stretch of starts for Kendrick you see four great starts, two pretty good starts, and two bad starts. I think those numbers are about what you're looking for from a decent third or fourth starter on a team with the Rockies' current roster construction.

(Obviously, things with the Rockies' rotation haven't gone according to plan for a variety of reasons so it's hard to pencil Kendrick, or any other starter, into a certain spot in the rotation. My ideal rotation based on what would could have been and what could still be would look something like this: Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Jordan Lyles, Kyle Kendrick, Eddie Butler. Also, Lyles' injury isn't getting nearly enough run as a reason the Rockies are teetering on the brink of irrelevance.)

Anyway, Kyle Kendrick hasn't been awful for a while and that's a positive development. Make your Kendrick jokes if you must, but tone down the OH GOD KENDRICK IS PITCHING hate for the time being. The Rockies' pitching staff still isn't very good, but competitive, non-gas-can performances from Kendrick have given the Rockies a shot to win every fifth day.

And that's really what the Rockies were hoping for when they signed him this offseason.

Now we proceed to the weekly departments...

Stud of the week:

If you've been living under a rock and missed it, this was a thing that happened on Saturday afternoon. Max Scherzer was ONE STRIKE away from a perfect game when Jose Tabata was hit by this pitch.


Obviously, Tabata didn't exactly hit the deck to avoid getting plunked there, so this provoked many hot takes about unwritten rules, The Code, bush league antics, etc. Personally, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Seriously, I watched it live and couldn't stop laughing. I suppose if I had a Max Scherzer poster on my wall or spent money to attend the game, I would have been pretty pissed. But I don't. And I didn't. So I thought it was hilarious.

Anyway, I mention this because among all of the discussion around Tabata's hilarious antics, we seem to be losing track of how dominant Max Scherzer has been in his last two starts. Look!
That is absolutely insane. 54 of 57! As Rockies fans, we don't get to see that kind of pitching... ever, so it's hard to comprehend numbers like that. I'm pretty sure they're good, though.

Ass of the week:

A manager throwing a tantrum like this is going to earn him "Ass of the week" honors, but we all know this is glorious. It's Joe Mikulik, of the AA Frisco RoughRiders, and he punts a shoe! He punts a shoe, guys! It's fantastic, (In his defense, that call is complete nonsense.)



Photo of the week:

Some interesting clouds rolled into Wrigley last night. Great shot here.

Tweet of the week:

I don't have a tweet of the week , so here's a Twitter-related video if you haven't seen it yet. It's decent. Not great, but decent.



Hey I also liked this GIF of Felix Hernandez's kid Jeremy throwing out the first pitch on Father's Day. Little dude appears to have quite the cannon. Wonder where he gets that from. (Via Cut4)


And finally, the weekend delivered what could be an all-time top-10 GIF from some soccer game somewhere. I will admit that a lot of times I exaggerate when I say things like "I laugh every time I watch this" or "I could watch this on a loop for hours". That is not the case here. I have literally laughed every time I've watched this. It's an all-timer.(via Deadspin)


That is Home-Run-Off-Jose-Canseco's-Dome level funny. And for good measure, here's a Vine of the same thing from a slightly different angle.



Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos, or other media I should know about. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.