Grading the Philadelphia Phillies Pitching for the Month of September: Player By Player

Howard Smith – US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the better teams in the month of September, winning 17 games and even fighting their way into some last minute wild card hopes.

The Phillies ultimately couldn’t gain enough ground that they had lost earlier in the season, and they’ve since been officially eliminated from any hope of playoff contention. The offense batted just .256 with a .717 OPS for September, finishing just 14th and 15th in the major leagues in those respective statistics, numbers that just weren’t enough to make up enough ground. And the pitching staff was much better than earlier in the year but it was nowhere near what the team was in 2011.

Roy Halladay: Something was clearly wrong with Roy Halladay down the stretch. He made five starts in September, averaging just over five innings per outing and posting a treacherous 6.84 ERA that was over twice as high as his typical mark. Halladay did manage to go 3-1 thanks to a lot of run support but what was most alarming was even a high walk rate (4.1 BB/9). Grade: F

Cliff Lee: Cliff Lee was lights out in the month of September, making six starts and allowing just five earned runs. Lee was 3-1 with a 1.08 ERA, striking out over a batter per inning and walking only three of the 172 batters he faced. That’s simply unreal. Grade: A+

Cole Hamels: It was a pretty solid month for Cole Hamels, who went 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in September. His strikeout rate of 10.66 was superb and his terrific 1.42 walk rate led to a FIP of just 2.44, giving him a 1.2 WAR. That’s what the Phillies wanted when they gave him a $144 million contract extension. Grade: A-

Kyle Kendrick: Kyle Kendrick became the fourth starter in the month of September with Joe Blanton in Los Angeles and Vance Worley hurt. Kendrick made six starts, picking up three wins and three losses. He posted a 3.48 ERA and kept his walks very low, which is good news if the Phillies want him to be their fifth starter in 2013. Grade: B

Tyler Cloyd: This was Tyler Cloyd’s trial run with the team to see if he has what it takes to be a part of the team in 2013. Cloyd went 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA in five starts, averaging just 5.4 innings per start. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful, as he did post some intriguing numbers – 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.67 walks per nine innings. Grade: C-

Jonathan Papelbon: Jonathan Papelbon was absolutely lights out in the month of September. He made 14 appearances, pitching 13.1 innings and giving up just a single earned run. Papelbon posted an 0.68 ERA, struck out 14.85 batters per nine innings, and recorded seven saves. Grade: A+

Antonio Bastardo: Antonio Bastardo was remarkably improved in September, especially after he was downright brutal last September. He made 12 appearances, recording an out-of-this-world 20 strikeouts. He walked just three, didn’t allow a home run, and posted a 0.93 ERA. That’s exactly what the Phillies expected from him heading into 2012. Grade: A+

Jeremy Horst: In 9.1 innings in September, Jeremy Horst posted an 0.96 ERA and struck out 14 batters in 9.1 innings. He allowed just six hits, no home runs, and put up virtually identical numbers to Bastardo. Grade: A+

Josh Lindblom: How about the performance by Josh Lindblom in September? He went 9.2 innings, struck out 13, and put up a 1.86 ERA. And he did all that without giving up a home run, which has been his calling card since joining Philly. Grade: A

Justin De Fratus: Justin De Fratus was solid enough in September, turning in a 3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings on the mound. He didn’t give up any home runs either and was one of the top right-handed relievers out of the bullpen. Grade: B-

Jake Diekman: After some struggles earlier in the year, Jake Diekman was pretty reliable in September. He took the hill on eight occasions and gave up just one run. That comes out to a 1.80 ERA, although he did walk five batters in five frames. Grade: B-

Phillippe Aumont: Phillippe Aumont looked pretty good securing the save in last night’s 2-0 win, but he was inconsistent for the month as a whole. Aumont was given the chance to earn the setup role and he didn’t look up to it, allowing a 4.63 ERA and 5.4 walk rate per nine innings. Grade: D+

B.J. Rosenberg: I’m absolutely ecstatic with the transformation B.J. Rosenberg showed. He was brutal early in the season but settled down in the month of September to the tune of a 0.87 ERA and respectable strikeout and walk totals. Grade: A-

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