Stat of the day: facing the Phillies

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Last week, I looked at the best and worst from how starters fared against the Yankees over the last five years.  Now, here’s a piece using the Phillies instead.  51 pitchers have started at least five games against them since the beginning of 2007:

Best
Hiroki Kuroda: 2-2, 1.41 ERA (six starts)
Tommy Hanson: 1-2, 2.23 ERA (seven starts)
Adam Wainwright: 2-1, 2.41 ERA (six starts)
Jair Jurrjens: 5-3, 2.45 ERA (11 starts)
Ricky Nolasco: 5-2, 2.59 ERA (nine starts)
Josh Johnson: 4-2, 2.60 ERA (10 starts)
Tim Lincecum: 4-1, 2.61 ERA (nine starts)
Tom Glavine: 3-0, 2.75 ERA (six starts)
John Maine: 2-1, 2.83 ERA (seven starts)
R.A. Dickey: 2-3, 2.90 ERA (five starts)
Tim Redding: 4-3, 2.92 ERA (11 starts)
Chad Billingsley: 1-2, 3.31 ERA (six starts)
Chris Young: 3-1, 3.34 ERA (six starts)
Derek Lowe: 6-5, 3.39 ERA (12 starts)
Tim Hudson: 3-4, 3.44 ERA (12 starts)
Matt Cain: 1-3, 3.48 ERA (five starts)
Jonathan Sanchez: 3-2, 3.48 ERA (six starts)

Worst
Charlie Morton: 1-3, 8.22 ERA (five starts)
Jorge De La Rosa: 0-4, 8.03 ERA (five starts)
Dontrelle Willis: 2-2, 7.00 ERA (five starts)
Ryan Dempster: 1-2, 6.91 ERA (five starts)
Aaron Cook: 0-4, 6.61 ERA (six starts)
Chuck James: 1-1, 6.46 ERA (five starts)
Jason Marquis: 3-5, 6.43 ERA (10 starts)
Todd Wellemeyer: 1-2, 6.38 ERA (five starts)
Jo-Jo Reyes: 0-3, 6.35 ERA (five starts)
Jeff Suppan: 0-3, 6.18 ERA (five starts)
Micah Owings: 2-2, 6.15 ERA (five starts)
Andrew Miller: 0-5, 6.06 ERA (seven starts)

A special dishonorable mention in the worst category goes to John Lannan, or at least the Nationals offense when Lannan is on the mound. The left-hander is 1-12 with a 5.77 ERA in 16 starts against the Phillies.

The pitcher who has faced the Phillies more than anyone over the last five years didn’t make either list. That’s Mike Pelfrey, who has gone 7-6 despite a 5.08 ERA in 18 starts.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.