Me Elsewhere: Hawpin’ on the Bandwagon

My latest at Baseball Prospectus (free!) touches on the Rockies’ disastrous end-game performance this year (they’ve been outscored, 17-1, in the ninth inning or later so far), Hong-Chih Kuo’s bout with anxiety disorder, and the rest of what’s happening in the National League West… including the sudden emergence of one Brad Hawpe.

Few things please me more than to see a struggling baseball player on the home team bust out and make me look like an idiot. Hawpe is doing just that, and I couldn’t be happier. For one thing, this buys time for Anthony Rizzo. For another, it helps an offense that desperately needed help.

A brief history lesson is in order…

Kevin Kouzmanoff, 2007

Dates      PA   BA  OBP  SLG
4/3-5/7    93 .108 .172 .193
5/8-10/1  441 .309 .362 .511

Jim Edmonds, 2008

Dates      PA   BA  OBP  SLG
4/3-5/8   103 .178 .265 .233
5/9-9/26  298 .256 .369 .568

Brad Hawpe, 2011

Dates      PA   BA  OBP  SLG
3/31-4/24  55 .098 .145 .118
4/25-5/16  66 .356 .424 .542

Ah, hindsight. Now we can say that Hawpe was just going through a phase. Well, maybe; best to wait for larger samples before calling that one…

Meanwhile, here are a few other fun facts about the Padres’ recent hitting surge:

  • The Padres lead MLB with 82 runs scored in May.
  • No team has scored more runs (74) than the Padres from the 7th inning on this year.
  • The Padres are hitting .280/.364/.434 in the 9th inning. They lead the NL with 5 home runs in the 9th. In all of MLB, only the Rays (7) have hit more.
  • The 23 hits collected by the Padres in last Wednesday’s 13-6 victory over the Brewers are the most by any MLB team in a game this year.
  • The Padres have outscored their opponents, 105-77, in 20 road games.

The bad news is that while the hitters were regressing, so were the pitchers. We knew that neither could sustain their extreme early-season performance, but it would be nice to see hitters and pitchers performing well at the same time. Since Dustin Moseley and company blanked the Dodgers on May 1, the staff has posted a 4.50 ERA over the past 13 games.

Hey, at least the Padres are no longer in last place. It’s been almost a month since we could make that claim…

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4 Responses »

  1. Holding my breath. Comparing his K rate in Apr vs. May, it dropped, getting close to his rates when he hit well. His walk rate up a bit as well, but hoping those keep dropping and rising accordingly.

    Not discussed much is Venable starting to look OK again. OPS by month:

    Apr: 511
    May: 777

  2. Duh. From Petco to Milwaukee, Colorado, and Arizona. You think that might have something to do with it?

  3. We started to hit, and then guys started dropping like crazy. First Hundley, then Hudson, then Venable (though he will probably be back soon) and now Maybin.

    Not only was Maybin hitting like crazy when he went down, but his defense was immediately missed, with two balls to CF last game that he would’ve gotten that Patterson could not, and they both directly led to runs. Hopefully he goes from ‘day-to-day’ back to ‘everyday’ soon.