FG on Fox: The Most Quietly-Excellent Aspect of the Quietly Excellent Howie Kendrick by Jeff Sullivan January 9, 2015 I want you to look at three pictures. They’re all from the same play, and it would appear to be a fairly unremarkable play. But it was a remarkable play indeed, for reasons I’ll share with you right after the pictures. If you want to make a game of it, when you look at the pictures, try to figure out the significance before I tell you what it is! Let’s go in order. What other way is there? One: Two: Three: Some of you have surely guessed why this matters. Most of you, presumably, haven’t. This is a sequence in which Howie Kendrick popped up. More specifically, this features the very last time that Howie Kendrick popped up. For timing purposes, I don’t spot useful visual clues — Jonathan Villar, Marwin Gonzalez, and David Martinez all played for the Astros in 2014. But, see, I can cheat, because I know the answers. This didn’t happen anywhere in 2014. This happened in the middle of September in 2013. Howie Kendrick hasn’t hit a pop-up since September of the year that came before last year. So Kendrick didn’t pop-up once over a full season. Now, he wasn’t the only one. Last year, Shin-Soo Choo didn’t register a pop-up. Neither did Joe Mauer. Christian Yelich only popped up on the very last day of the season. But, Kendrick batted a lot more often than Choo or Mauer did. And, this isn’t just a 2014 phenomenon. It’s not just that Kendrick didn’t pop up — it’s that Kendrick has always only very seldom popped up. And that’s an indicator of the very thing that makes him successful at the plate. Read the rest at Just A Bit Outside.