Interleague Play/Pitching Performances

Friday, May 16, 2008 ·

Memorial Day is near as interleague play starts off this weekend for the Phils. They will be visited by the Toronto Blue Jays. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Phillies are by far the worst team in the National League East during interleague play. Over the past 11 years, the Phillies are 86-98 (.467). Every other National League East team is over .500 during the same time period.

As of today, the Phillies have the strongest strength of interleague schedule just to make matters worse. Their opponents are the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Angels, A's, and Rangers, which are all around .500 or above. It is not all bad news though. Last year, the Phillies were 8-7 in interleague play, so maybe they're turning the corner. Let's hope so.

To win against the American League, the Phillies are going to need exceptional starting pitching. Currently, the Phillies starting rotation ranks pretty low in the majors with regards to their 4.69 ERA (22nd), 12 wins (22nd), 276 hits allowed (29th), 164 Ks (15th), .281 opponents batting average (24th), .811 Opponents' OPS (29th), 36 HRs allowed (29th), 1.44 WHIP (20th), and 1.93 K/BB ratio (15th). As you can tell, the starting rotation outside of Cole Hamels has been pretty poor thus far. The only stat the Phillies rank highly in is starter's losses, which are bailed out by the offenses late comebacks or just poor run support. The Phillies felt that the addition of Brett Myers to the rotation would be enough, but it is obvious that that assumption has been incorrect thus far.

On the other hand, the Phillies' bullpen is the best in baseball, pretty substantially as well. Their 2.63 ERA leads the majors. The Phillies bullpen also ranks high in other categories. 11 wins (2nd), 11 saves (T11th), 106 hits (6th), .226 Opponents Batting Average (3rd), .632 Opponent's OPS (3rd), and 1.32 WHIP (10th). The bullpen does have some areas where they need to improve immensely because they are currently living and dying and their opponents low "batting average of balls put in play." The pen walks too many guys and they don't strike out enough hitters to counteract the walks. Their 1.49 K/BB (23rd) and 6.47 K/9 ratio (23rd) are both near the bottom of the league. If the bullpen wants to maintain their success, they need to work on cutting down their walks. Another rather astonishing stat is that their bullpen has allowed 14 stolen bases (3 caught stealing) in only 126.2 innings. The starters have also allowed 14 stolen bases (12 caught stealing) in 249.1 innings. The bullpen guys need to do a better job at holding runners.

Here's to hoping the offensive numbers continue to increase and that the Phillies finish over .500 during interleague play for the second straight year.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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