Phillies by the Numbers

Thursday, June 26, 2008 ·

The Phillies go into their final game of the series against Oakland with a 43-36 record. They are 22-18 at home and 21-18 on the road (one of the best road records). Already, we can see that is clear that the Phillies need to win some more home games, but their record is largely deflated due to their recent interleague debacle against the Red Sox and Angels. It took their 21-13 home record to what we see now.

So, with all this talk about the team's record, I figure we should take a look at how they fair against the rest of the playing field, simply divided by American and National league teams over and under .500.

Vs. NL Teams Above .500 - 9-9
Vs. NL Teams Below .500 - 31-19
Vs. AL Teams Above .500 - 2-6
Vs. AL Teams Below .500 - 1-2
Interleague Play - 3-8

The only AL team they played below .500 is Toronto. As you can see, the Phillies have been dominated by American League opponents, something they used to their advantage last year. However, during the life of interleague play, the Phillies have always been considerably poor. ESPN has recently tried to turn Major League Baseball into some form of College Basketball with RPI and strength of schedule. Currently, the Phillies are 13th in RPI and their .490 SOS ranks them at about 21st. Also, according to Bill James' Pythagorean theorem of baseball, the Phillies expected win-loss total puts them at 48-31, 17 games over .500 compared to the 7 they are now. His theory shows the relationship between the team's runs scored and allowed and their win-loss record.

The Phillies have only played 5 National League teams over .500: the Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. The Phillies have even series with every team, but they lead the Cubs 2-1 and are behind on the Cardinals 2-1. There is good news though, Phillies fans. We have fed off the bottom feeders of the National League and because of the lowly National League. When we return to seeing those teams, the play we enjoyed seeing shall return.

Now it is time to dig a little deeper into the offense and pitching numbers, with a small amount of fielding as well.

Offense
Totals:
Runs: 404 (4th in Majors)
BA: .259 (19th in Majors)
OBP: .338 (10th in Majors)
SLG: .440 (5th in Majors)
R/G: 5.11

Home:
BA: .255 (24th in Majors)
OBP: .334 (16th in Majors)
SLG: .439 (13th in Majors)
R/G: 5.05

Away:
BA: .263 (8th in Majors)
OBP: .341 (3rd in Majors)
SLG: .441 (2nd in Majors)
R/G: 5.18

Totals (No Home/Away Splits)
No one on: BA-.228 (26th), OBP-.311 (19th), SLG-.412 (15th)
Runners on: BA-.282 (7th), OBP-.372 (1st), SLG-.478 (1st)
Scoring Position: BA-.273 (8th), OBP-.381 (2nd), SLG-.461(3rd)
Scoring Position, 2 outs: BA-.238 (14th), OBP-.378(4th), SLG-.378 (9th)

Vs. Finesse Pitching (9 G): BA-.238 (21st), OBP-.287 (22nd), SLG-.376 (20th)
Vs. Power Pitching (47 G): BA-.281 (6th), OBP-.360 (3rd), SLG-.486 (2nd)

Phew, now that we have all of the offensive data, it is time to analyze it. First, for hitting in such a "hitter's ball park", the Phillies have actually performed better away from home. Of course, some of that is deflated by the offense's trouble against the Red Sox and Angels. Overall, the Phillies need to improve their team batting average and that should improve once they break this pitiful slump. Last night, they showed some signs against Greg Smith, a pitcher who allows just under 8 hits a game.

The Phillies K/BB ratio isn't terrible, but there is some room for improvement. The Phillies have struck out 531 times, which puts them at the 14th highest total in the league. Truthfully, they really just need to improve their batting average of balls in play. With such a stat, luck comes into play, but the Phillies need to do a better job of swinging at pitches that they can make good contact on. One specific example is when So Taguchi swung at a 2-0 curveball to end one of the game against the Angels when he had the bases loaded.

The Phillies need to do a better job of getting on base to lead-off innings or with no one on. Currently, they are near the bottom of the league in that category. When do they do have runners on and less than 2 outs, the Phillies do a good job of getting on and knocking runners home. A few more rallies can be started if the lead-off hitters do a better job of trying to reach base rather than trying to knock themselves home. They need to improve their pitch-selection and discipline.

Their home offensive numbers should heat up a little when they return home against the Mets, Cardinals, and Arizona at least we hope so. During 10-game homestand, if the Phillies want to be in first by the all-star break, they need to find a way to win at least 2 of those series. I'd expect the Arizona series to be a little tough because of the possible pitching match-ups.

Lastly, the Phillies loves to beat up on Power pitchers with good fastballs, but they have done poorly in 9 games against finesse pitchers (guys like Greg Maddux). It is a small sample size, and those numbers should improve. ESPN does not clarify whom they considered such finesse pitchers for those stats. Now, onto pitching.

Pitching
Totals:
ERA - 3.84 (8th)
K/9 - 6.46 (21st)
BAA - .256 (9th)
WHIP - 1.33 (11th)
HR - 84 (23rd)

Home:
ERA - 3.71 (13th)
K/9 - 6.68 (18th)
BAA - .249 (12th)
WHIP - 1.29 (11th)
HR - 44 (26th)

Away:
ERA - 4.08 (9th)
K/9 - 6.22 (20th)
BAA - .261 (11th)
WHIP - 1.38 (9th)
HR - 40 (16th)

Starters: 26-27
ERA - 4.43 (17th)
K/9 - 5.99 (19th)
BAA - .266 (17th)
WHIP - 1.35 (13th)
HR - 72 (30th)

Bullpen: 17-9
ERA - 2.58 (1st)
K/9 - 7.45 (17th)
BAA - .230 (4th)
WHIP - 1.30 (9th)
HR - 12 (1st)

So, the offense is worse at home, but the pitching is better. Again, I question the "hitter's ball park" mentality. Sure, the park gives up home runs, but a lot of the home runs that the Phillies starters give up are no doubters. The bullpen has done a very good job at minimizing the home run ball thus far, but yeah, the starter's...not so much. The Phillies rotation has allowed the most home runs in baseball (72). A good way to cut that down is just to make better pitches. I'm looking at you Brett Myers!

Another area where the Phillies pitching needs to improve is their K/9 ratio. Their strike-out to walk ratio isn't terrible, currently at 2.00, but their starter's K/9 ratio is down considerably from 2007 (6.37) and 2006 (7.09). Are the Phillies getting luckier with the balls put in play or are they not chasing strike-outs and mistakes, but worrying more about hitting their spots. We'll see if their luck changes, because their starters ERA is down considerably from 2007 (4.91) and 2006 (5.08). Their rotation still needs to improve if they want to become a contender however, as they are average to below-average. A good way for this to happen is to have a guy like Brett Myers go a little deeper in his games. He has showed signs here and there, but he has a long way to go. A long way.

What can we say about the bullpen other than that they've been great. Holding the most wins among any bullpen (17), the bullpen has helped the Phillies maintain their first place stature. The bullpen currently leads the majors in ERA, but is also in the top 10 for home runs allowed, opponent's BA, and WHIP. Their ERA is also considerably down from 2007 (4.41) and 2006 (3.79). The bullpen numbers could improve even more with more strike-outs. Who has been their most valuable reliever? Most would say Brad Lidge because of the way he has shut down games, but I feel it is Chad Durbin. Durbin has done a great job of keeping games close to help the offense come back, but he's also helped bridged the gap to get Brad Lidge. For a guy that wanted to be in our rotation, he might find himself earning a nice contract extension as a reliever. We are only paying him $900,000 for this season.

What's left? Fielding! After a very poor start, the Phillies have improved their defensive numbers and now sit at 15th in Errors (48) and 14th in Fielding Percentage (.984). The Phillies outfielders currently have 14 assists. A little down from last year's pace. Who deserves recognition? Pedro Feliz. The man has been such a great defensive third baseman for this team and he's done an alright job at hitting 6th or 7th in our lineup. So far, three of Gillick's offseason moves have paid great dividends in Chad Durbin, Pedro Feliz, and Brad Lidge. Let's hope Gillick's replacement works hard to re-sign Durbin and Lidge.

Sure, I could have waited 2 more games to give the 81-game mid-season analysis, but after the Phillies finally ended their losing streak, I felt it was better to take a look at their positives and to see where they could improve now.


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A small introduction...

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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