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January 16 2007

Below is a look at the number of quality starts made by Phillies' pitchers last season -- a quality start is awarded to a starting pitcher if he goes at least six innings and allows three or fewer earned runs. I've also included the numbers for the new Phillies who pitched in the AL or in both leagues last season, although you may want to proceed with caution when comparing the NL quality starts rate to the AL quality start rates.

 

Player GS QS NL-Rank QS QS%
Myers 31 22 T-6 71
Lieber 27 11 T-52 41
Hamels 23 11 T-52 48
Lidle 21 13 T-42 62
Madson 17 7 T-68 41
Wolf 12 2 T-104 17
Floyd 11 3 T-99 27
Mathieson 8 1 T-121 13
Brito 2 0 - 0
Bernero 1 0 - 0
Fultz 1 0 - 0
         
Moyer 33 19 - 58
Garcia 33 18 - 55
Eaton 13 4 - 31

Last season there were 41 NL pitchers who made more than 13 quality starts and just one who made more than 13 quality starts for the Phillies.

Myers' quality start percentage of 71 was third in the NL.  In 2005, 21 of his 34 starts were quality starts, or 62%.

Cory Lidle was a steady presence for the Phillies, making quality starts in 13 of his 21 appearances.

The comparison between Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson is a powerful argument against using quality starts without taking the rest of the numbers into account.  While their percentage of quality starts is similar, Madson made 17 starts for the Phils in which he threw to a 6.28 ERA while Hamels made 23 starts in which he threw to a 4.08 ERA.  In this case the reduced number of quality starts from Hamels is probably caused by a sensible quick hook from Manuel -- Hamels was charged with three or fewer runs in 17 of his 23 starts, but several times did not pitch the six innings needed to be credited with a quality start.

While it might not mean a lot that Madson threw about the same percentage of quality starts as Hamels, the fact that he threw the same percentage as Lieber is unsettling.

The good news for the Phillies, of course, is at the bottom of the list.  The 37 quality starts that Moyer and Garcia threw in '06 is the same number that Lieber, Lidle, Madson, Wolf, Floyd, Mathieson, Brito, Bernero and Fultz combined to make.  Moyer and Garcia needed 66 starts between them to get their 37 -- the nine Phillies needed 100.

An article here from Baseball Prospects (written in 2002) about quality starts.

Adam Eaton does good deeds for the community and appears unwilling to go gently into the night if it comes down to a weird hair showdown with Utley and Hamels.

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