The Phillies pushed back
the fences at Citizens Bank Park this season after 2005 looked a little too
much like pinball to make most people, pitchers especially, feel real
comfortable. And it looks like it worked.
Baseball-Reference.com is updated for the 2006 season and explains how the site calculates Park Factors here. Here's how the Park Factors look for the three years the Phillies have played at Citizens Bank Park:
Park Factors, Citizens Bank Park
And here's a look at what the Phillies have done offensively in the past three years, at home and away:
|'06 Total||162||865 (1st)||267||347||447||294||216|
|'05 Total||162||807 (2nd)||270||348||423||282||167|
|'04 Total||162||840 (3rd)||267||345||443||303||215|
The Phillies led the NL
in runs scored this season after finishing second in the NL in runs scored
in '05. They scored 58 more runs this season than they did last,
scoring 41 more runs in their away games than they did in 2005 but just 17
more runs at home. In 2005 they slugged .395 in their away games,
which was just 12th best in the NL. The .433 they slugged away from
Citizens Bank Park in '06 was 6th-best in the league.
The Phillies scored 23 more runs at home than they did in their away games this season. In 2005 they scored 47 more runs at home than they did away.
In each of the last three seasons, the Phillies have scored more runs at home than away. While it seems counter-intuitive given that the home team does not bat in the ninth inning in games its winning at home, it's not uncommon these days given the number of hitter's parks in the National League. This year, for example, of the 16 teams in the National League, 11 of them, like the Phillies, scored more runs at home. Just four teams, the Mets, Braves, Padres and Marlins scored more runs away and the Nationals scored the same number of runs at home and away.
The Phils hit more home runs and doubles at home this season than in either of the last two, but they were just a better offense all around, hitting more doubles and home runs everywhere.
The numbers for the Phillies best hitter, Ryan Howard, were almost identical home and away. At home he hit 309/422/656 with 29 home runs. Away he hit 318/427/662 with 29 home runs. There is no argument to be made that Howard is a product of his ballpark -- he was even a little bit better in his games away from Philadelphia.
The second-best hitter on the Phillies, Howard's fellow lefty Chase Utley, did fare slightly better at home than away. He hit 329/397/571 with 16 home runs and 26 doubles at home and 289/361/485 with 16 home runs but just 14 doubles away.
Pat Burrell was the Phillies best right-handed hitter this season. 261/394/487 with 12 home runs and 13 doubles at home, 254/383/517 with 17 home runs and 11 doubles at home. If you hadn't noticed, home wasn't exactly where the heart was for Burrell this season.
The switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins was significantly better at home than away. At home he hit 298/358/517 with 15 homers and 21 doubles in 319 at-bats. On the road he hit a much less impressive 259/313/443 with ten home runs and 24 doubles in 370 at-bats. His .313 on-base percentage on the road isn't going to inspire much ballad-writing. It was the fourth straight season that Rollins was better at getting on-base at home than on the road. Most drastic was 2004, when he on-based .373 in 318 at-bats at home and .323 in 339 at-bats on the road.
Overall, the Phillies offense was phenomenal this season, and it wasn't because of their yard, which is still a hitter's park but less so than it has been in the past. Mostly it was because of the amazing season of Ryan Howard and the solid bats of his supporting cast.