I wrote recently that while the Phillies were very good at both producing and preventing runs in 2008, when you compare what they did overall last season to the past few years, the change in the number of runs they allowed last year was much more dramatic than the change in the number of runs they scored.

In 2008, the Phillies allowed just 680 runs after allowing 821 runs the previous season.

Here’s how many runs they allowed, innings they pitched and runs they allowed per inning in each of the past two years:

Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 680 1449.7 .469
2007 821 1458.3 .563

So overall in 2008, the Phillies allowed an average of .469 runs every inning they pitched. In 2007, they had allowed .563 runs every inning they pitched. The difference between the two is .094 runs per inning.

I wanted to try to identify the pitching areas where the Phils improved the most from 2007 to 2008, so I took a look at some splits trying to find splits where the ’07 to ’08 difference for that split was larger than the difference between the ’07 and ’08 numbers overall. The splits that had a difference that was larger than the overall difference of .094 I put in bold.

 
Left-Right
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 vs left 297 581.7 .511
2007 vs left 330 538 .613
      Difference: 
.103

 
Left-Right
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 vs right 383 868 .441
2007 vs right 491 920.3 .534
      Difference: 
.092

A brief pause to emphasize exactly what we’re looking at. While the difference in the average number of runs the Phillies allowed against lefties was better than the difference in the average number of runs they allowed against righties, they arguably benefited more by improving against righties since they faced so many more of them. They allowed 108 fewer runs against righties and just 33 fewer against lefties.

Again, what I’m trying to do is find the areas where they improved the most, not the areas where the improvement was most important. In the case of the splits above, they improved more against lefties, even though the improvement against righties might have more important to the pitching staff overall.

 
Home-Away
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Home 338 748 .452
2007 Home 421 738 .570
      Difference: 
.119

 
Home-Away
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Away 342 701.7 .487
2007 Away 400 720.3 .555
      Difference: 
.068

And here are the Starter-Reliever splits:

 
Starter-Reliever
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Starter 489 966.7 .506
2007 Starter 536 938.3 .571
      Difference: 
.065

 
Starter-Reliever
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Reliever 191 483 .395
2007 Reliever 285 520 .548
      Difference: 

.153

And pre and post All-Star:

 
Pre/Post All-Star Break
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Pre
All-Star
403 860 .469
2007 Pre
All-Star
463 791.7 .585
      Difference: 
.116

 
Pre/Post All-Star Break
Year RA IP RA/Inning
2008 Post
All-Star
277 589.7 .470
2007 Post
All-Star
358 666.7 .537
      Difference: 
.067

On that last set of splits it’s interesting to note that by average number of runs allowed per inning, the Phillies were almost exactly as good before and after the All-Star break in 2008. They threw to a 3.90 ERA with a 1.36 ratio before the break and a 3.85 ERA with a 1.37 ratio after the break.

Eight splits, four of which are better than the overall rate at which the Phillies improved at preventing runs from ’07 to ’08, and four that are worse. In order of the most improvement to the least they go:

Split Difference
Reliever .153
Home .119
Pre All-Star .116
Vs left .103
Vs right .092
Away .068
Post All-Star .067
Starter .065

The Phillies continue their impressive series of deals with arbitration-eligible players.

They have agreed to a deal with Jayson Werth, believed to be two-years, $10 million. Chad Durbin’s deal is one-year, $1.65 million.

Victorino, one year, $3.125 million. Blanton one year $5.475 million.

That leaves Ryan Howard. He wants $18 million and the Phillies want to pay him $14 million.