As a team in 2008 the Phillies got 6,273 plate appearances. Of those, 3,170, about 50.5%, came with the score of the game within one run. As a team they also got 780 of their plate appearances, 12.4%, when the margin of the game was more than four runs.

Not all of the players got the same percentage of their plate appearances when the game was close and when it wasn’t. These are the Phillies who got the highest percentage of their plate appearances with the game within one run — for each player it lists their plate appearances when the game was within a run, their total plate appearances for the year and the percentage of their plate appearances that came when the game was within a run:

 
Within one run
Player PA TPA % of PA
Utley 389 707 55.0
Rollins 337 625 53.9
Werth 256 482 53.1
Victorino 328 627 52.3
Bruntlett 123 238 51.7
Howard 360 700 51.4
Burrell 330 645 51.2
       
Team total 3170 6273 50.5
       
Jenkins 155 322 48.1
Feliz 220 463 47.5
Ruiz 176 373 47.2
Coste 136 305 44.6
Dobbs 101 240 42.1
Taguchi 41 103 39.8

This list obviously reflects who is starting games, but Bruntlett is the guy who sticks out, getting more of his plate appearances than the team average with the game close. This is no doubt partly the result of all the time he got in left, relieving Burrell in close games. In the 123 plate appearances that Bruntlett got with the game within one run, he hit 207/273/297.

And here’s how many plate appearances hitters got when the margin of the game was more than four runs, with the players that got the highest percentage of their plate appearances in games that were not close at the top:

 
Margin > 4 runs
Player PA TPA % of PA
Taguchi 23 103 22.3
Dobbs 40 240 16.7
Coste 48 305 15.7
Bruntlett 35 238 14.7
Jenkins 44 322 13.7
Feliz 59 463 12.7
Victorino 78 627 12.4
       
Team total 780 6273 12.4
       
Howard 85 700 12.1
Ruiz 44 373 11.8
Burrell 75 645 11.6
Utley 79 707 11.2
Rollins 69 625 11.0
Werth 47 482 9.8

Looking at both charts, Dobbs and Coste both get a higher percentage than average of their plate appearances in games that are not close and a lower percentage than average in games that are within a run. Coste’s splits from 2008 based on the score of the game were remarkable. When the margin of the game was more than four runs, he hit 432/479/886, going 19-for-44 with five doubles and five home runs. In his 257 other plate appearances, he hit 230/295/335. Over his career, he’s hit 410/442/672 in 129 plate appearances when the margin is more than four runs and 257/313/392 in his 526 other plate appearances.

I do think it’s unfortunate that a relatively high percentage of Dobbs’ plate appearances came with the score of the game lopsided. He was the opposite of Coste in ’08, pounding the ball to a 326/365/540 line in his 200 plate appearances when the game was within four runs and hitting just 179/175/256 in his 40 plate appearances when the margin was four runs or more.

Bruntlett seems to be present in both extremes, getting higher than average percentages of his plate appearances both in blowouts and games that are within a run, which suggests he’s getting lower than average percentages of his plate appearances in the situations in-between.

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