The ’07 Phils actually had 13 guys pitch out of the pen who ended their year with the team with an ERA over 5.00: JD Durbin, Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey, Jose Mesa, Francisco Rosario, Mike Zagurski, Yoel Hernandez, Brian Sanches, Fabio Castro, Kane Davis, John Ennis, Matt Smith and Anderson Garcia. They got it down to five in 2008: Eaton, Kendrick, Gordon, Swindle and Walrond — of that group only Gordon threw more than 11 innings in relief.
Here is the Phillies record by number of runs they scored in 2007:
And here’s what they did in 2008:
There were a lot of significant differences between the 2007 Phillies and the 2008 Phillies. Among the most important were that in 2008 the Phillies scored 799 runs, nearly a hundred runs fewer than they had scored in 2007 when the led the NL with 892. A second was that in 2008 the Phillies had, by ERA, the best bullpen in the NL. This was coming off a year when the bullpen was miserable — in 2007, the Phils’ bullpen ERA of 4.50 was 13th best in the league.
As you would guess, the Phils played more games in 2007 where they scored a large number of runs. In 2007, the Phillies played 42 games in which they scored more than seven runs. In 2008, they played just 31.
In 2007, the Phils used their monster offense to pound their way to some wins. Here are the team’s record in games where they scored eight runs or less in the two seasons:
Record in games where they scored eight runs or less
In ’07, the Phils were way under .500 in games where they scored eight runs or fewer. They made up for it with 27 games in which they scored nine or more runs, going 27-0 in those games. In 2008, the Phils played just 13 games where they scored more than eight runs and lost one of those (they went 12-1), but were hugely more successful in the games when they scored eight runs or fewer. They also played more of them — 149 games when they scored eight runs or fewer compared to 135 in 2007.
Finally, you can also see the impact of the improved pen when you look at their results in games where they scored either five or six runs in the game:
Record in games where they scored five or six runs
Chris Coste knows he’s a far better defensive catcher than people think.
This says the Phillies are looking at lefty Will Ohman. The linked article also suggests that if Nomar Garciaparra decides to play this year he would be interested in playing for the Phils.