I think there’s a good chance that everybody who cares agrees already, but I did want to take one more opportunity to drive home the notion that it was the bullpens that created the most important separation between the Phils and the Mets in 2008:
Here’s the runs scored and allowed by both teams:
The Phillies run differential was better by 35 runs.
The team’s scored the same number of runs in 2008. That’s a problem in itself for the Phils, coming off a 2007 season where they scored 88 more times than the Mets. But offense wasn’t the difference between the ’08 Mets and the ’08 Phils.
New York’s starting pitching was better than the Phillies:
The starting pitchers for the Mets and Phillies didn’t throw exactly the same number of innings, but it was close. In about five fewer innings, Phillies starters allowed 31 more runs than Mets starters. Given that we know the run differential between the teams for the year is 35 runs, that means that Phillies relievers allowed 66 fewer runs than Mets relievers. And they did:
Again, the offense was dead even. Mets starters were better. But even though the relievers for each team threw only about half as many innings as the starters, the difference in the runs allowed by the Phillies and the Mets bullpens was enormous — in about half the innings the Phillies gained an advantage more than twice as large as what the Mets gained with their better starters.
Chase Utley takes weak grounders, but isn’t swinging the bat yet. Same article says Jason Donald is working out at second.