If you say it out loud — Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Park — it sure doesn’t sound like the Phillies should have the worst starting rotation in baseball. And yet so far in 2009, almost inarguably, they have. Opponents have hit .326 against Phillies’ starters, the worst mark in all of baseball. The rotation has a 6.75 ERA and the starters have allowed 28 home runs. Again, the Phillies are the worst of all teams in either league in both categories.

As they demonstrated last night, the Phils are more than capable of winning with their offense, no matter what the starting pitching (or relief pitching for that matter) does. But for how long? The Phils have scored 111 runs in 18 games. That puts them on pace to score 999 for the season. That’s not going to happen. They have a nifty four-game win-streak going, but they’ve needed to score 39 runs to get it. They’ve won just two games this season when they’ve scored less than seven runs.

All five of the starters in the rotation have allowed runs, hits and home runs at a higher rate so far in 2009 than they have over their careers. As a group they are walking fewer hitters and striking out more.

For each of the five, here’s how their rates for runs, hits, walks, strikeouts and home runs for 2009 compare to what they’ve done over their career:

hamels.jpg

Hamels has been walking fewer hitters in 2009, allowing just two walks in 13 innings, but everything else is up. Opponents are hitting .397 against him, they’ve hit .237 against him for his career. His strikeouts are down and his home runs are way up.

myers.jpg

Myers had struck people at a higher rate and allowed more walks while giving up hits at about the same rate. In terms of the rate at which he’s being charged with runs, his ’09 numbers are the closest of the group to his career numbers (Moyer is pretty close behind him).

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Everything’s up for Blanton, even his strikeout rate. Over his career, his rate of preventing home runs has been the best of the group — he’s allowed just 0.9 home runs per nine innings. Hamels and Myers have both allowed the long ball at a higher rate this season, but if you compare everyone’s own career numbers to what they’ve done so far this year Blanton’s home rate has increased the most.

moyer.jpg

More hits, fewer walks, more strikeouts and more home runs.

All five of the pitchers in the starting rotation have allowed home runs at a higher rate in 2009 than they have over their careers. Moyer’s rate of allowing home runs is the closest to his career mark and he’s allowed home runs at 1.75 times his career average. Over his career he’s allowed 469 in 3769 2/3 innings (1.12 per nine). This year he’s allowed five in 23 innings, or 1.96 per nine.

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More hits, more home runs, less walks and less strikeouts. Glad to see his walk rate down, but I am a little surprised that the strikeout numbers are so low given the rate he was striking people out in spring training.

For each of the five categories, here’s how many of the pitchers in the rotation that are doing worse this year compared to the numbers they have put up over their careers (they are arranged from biggest difference to smallest difference, so the pitchers that have been worst compared to their own career numbers are at the top of the list):


Runs (5)

Hits (5)

Walks (2)

Strikeouts (2)

HR (5)

Hamels

Hamels

Myers

Park

Blanton

Blanton

Blanton

Blanton

Hamels

Hamels

Park

Park

Myers

Moyer

Moyer

Park

Myers

Myers

Moyer

Ruiz was scratched from the IronPigs lineup last night when he had discomfort in his right oblique. That would seem to suggest his return is not imminent.

Madson closed last night’s game because Lidge is day-to-day with a knee problem. This suggests Lidge will be unavailable for a couple more days.