Archive for July, 2009

So I guess this means that in some Julys they could score a run with a man on third and nobody out

Charlie Manuel has managed the Phillies since the 2005 season. Here is the team’s record by month since ’05 (nothing in this post includes the results of last night’s game):

Month W L WPCT
March 0 1 .000
April 57 63 .475
May 81 60 .574
June 62 72 .463
July 62 46 .574
August 66 47 .584
September 67 41 .620
October 2 1 .667
       
Total 397 331 .545

September has been the Phillies best month by a wide margin. If they played to a .620 winning percentage over 162 games they would go 100-62. April has been bad and, now that June of 2009 in the books, June has been worse. If the Phils played to their .463 June winning percentage over 162 they would post a 75-87 record. The months other than April and June have been very good — the worst of the other four full months are May and July. In each of those months the Phils have a .574 winning percentage, which would be good for a 93-69 mark over a full season.

So far under Manuel the Phillies have been very strong the last three months of the year — they are 195-134 (.593) in July, August and September and 200-195 (.506) in April, May and June.

Manuel has five Mays under his belt as manager of the team and in all five of them the team has been above .500. It’s a bit hard not to wonder how many of those Mays have occurred out of necessity — in three of the five seasons that Manuel has managed the team has been under .500 in April. Whatever the reason, there has been a pretty significant difference in the team’s winning percentage in games played in April and June and their winning percentage in games played in May, July, August and September:

Month W L WPCT
April and
June
119 135 .469
May, July,
August, September
276 194 .587

Victorino continues to battle Pablo Sandoval to be voted in to the All-Star game. You can vote at the Phillies web site.

The Phillies watched Pedro Martinez pitch yesterday and may be interested in trading for Roy Halladay. I would be surprised if it was the case that the Phillies don’t have the prospects it would take to get Halladay — my guess, though, is that the organization would be much less enthusiastic about taking on Halladay’s huge contract. As the linked article mentions, he’s due to earn $15.75 million next year.


30 days of plight

The Phils were an ugly 11-15 in June, a .423 winning percentage over 26 games.

By winning percentage, June of 2009 is the worst month in which they played at least three games they’ve had since June, 2006. In June of 2006 the Phils went 9-18 and never recovered. The Phils went into June ’06 at 27-25 and came out of it 36-43. They went 49-34 after the end of June but it wasn’t enough. They finished in second place in the NL East at 85-77, 12 games behind the Mets. The Dodgers were the Wild Card team that year at 88-74.

Charlie Manuel took over as the manager of the Phillies for the 2005 season. Here are the best months the Phillies have had since then (not including this month or months where they played less than four games):

Month Record WPCT WPCT Rank
September ’08 17-8 .680 1
September ’06 18-10 .643 2
August ’06 18-11 .621 3
May ’06 17-11 .607 4
May ’09 17-11 .607 4
September ’07 17-11 .607 4

And here are the worst:

Month Record WPCT WPCT Rank
June ’06 9-18 .333 1
April ’05 10-14 .417 2
April ’06 10-14 .417 2
June ’09 11-15 .423 4
April ’07 11-14 .440 5

Each of the five worst months have come in the first three full months of the six-month season. Four of the six best months have come in either August or September.

Even if the Phillies hadn’t played better historically under Manuel towards the end of the season, a big difference between the ’06 swoon in June and the ’09 swoon in June is the quality of the teams in the National League East. In 2006 the Phils finished their miserable June 11 games out of first. This year when June ended they led the NL East by a game and half.

The other thing about 2009 was how good their May was — they went 17-11, giving it a place as one of the three months tied for fourth-best on the list above. It helped the Phils come into June this season with a 28-20 record, which put them in first place in the NL East atop the Mets by a half game.

Finally, as bad as the Phillies were in June of this year, the team that most people see as their primary competition for the division, the Mets, were even worse. New York went 9-18 in the month. They came into June half a game behind the Phils and even with the Phillies playing terribly ended June three games behind them.

Ibanez went 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday at Reading and may be activated in time to play against the Pirates this weekend.

You can vote for Victorino to make the All-Star team until the afternoon of July 9 at the Phillies web site (click on the big thing that says, “Get Victorino to the All-Star game.”)

This says the Phils will be watching Pedro Martinez pitch in the Dominican Republic today. Please no. Charlie Manuel doesn’t sound particularly geeked up about it either.

Bodog.com offers sports betting online.


Apparently if you want to meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and greet the Mets you’ve come to the wrong place

Try the DL.

The Phillies did just about everything right this weekend against the Mets. They got brilliant pitching, got Jimmy Rollins back sparking their offense at the top of the order and played error-free baseball. And when it was over it was hard to have any reaction at all except man-the-Mets-sure-are-looking-awful.

The Phils came into the series with New York 4-14 over their last 18 games. There’s no question that they’re going to snap out of it — the only question is when. They have played badly enough for long enough, though, that one great weekend against the Mets, a team missing three of its four best hitters, isn’t going to get the confidence ball rolling again with a whole lot of steam. Their problems, mostly the fact that there is no reason the rest of the division should be nearly as close to them as they are, took more than one weekend to make and they’re going to take more than one weekend to put behind them.

The Phillies are 42-37 on the year after sweeping the Mets in a three-game series in Philadelphia. They’re a game ahead of the second-place Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place in the division four games behind the Phils.

Rodrigo Lopez made his debut as a Phillie in game one, which the Phillies won 7-2. Coming off of three straight losses in Atlanta, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the first three innings as they jumped out to a big early lead. Lopez cruised into the seventh, when the Mets finally got to him for a pair of runs. Park and Madson came on to offer 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Phillies pitching held the Mets down again in game two as Moyer led the way to a 4-1 win. Moyer held New York to a single run and pitched into the seventh. Rollins drove in a pair of runs and four Phillies relievers combined to throw 2 1/3 innings of nearly perfect relief to protect a three-run lead. Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fifteenth save on the year.

Blanton dueled Johan Santana in game three and the Phils came out with a 2-0 win. Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Utley put the Phils ahead 2-0 with another homer in the bottom of the sixth. Blanton was fantastic, pitching into the eighth and allowing just four singles and three walks without giving up a run. Park got a huge double-play in the eighth and Lidge earned his second save in two days by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series, allowing just three runs in three games. Their pitchers posted a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run and struck out 20 in 27 innings.

The starting pitchers combined to throw 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. Lopez, Moyer and Blanton all made good starts.

Lopez was very good in game one, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first start since 2007. He allowed six hits, three singles and three doubles, and walked one.

Moyer also went 6 1/3 in game two. He allowed one run on five singles and a walk. He allowed at least one home run in nine of his first ten starts on the season. After not allowing one in game two he has now not allowed one in four of his last six starts.

Blanton threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in game three, allowing four singles and three walks. He left with one out and a man on first in the eighth. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start once in his last eight outings — he allowed four runs against the Blue Jays on June 18. His ERA has dropped from 7.11 to 4.69.

The relievers were also outstanding in the series. They allowed three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings over the three games. They struck out ten.

Romero entered game two in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1. He struck Daniel Murphy out to end the inning. He came back to start the eighth and got the leadoff man before Alex Cora singled to left. Madson came on to face righty David Wright.

He also pitched in game three, entering in the top of the eighth with one out, a man on first and the Phillies up 2-0 to pitch to lefty Alex Cora. He hit Cora with a pitch to put the tying run on base and Park came in to pitch to the righty Tatis.

Escalona didn’t pitch in the series. Eyre took his roster spot yesterday.

Walker did not pitch in the series.

Park entered game one in the bottom of the seventh with one out, a man on second and the Phils up 7-2. He struck out the two men he faced to end the inning. He returned for the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single to Gary Sheffield, but got Wright to hit into a double-play behind him. A single and a walk followed, but Park got out of it by getting Tatis on a fly ball to Werth to set New York down.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the eighth with one out, men on first and second and the Phils up 2-0. He got the only man he faced, Tatis, to hit into a big double-play.

Durbin relieved Moyer in game two with one out, nobody on and the Phils up 4-1 in the seventh. He got the first man he faced before hitting Omir Santos with a pitch. Romero came on to face lefty Daniel Murphy.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one with a 7-2 lead. He set the Mets down in order. Madson isn’t the guy to use to start an inning up by five runs.

He entered game two in the eighth with the Phils up 4-1, one out and Wright at the plate. He got Wright to pop to Utley for the second out and Gary Sheffield on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth in game two with the Phils up 4-1. It was the first time he had thrown a perfect inning since June 1.

He also pitched yesterday. He entered in the ninth with a 2-0 lead and struck out the side.

Romero and Lidge have both pitched two days in a row. Romero threw just two pitches yesterday. Lidge 14 yesterday after throwing 13 in game two.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three game series.

Rollins was 5-for-11 with three doubles, three walks and a home run in the three-game set. He’s hitting 217/266/345 on the season. He was also 2-for-4 in the last game in Atlanta, so he’s 7-for-his-last-15.

Victorino was 6-for-14 with a triple in the series. 300/363/447 on the year.

Utley was 3-for-9 with two walks, a home run and three RBI. 301/426/559 on the season.

Howard was 1-for-9 in the series but made two nice defensive plays yesterday. 252/326/519.

Werth went 1-for-7 with three walks and a home run. 261/365/482.

Dobbs started in left in games one and two. He went 2-for-8 with two singles and two RBI. He’s at 244/293/433 for the season. He still has walked just once since May 30 (53 at-bats).

Feliz was 4-for-9 with four singles. 292/340/415 on the year.

Bako got the start behind the plate in each of the first two games and went 1-for-6 with a double and two walks. He’s 3-for-14 with the Phillies. I don’t think it makes sense to have Ruiz, Coste and Bako all on the team at the same time, but if they are going to all be on the team at the same time it’s nice to see Bako play.

Ruiz started yesterday’s game and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s hitting 234/337/364 for the season. He was hitting 304/427/529 at the end of May.

Coste was 0-for-1 in the series. 248/345/386.

Bruntlett did not play in the series. One at-bat in the last six games. 134/208/194 for the year.

Mayberry started in left yesterday. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the series. 209/244/535 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 276/408/466 for the year.

On Thursday the Phillies lost their third straight, falling to the Braves 5-2. Happ pitched very well in the game, holding Atlanta to two runs over seven innings and the teams went into the bottom of the eighth tied at 2-2. Madson got hit hard in the inning, allowing three runs on three hits including a two-run homer by Garret Anderson.

Shane Victorino is one of six vote-in candidates to make the All-Star team.

Eyre up, Escalona down. Jack Taschner was designated for assignment when Lopez was activated to start on Friday.

Ibanez will play for Reading today and may be back before the All-Star break.

Rodrigo Lopez’s starts are purple in the Start Log.


The Phils are a team of necessity — and if they can’t find any necessity they’re happy to make their own

The Phillies dubbed themselves a “team of necessity” last season and this year has brought a marked lack of necessity. The Mets have been riddled with injuries and nothing has forced the Phils to separate themselves from New York and the other teams in a weak NL East. And they didn’t. And now they’ve done it for so long they have some company atop the division.

You hear a whole lot of bashing of the NL East this year. And with good reason. The other teams at least have an excuse. The Mets have had to overcome ridiculous injuries and there aren’t a whole lot of people who thought the Marlins, Braves or Nationals had a huge chance to take the division in the first place. It’s harder to find an excuse for the Phillies.

The next post won’t be till Monday, so here’s the recap of the first two games with the Braves.

The Phillies are 39-36 on the season after dropping the first two games of a three-game set in Atlanta in miserable fashion. The are in first place in the NL East, a half game ahead of the second-place Marlins and two games ahead of the injury-plagued Mets.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 5-4. Blanton went just five innings and left with the Phils down 3-2. Homers by Mayberry and Feliz put the Phils up 4-3 in the eighth, but Atlanta tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom the eighth with an unearned run that scored with the help of errors by Madson and Werth. The Phils made three errors in the game. The Braves won the game against Park in the bottom of the tenth — Park got the first out and then allowed three straight singles.

The Phillies got two hits yesterday, singles by Bako and Victorino, and lost 11-1. Hamels was awful for his second straight start — he allowed seven runs over four innings. The pen allowed four runs in four frames after he left.

Hamels and Blanton combined to throw to a 9.00 ERA with a a 2.44 ratio over nine innings in the first two games of the set.

Blanton went five innings in game one, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. Not a good outing for Blanton, but he had a 3.62 ERA in his six June starts.

Hamels allowed seven runs on nine hits and two walks over four innings in game two. He didn’t allow a home run in the game, giving up seven singles and two doubles. He struck out just one. It’s two bad starts in a row for Hamels. He’s allowed 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts.

The bullpen went 8 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series, throwing to a 3.24 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. They allowed six runs, only three of which were earned, on ten hits and three walks. In the first game Madson was charged with a run on a hit and two walks over 2/3 of an inning before Park took the loss in the tenth. Walker allowed two home runs last night and Taschner gave up two unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth with the game already out of reach.

Romero entered game one in the eighth with two outs, men on first and third and the score tied at 4-4. He got Brian McCann on a popup to Utley to end the inning. He came back to start the ninth with the score still tied and got the only two men he faced before Park came on to pitch to righty Jeff Francoeur.

Taschner started the bottom of the eighth yesterday with the Phillies down 9-1. The first man he faced reached on an error by Feliz. He got the next two before allowing a walk and two singles that plated two runs for the Braves and made the score 11-1. He struck Matt Diaz out with two men on to end the inning.

Both runs charged to Taschner were unearned because of the error by Feliz He didn’t pitch well, though. He has been charged with runs in four of his last five appearances and his ERA has gone from 3.74 to 5.20. He has a 1.95 ratio on the season and has allowed 20 walks in 27 2/3 innings. That’s not a typo — he really has walked 20 in 27 2/3 innings on the year.

Escalona pitched the seventh inning last night with the Phillies down 9-1. He allowed a one-out single, but got the next two.

He’s made six appearances on the season for the Phils — one, on June 13 against the Red Sox, was bad, but the other five have been impressive.

Park entered the ninth inning of game one with two outs and the score tied at 4-4 to pitch to Francoeur. Francoeur flew to right to end the inning. Park came back to start the tenth and struck out the first hitter before back-to-back singles and a throw to third put men on second and third with one out. Prado singled to left to give Atlanta a 5-4 win.

Durbin started the sixth inning of game one with the Phillies down 3-2. He pitched the sixth and the seventh, keeping the Braves off the board and allowing just one single.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with a 4-3 lead. He got the first two outs before walking Gregor Blanco. Madson made an error trying to pick Blanco off, allowing the runner to move to second where he scored on a Martin Prado double to tie the game at 4-4. Prado went to third on another error when Werth mishandled the wall and Madson walked Chipper Jones intentionally. Romero came in to pitch to McCann with two outs and men on first and third.

Walker relieved Hamels yesterday in the fifth with nobody out and a man on first, the Phillies down 6-1. Two of the next four hitters he faced homered, putting the Phillies down 9-1. He got the pitcher Jair Jurrjens on a ball hit back to the mound to end the inning.

He came back to throw a 1-2-3 sixth.

The runs he allowed last night were the first charged to him on the season.

Lidge did not pitch in the first two games of the series.

Nobody in the pen has pitched two days in a row. Walker threw 29 pitches last night and Taschner 21.

The Phillies scored five runs in the first two games of the series.

Rollins was 0-for-8 with a walk. His last hit came on June 18 and he’s at 205/250/319 for the season.

Victorino 2-for-8 with two singles and a walk. 295/362/440 for the season. The .362 on-base percentage is nice to see. He’s had a little bit of a power drought recently — no extra-base hits in his last 29 at-bats.

Utley went 2-for-8 with a homer in the first two. 301/428/560 on the year.

Howard 2-for-8 with a double. 256/328/535.

Werth 0-for-6 with three walks. 265/363/484 on the year.

Dobbs started in left in each of the first two games. He went 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. 228/284/418 for the year. He has walked once since the game against the Nats on May 30.

Feliz went 3-for-6 with a home run and a walk. 292/337/420 on the year. The walk in the first game of the set means he ends June with three walks in 99 at-bats for the month.

Ruiz started game one and was 0-for-4. 243/349/378. After the first game in June he had a .430 on-base percentage for the season, but hit just .174 with a .250 on-base percentage in June.

Mayberry was 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 231/268/590 for the year with four home runs in 39 at-bats.

Bruntlett was 0-for-1 to drop his line for the year to 134/208/194.

Coste was 0-for-1 and is hitting 250/348/390.

Stairs was 0-for-1 and is at 291/426/491 on the year. He has just one extra-base hit since May 27, a double, which has dropped his slugging percentage from .633 to .491.

Bako started last night and was 1-for-4 in the first two games of the set. He’s 2-for-7 with the Phillies. I’m hoping Escalona gets to stay when Lopez is activated. Not optimistic.

Rodrigo Lopez will start tomorrow night’s game against the Mets. In 13 starts at Triple-A he’s thrown to a 3.91 ERA with a 1.35 ratio. He’s allowed a lot of hits, 83 in 71 1/3 innings, but not too many walks (13) or home runs (4). Over his last three starts he’s allowed two earned runs in 21 innings (0.86 ERA) with a 1.00 ratio.


And not just that but you should see how good their numbers are when they don’t allow any runs

Today’s point is that you have better results as a starting pitcher in games when you don’t allow a home run. Really it is.

You probably would have guessed that’s the case. What you might not have guessed is how dramatic the difference can be. Here, for example, are the differences in results for the three Phillies pitchers who have made more than 10 starts this season in games when they have and have not allowed at least one home run in a game:

 
Starts where he allowed at least 1 HR in game

Starts where he allowed 0 HR in game
  Team
record
ERA Ratio Team
Record
ERA Ratio
Hamels 3-5 5.73 1.50 4-2 2.92 1.30
Blanton 4-7 5.76 1.45 3-0 2.50 1.33
Moyer 5-6 7.56 1.68 3-1 2.52 1.12

The Phils are 22-21 in the games started by the trio — 10-3 in the 13 games where they didn’t allow a home run and 12-18 in the 30 where they did.

Here are the numbers for the three combined when they have and have not allowed at least one home run in a start for the season:


IP

ER

H

BB

SO

ERA

Ratio

Allowed HR

175.3

119

216

43

137

6.11

1.48

Didn’t allow HR

80

24

78

22

66

2.70

1.25

In the case of those three so far this year, they’ve struck hitters out at a better rate and prevented hits at a much better rate in the starts where they’ve allowed a home run. What’s a little curious to me is that they’ve walked hitters at a higher rate as a group in the starts where they did not allow a home run than the starts where they did. In the starts where they didn’t allow a home run they walked 22 in 80 innings or 2.47 per nine innings. In the starts where they did allow at least one homer they walked 2.21 per nine. Both Hamels and Blanton walked have walked more batters in their games this season when they didn’t allow a home run than in their games where they did.

It’s obviously a tiny amount of data, but, also curiously, Hamels also issued more walks in his starts in 2008 when he didn’t allow a home run. Here:


Hamels ’08
  IP ERA Ratio BB/9
Starts
allowed HR
123.7 4.37 1.18 1.75
No HR 103.7 1.56 0.96 2.52

The numbers are way better overall in the non-home run starts, but he walked more batters per nine innings. Since his ratio was so much lower in the non-home run starts you can probably guess that he allowed a lot fewer hits. He did — 6.16 hits per nine in starts when he didn’t allow a home run and 8.88 hits per nine in starts he did.

Blanton is the other guy of the trio who is walking more guys this season in his starts when he doesn’t allow a home run. He’s had kind of a brutal transition from Oakland. In 2008, between his starts for Oakland and Philly he allowed 22 home runs in 197 2/3 innings. So far in ’09 he’s allowed 17 in 83 2/3 innings. His numbers weren’t as dramatic as Hamels’ for last year, but he did walk batters at a slightly higher rate in his starts when he did not allow a home run:


Blanton ’08
  IP ERA Ratio BB/9
Starts
allowed HR
112 5.06 1.38 2.97
No HR 85.7 4.20 1.42 3.05

This says that Happ will start tomorrow, Ibanez and Eyre are rehabbing and that Lopez, Carrasco or Carpenter could start on Friday against the Mets.


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