It was kind of an ugly win for the Phillies last night, but now is not the time to quibble. The Phils scored four runs in the game on three hits, getting by because Happ allowed two runs over six innings, the guys in the pen who aren’t Lidge pitched well and Rollins and Francisco combined to give them two big swings.
The Phillies have still lost eight of their last twelve games and, like I pointed out yesterday, the offensive slump has a lot more to do with that than the pitching. In the last 12 games the Phillies have scored 36 runs, which is three runs per game. In the games before the 12-game stretch started, before July 29, they had scored 5.22 runs per game.
A big part of their problem in August has been that there walk rate is way down compared to the rest of the season. Here’s the rates that the Phils have gotten hits, walked, struck out, hit doubles and triples and home runs per 100 plate appearances before the start of August and since:
Per 100 Plate appearances
So, for example, the Phillies have gotten 20.3 hits per 100 plate appearances in August and had gotten 22.7 hits per 100 plate appearances before the start of August. 20.3 is 89.6% of 22.7.
So everything is worse in August as you would expect. The Phillies get hits, walks, doubles and triples and home runs less regularly while striking out more. Of all of those areas, though, the one where there’s been the biggest change is that the Phillies are drawing far fewer walks in August than they have in other months.
This was even more dramatic before last night’s game. The Phillies have only played nine games in August. Last night they got three hits, a single and two home runs, and walked five times. That’s more walks than they got in the first five games of the month combined — in the first five games of August they drew a total of four walks.
Going into last night’s game, their rate of getting hits and doubles and triples in August was almost identical to their rate for the rest of the year and their rate for drawing walks was even worse. Their rate of getting hits was about 99.1% of what it had been for the rest of the year, for getting doubles and triples was 97.6% while their rate of drawing was just 46.1%.
Finally, it looks like their walk rate is picking up again. As I mentioned, the Phils drew four walks in their first five games in August and didn’t get more than one walk in any of those games. They have 14 walks in their last four games and at least two in each game. Before the start of August they had walked 398 times in 101 games, which is about 3.94 times per game. Fourteen times in four games is 3.5 per game, so they are getting closer to their walk rate before the start of the month.
Moyer is unhappy to be going to the pen.
This says that JC Romero has tendinitis and will not throw for “a week or so.”
Kyle Kendrick has been sent back to Lehigh Valley.