Archive for October 6th, 2009

Home field advantager

You’ve gotta be worried about the back of the pen and whether Rollins can get the offense rolling, but if you had a chance to pick a pair of Phillies you would like to play well against the Rockies I think you have to go with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

The Rockies aren’t fantastic when they’re facing lefties or playing on the road. They’ll be doing both in games one and two.

They sure can hit at Coors Fields, though. The Rockies hit 287/367/482 at home this season. They posted an .850 OPS for the year at home, which was the best mark in the National League. The Phillies were second in home OPS, but they were way back at .796. Colorado’s .850 home OPS was better than the OPS posted at home by every American League team except for the Yankees and Red Sox. If you’re not familiar with the American League, it’s like baseball but instead of Wandy Rodriguez grounding back to the mound they have Adam Lind hit a three-run homer.

Colorado scored 464 runs in their 81 games at home, which is more than any team in either league except for the Red Sox. Again, 14 of the teams play in the AL.

And they don’t just score runs at home, they win. Colorado went 51-30 at home this year. Only one other NL team had 51 or more wins at home. The Giants went 52-29.

They are, however, a whole lot worse on the road. 41-40 this season. Here’s how the runs the Phils and Rockies scored per game at home and on the road and the differences between the two compare for the season:

scored per game
allowed per game
COL at Home 5.73 4.68 1.05
COL Away 4.20 4.15 .05
PHI at Home 5.03 4.53 .50
PHI Away 5.09 4.22 .87

The Rockies just weren’t very good on the road, scoring about the same number of runs per game that they allowed. At home their offense was silly good. Also notable is that the average number of runs they allowed at home per game was not up nearly as sharply as the number of runs they scored at home.

The Phillies, of course, unlike the Rockies, are very good on the road. The 48 games that the Phils won on the road was the most in the NL. No team in either league won more games on the road than the Phils. The Angels had an identical 48-33 record in road games for the season. Still, I don’t think the Phillies want to be heading to Colorado with their backs to the wall.

Cliff Lee will start game one for the Phillies.

Update: Here’s the roster for the NLDS. No Condrey, Walker or Bruntlett. Cairo, Bastardo, Myers and Kendrick are all on the team. I would rather have Condrey or Walker than Bastardo. I’m also going to be surprised if Myers is able to contribute.

Taking stock of the Rox

My hot-or-not opinion on the eight Rockies who have the most plate appearances over the past 14 days:











Fantastic year
for Helton all-around.  If you’re looking for a flaw, he slugged just .372 against lefties, but hit
.311 against them with a .369 on-base percentage.  He hit .300 or
better every month and on-based at least .400 in each of the last four
months of the season.  He was on a huge tear to end the season, going
14-for-30 (467/529/667).  Bright spot number two may be that he has just one home run in his last 119 plate appearances.




Hit 342/421/619
in the second half, so he’s got to be playing pretty well. 
411/488/781 over his last 84 plate appearances.




Hit .322 with a
.379 on-base percentage in the second half after hitting .225 with a .309
on-base percentage in the first half.  Just two home runs on the
season, but has hit 321/372/389 since the start of August and is
8-for-his-last-22 (364/360/545).
Hawpe 285 384 519 The
lefty Hawpe struggled against left-handed pitching this season, hitting
.243 with a .337 on-base percentage (he hit .303 with a .403 on-base
percentage against righties).  He smoked 42 doubles on the year,
which tied him for fifth in the NL.  After a 320/396/577 first half,
though, he hit 240/370/442 in the second half.  He hit just .208 in
September in October, but managed a monster .394 on-base percentage in
those months by drawing 21 walks in 94 plate appearances.  He
finished strong, going 8-for-his-last-24 with three home runs.  He
was ice cold before that, though.  Going into those last 24 at-bats
he was 7-for-47 (.146).
Gonzalez 284 353 525 The
23-year-old lefty fared well against left-handed pitching this season,
hitting 276/343/466 against them.  Like Fowler his numbers at home
were a lot better than his numbers at home.  He hit 305/361/582 at
home and 263/344/467 on the road.  Most of the action he saw on the
year came in the second half — after hitting 202/280/333 in 94 plate
appearances before the break he hit 320/384/608 in 223 plate appearances
after the break.  He went 9-for-28 (333/357/593) to end the regular






Stewart hit .178
against lefties on the season.  Twenty of his 25 homers on the year
came against right-handed pitching.  He’s 3-for-his-last-20 with
three singles.




Career highs for
Barmes in home runs (23) and RBI (76).  Hit 279/323/478 before the
break but trailed off after, hitting just 205/259/394.  He was
atrocious away from home, hitting 207/251/380 for the year.  He went
5-for-28 to end the season (.179).
Fowler 266 363 406 The
switch-hitter Fowler didn’t do much against righties this year, hitting
240/357/372 against them compared to 321/377/482 against lefties.  He
also hit just 236/331/387 away from home.  He comes into the series a
chilly 4-for-his-last-25 (160/222/280).

Assuming the Phillies start Lee and Hamels in games one and two, I would guess there’s about zero chance you see those eight players on the field for Colorado in both of the first two games.

Here are some of the other players that could be a factor for Colorado and what they’ve done recently:

Righty Ryan Spilborghs always kills the Phils, he has a career line of 420/464/660 against the Phillies in 56 plate appearances. He didn’t hit either righties or lefties well this year, though, and managed just a 241/310/395 line for the season. 3-for-23 to end the year.

Righty Chris Iannetta hit just 228/344/460 this season, but his 296/406/580 line against lefties should scare you. He’s another Rockies player that was much better at home than away from it, hitting 295/389/576 at home and 167/302/353 away. He went 5-for-16 (.313) to end the season.

Garrett Atkins is yet another of the Colorado righties. He hit an ugly 226/308/342 on the year, but 268/363/428 against lefties. He hit .200 with a .298 on-base percentage away from home. He was also 5-for-16 to end the season.

Lefty Seth Smith put up nice numbers against both lefties and righties on the season, hitting 293/378/510 overall. He didn’t see much time against lefties, though, getting just 69 of his 387 plate appearances on the year against them. He comes into the post-season 5-for-24 (.208) over the last 14 days.

Lefty Jason Giambi had a terrible year overall, hitting 201/343/382 between the A’s and Rockies. He smoked the ball in limited time with the Rockies, though, hitting 292/452/583 over 31 plate appearances. 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the last two weeks of the season.

24-year-old switch-hitter Eric Young didn’t do much with the bat this season, hitting just 246/295/316 in 61 plate appearances. He was 1-for-10 in the last two weeks of the season. Really fast, though.

Finally, the Rockies were just a miserable offensive team on the road this season. Overall they hit 235/319/399 on the road and 287/367/482 at Coors Field. Iannetta (.656), Spilborghs (.644), Atkins (.624) and Barmes (.631) all had an OPS for the season that was under .700 away from Coors.

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