The Phillies got a little worse at preventing runs last year compared to their 2008 campaign. In 2008, only two teams in the NL allowed fewer runs than the Phils. In 2009 the Phils dropped to sixth in the league.

If you had asked me the inning in which the Phillies saw the most drop off, I would have quickly guessed the ninth. That would have been wrong, though, and for me at least it was a good reminder that the struggles for the Phillies pitching staff last year extended beyond the back of the bullpen.

Here’s how the runs allowed broke down by inning for the Phillies in 2009:

  G Runs/game % of all
runs allowed
Runs per
batter faced
1st inning 162 0.55 12.6 0.129
2nd inning 162 0.45 10.3 0.103
3rd inning 162 0.41 9.3 0.098
4th inning 162 0.50 11.4 0.115
5th inning 162 0.58 13.3 0.134
6th inning 161 0.49 11.1 0.115
7th inning 161 0.40 9.0 0.092
8th inning 161 0.45 10.3 0.105
9th inning 136 0.57 10.9 0.133
Extra innings 16 0.81 1.8 0.098
         
Total 162 4.38 100 0.113

By the percentage of runs allowed and by the runs allowed per batter faced, the fifth inning was the worst for the Phils. The ninth was right behind the fifth in terms of runs allowed per plate appearance and the first right behind the fifth in terms of the percentage of the total runs that the team allowed.

Here’s what it looked like for 2008:

  G Runs/game % of all
runs allowed
Runs per
batter faced
1st inning 162 0.70 16.6 0.154
2nd inning 162 0.30 7.1 0.071
3rd inning 162 0.56 13.2 0.129
4th inning 162 0.57 13.7 0.133
5th inning 162 0.41 9.8 0.099
6th inning 162 0.47 11.2 0.111
7th inning 162 0.31 7.5 0.077
8th inning 162 0.48 11.5 0.109
9th inning 132 0.40 7.8 0.094
Extra innings 13 0.85 1.6 0.098
         
Total 162 4.20 100 0.109

Much more normal-looking here, with the first inning the leader by a lot in both the percentage of the runs allowed and the runs allowed per batter faced. The first is, after all, the inning in which the opposition can best control who will come to the plate. Pretty much they try to send someone good, with possible exception of the teams that don’t like clogging up the bases with a bunch of runners.

Here’s how it looks if you compare the ’09 results to the ’08 results:

  Runs/game % of all
runs allowed
Runs per
batter faced
1st inning 78.8% -4.1% 84.1%
2nd inning 152.1% +3.2% 145.2%
3rd inning 73.3% -3.9% 75.7%
4th inning 87.1% -2.3% 86.6%
5th inning 140.3% +3.4% 134.9%
6th inning 104.6% very small change 103.8%
7th inning 126.3% +1.5% 120.8%
8th inning 94.2% -1.2% 96.6%
9th inning 141.0% +3.1% 141.5%
Extra innings 96.0% 0.2% 100.3%
       
Total 104.3%   103.7%

So, for example, the Phillies allowed 89 runs in 162 games in the first inning in 2009, which is .55 runs per game. In 2008 they allowed 113 runs in 162 games or .70 runs per game. .55 is about 78.8% of .70 (actually .5494 is about 78.8% of .6975).

In 2008, about 16.6% of the runs the Phillies allowed were scored in the first inning. In 2009 it was about 12.6%, which is 4.1% lower than the 16.6% in 2009 (again, rounding issues make the numbers on the tables not match up exactly).

In 2009 they faced 688 batters in the first inning — 89 runs means they allowed about 0.129 runs per batter. In ’08 it was 113 runs allowed to 735 batters or .154 per batter. .129 over .154 is about 84.1%, meaning that the Phils allowed about 84.1% of the runs per plate appearance in the first inning in 2009 that they did in 2008.

Anyhow, pretty much any way you look at the numbers, the biggest decline wasn’t in the ninth inning. By percentage change in runs allowed per game and runs allowed per batter face, the second was the inning where the team declined the most. By the difference in percentage of the team’s runs allowed it was the fifth.

Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown are among those impressed with Roy Halladay.

Manuel says Victorino will hit sixth and seventh and that Mike Zagurski is still a little rough here.