Archive for July, 2010

Hey Joe, where you going with that bat in your hand?

The Phillies needed to shake things up their lineup and they did. It didn’t work, though, and it was rather dramatic about not working. The Phils dropped the slumping Rollins out of the leadoff spot and stacked their lineup with righties against lefty Jaime Garcia. They scored one run in the game and found themselves without a solid right-handed bat off the bench late in the game. They’ve scored two runs in two games, lost four in a row and six of seven since the All-Star break.

Joe Blanton pitched great. For a while. The game was knotted at 1-1 when the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh. With the lefty Garcia still on the mound for St Louis, Manuel let Blanton hit for himself and Blanton struck out on three pitches. The Phillies didn’t score again and the Cardinals went on to plate four more runs.

The decision sure looks bad right now. But Manuel had four lefties and Wilson Valdez on his bench, the Phils were playing game seven of 18 games in 18 days and had gotten one inning from their starter the day before.

Whether you like what Manuel did last night or not, the problems for the Phils are a lot bigger than one decision or even the results of one game. The Phils are in third place in their division and the fourth-place Marlins are just two games behind. They have the ninth-best record in the 16-team National League. If they don’t start playing a lot better soon, it’s not going to matter that they have nothing like the ninth-most talent.

The Phillies are 48-46 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 5-1 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned. He struck out three and has a 6.03 ERA for the season.

He set down the first six St Louis batters before Yadier Molina started the third with a walk. The pitcher Jaime Garcia was next and he bunted Molina to second with the first out. Brendan Ryan flew to right and Felipe Lopez grounded to second to leave Molina stranded.

Jon Jay doubled to start the fourth and came in to score when Pujols followed with a single to left. 1-0. Matt Holliday flew to left for the first out before Pujols stole second. Blanton struck Colby Rasmus out swinging 2-2 and Ruiz picked Pujols off of second to end the inning.

Molina singled to left with one out in the fifth and the game tied at 1-1. Garcia tried to bunt him to second again, but this time Ruiz jumped on the ball and threw to Rollins where Molina was forced for the second out. Ryan grounded to short for the third out.

Jay singled with one out in the sixth, but Blanton got Pujols to hit into a double-play behind him. Ransom made a really nice play on the ball hit by Pujols, diving to his right to field the ball and start the double-play.

Holliday hit Blanton’s first pitch of the seventh out to left, put the Cards up 2-1. Blanton got the next three hitters behind him.

Aaron Miles started the eighth with a single. Ryan was next and he bunted. Ruiz again fielded the ball, but this time his throw was wild for an error and St Louis had men on second and third with nobody out. Lopez was next and he split the gap in right center with a bases clearing double. 4-1. Romero took over for Blanton and the lefty Jay bunted Lopez to third with the first out. Romero walked the righty Pujols intentionally and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Holliday and hit him to load the bases. Rasmus was next and he hit a ball to right deep enough for Lopez to tag and score, making it 5-1 St Louis. Contreras stuck out pitcher Ryan Franklin for the third out.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jaime Garcia went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Francisco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ransom (8) Ruiz. Ransom starts at second for the first time this year. Ibanez on the bench against the lefty with Francisco in right. Rollins dropped to sixth in the order with Polanco hitting leadoff and Victorino batting second. It left the Phillies with lefties Dobbs, Gload, Schneider and Ibanez on the bench and just one righty in Valdez.

The Phillies didn’t have a base runner in the first four innings.

They started the fifth down 1-0. Howard led off an hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, tying the game at 1-1. Werth and Rollins both flew out behind him before Ransom singled to left. Ruiz flew to center to leave Ransom stranded.

With two outs in the sixth, Victorino singled and stole second. Francisco grounded to third for the third out.

Werth walked with one out in the seventh and moved to second when Rollins followed with a single. Ransom struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out before Ruiz walked to load the bases. Manuel left Blanton in to hit for himself with the bases loaded and the score still tied at 1-1. Blanton swung and missed at the first three pitches he saw to leave all three runners stranded.

The Phils were down 2-1 when they hit in the eighth. Righty Kyle McClellan got Polanco on a fly ball to right for the first out. Victorino was next and hit a ball to second that went under Skip Schumaker’s glove for an error. Victorino was running hard all the way and wound up on second. He moved to third on a ground out by Francisco and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Howard. Miller walked Howard to put men on first and third for Werth. Righty Ryan Franklin came in and got Werth on a ground ball to second to leave both men stranded.

Rollins, Ibanez and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs went in order in the ninth with the Phils down 5-1.

Polanco was 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4.

Francisco 0-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-20.

1-for-12 with a single for the top three in the order.

Howard 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. He’s hitting 319/380/681 in July.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Ransom 1-for-3 with two strikeouts, including a big one in the seventh. He also made a very nice defensive play in the sixth to start a double-play.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.63) faces righty Adam Wainwright (14-5, 2.02) this afternoon. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts. In those outings he’s thrown to a 2.20 ERA. He’s allowed more than three earned runs just one in his last 14 times out. Wainwright is still fantastic. He has allowed one earned run in 29 1/3 innings over his last four starts. Opponents are hitting .214 against him for the season.


Moyer misery for the Phils

Even when things are at their lowest, at least we still have that “Moyer” and “more” kind of almost rhyme.

Let’s hope that’s enough. It might have to be.

Another day, another ugly loss for the Phils who are now 1-5 since the All-Star break and seven games back in their division.

Last night’s loss came with yet another injury as Jamie Moyer threw just one inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. Even in the best of circumstances, losing your starter after one inning in a stretch where you play 18 games in 18 days would be tough. These are far from the best of circumstances for the Phils, though, and the relief corps and the offense both struggled after Moyer’s exit last night.

The Phils are suddenly leaking pitchers. Two of the five guys in the starting rotation need to be replaced since Kendrick was sent to Triple-A yesterday before Jamie Moyer was injured last night. JA Happ is almost surely part of the mix to fill out the rotation, but that still leaves them one starter short. The bullpen threw seven innings last night and allowed seven runs and the Phils still have to play 12 more days in a row before getting a day off.

Finally, Danys Baez got blasted again and you have to wonder how much longer the Phils are going to stick with him. Over his last 14 appearances he has thrown to a 7.30 ERA with a 2.27 ratio. He’s walked nine in 12 1/3 innings and opponents have hit .380 against him in those games.

The Phillies are 48-45 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 7-1 last night. They remain in third place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves and a half game behind the second-place Mets. They are 1-5 since the All-Star break.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and threw one scoreless inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. He allowed two singles and didn’t walk anyone or strike anyone out.

He got the first two in the bottom of the first before Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled back-to-back. Pujols and Holliday pulled off a double-steal with Allen Craig at the plate, but Moyer got Craig to line to Victorino for the third out.

Andrew Carpenter took over for Moyer in the second. Aaron Miles singled with one out and the pitcher Chris Carpenter bunted him to second with the first out. Carpenter got Brendan Ryan on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Felipe Lopez started the third with a single. Randy Winn was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center for his second homer in two games, putting St Louis up 2-0. Carpenter got the next three.

Yadier Molina started the fourth with a double. Miles lined back to the mound for the first out, but the pitcher Carpenter singled softly into center and Molina moved to third. Carpenter uncorked a wild pitch with Ryan at the plate, allowing Molina to score (3-0) and Carpenter to take second. Ryan went down on a fly ball to Werth for the second out. Carpenter struck out Lopez for the third.

Baez took over in the fifth. He walked the leadoff man Winn and Winn stole second before Pujols walked. Holliday was next and he blasted a 1-2 pitch out to center for a three-run homer that made it 6-0. Baez got Craig on a ground ball back to the mound before Molina and Miles singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third with one down, but Baez got Carpenter to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

We’ve got to be near the end of the Baez era at this point.

Herndon pitched the sixth. He allowed back-to-back singles to Ryan and Lopez to get things started. It put men on first and second for Winn and Winn hit a fly ball to center deep enough to move Ryan to third. Herndon then struck Pujols out swinging 3-2 and Ruiz threw Lopez out trying to steal second to end the inning.

Contreras pitched the seventh with the Phils down 6-1. He struck Holliday out for the first out. Lefty Colby Rasmus hit for the righty Craig and singled to center, but Contreras got Molina and Miles behind him to keep the Cards off the board.

Madson came on for the eighth, pitching for the second day in a row. He got the first two batters before Lopez doubled to center. Winn followed that with an RBI-single and the St Louis lead was up to 7-1. Pujols grounded to short for the third out.

Long day for the pen with Moyer only going one inning. They didn’t pitch very well, allowing seven runs in seven innings.

Carpenter threw 49 pitches. Baez 28, Madson 20, Contreras 18 and Herndon 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Carpenter went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL, making his 49th start of the season. There have been a whole lot of events this season that the Phillies couldn’t control, but nobody can make you start Wilson Valdez in 49 of 93 games.

1-2-3 in the first.

Werth reached on an infield single with one out in the second, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him.

Ruiz reached on a throwing error by Lopez at third to start the third. Valdez walked behind him to put men on first and second. Carpenter was next and he got the bunt down, but Molina fielded and went after Ruiz who was retired for the second out. Rollins hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Nothing for the Phils after putting their first two men on base to start the inning.

Polanco led off the fourth with the Phils down 2-0 and singled to right. Ibanez, Howard and Werth went down behind him.

Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Valdez grounded to third to end the fifth. Cody Ransom took over for him at second in the bottom of the inning with the new pitcher Baez moving into the eight-hole in the lineup. That’s a great move by Manuel, but it sadly didn’t help as Ransom went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in the game.

With the current roster I think it makes sense for Ransom to start at second base a lot against lefties. At least until he demonstrates he can’t play second. I’m even up for a Dobbs/Ransom platoon at second for a while.

Polanco tripled with two outs in the sixth and the Phils down 6-0. Ibanez was next and hit the ball well, but Pujols reached for the ball at first and got it to retire the side.

Werth and Victorino doubled with one out in the seventh, cutting the lead to 6-1. Ruiz grounded to second for the second out with Victorino holding second. With the righty Carpenter still on the mound for St Louis, Dobbs hit for our Carpenter and grounded to first.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Down 7-1, Howard doubled with one out in the ninth. Werth flew to right behind him for the second out and Victorino struck out swinging to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-24 and hitting 178/263/277 in 114 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with a triple. He’s 6-for-18 since coming back.

Ibanez 0-for-4.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double. He’s still on pace to hit 50 doubles. 6-for-his-last-14 with four walks.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez 0-for-1 with a walk. I think the combination of the Valdez walk plus the Moyer injury puts an end to the great Valdez/Moyer walkoff of 2010. Valdez leads 6-3 now and that lead may be insurmountable given that Moyer didn’t get a chance to hit last night and looks likely to miss significant time. Valdez is hitting 150/209/225 over his last 43 plate appearances.

Blanton (3-5, 6.21) faces lefty Jaime Garcia (8-4, 2.27) tonight as the fun continues. Blanton has had an awful year and has a 6.27 ERA and a 1.50 ratio over his last three starts. Opponents are hitting .300 against him and he’s allowed 16 home runs in 87 innings. Garcia turned 24 this month and had pitched very well this year. He has allowed more than two earned runs in two of 18 starts and given up just four home runs in 103 innings.

Trade rumors abound. The loudest seem to be around two possible moves, trading for Roy Oswalt and trading Jayson Werth. Oswalt would be a great addition, but even with the injuries the problems with this team are mostly about their ability to score runs and not their ability to prevent them. A lot of the offensive problems have to do with hitters that should and will hit simply not hitting. Not all of them, though. See, for example, the thing about Wilson Valdez starting more than half the games for the Phils this season.

Moyer is apparently headed to the DL, maybe for a long time.


Phils still hoping someone on the pitching staff might meet them in St Louis

The Phillies have started the second half with three awful starts in five games by the stating rotation. Throw in a late home run by Aramis Ramirez in a close game in Chicago and you’ve got 1-4 to start the second half for the Phils when they were looking for a whole lot more.

Last night the Phils gave Kendrick an early 3-0 lead and things looked good through the first out of the fifth inning. After the first out in the fifth, though, the next eight St Louis batters went walk, double, home run, ground out, home run, home run, ground out, home run. Things didn’t look so good anymore.

In the five games since the All-Star break the Phillies have pitched to a 7.46 ERA and a 1.61 ratio. Opponents are hitting .317 against them and they’ve allowed more than two home runs per game (11 in five games).

The Phillies are 48-44 on the season after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 8-4 last night. They have lost four of five and are in third place in the NL East. They trail the first place Braves by six games and the second place Mets by a half game.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and three walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and three home runs. He struck out two.

He had a 3-0 lead when he started the bottom of the first. Felipe Lopez led off with a single and moved to third when Jon Jay followed with a ground-rule double. Albert Pujols hit a ground ball to short for the first out. Lopez scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Jay holding second. Colby Rasmus was next and hit the ball hard, but Valdez made the play at second for the second out as Jay went to third. Kendrick struck Allen Craig out swinging to end the inning.

Kendrick walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the second. Schumaker stole second before Kendrick walked Yadier Molina on five pitches. It brought the pitcher Blake Hawksworth to the plate and he bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Nine-hitter Brendan Ryan followed and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins went to first for the second out with Schumaker scoring to cut the lead to 3-2. Lopez grounded to second to leave Molina stranded.

Eight balls in nine pitches to start the inning isn’t the way to go. Kendrick got off easy.

Pujols doubled with one out in the third and moved to third when Rasmus followed with a fly ball to center. Kendrick got Craig on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth with the Phillies up 4-2.

Ryan flew to center for the first out in the fifth before Lopez walked. Jay doubled to center and Lopez scored to make it 4-3. Pujols pounded a 1-0 pitch out to left and the Cards were on top 5-4. Kendrick got Rasmus on a ground ball to first before Craig and Schumaker hit back-to-back home runs. 7-4. Molina grounded to short to finally end the inning.

Just the three home runs in the frame for St Louis. First career homer for Craig.

Durbin started the sixth with the Phils still down three. Switch-hitter Randy Winn hit for the pitcher Hawksworth and hit a 2-0 pitch out to right to put the Cards up 8-4. Jay walked with two outs, but Durbin got Pujols on a ground ball to third for to leave him stranded.

Romero got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth to drop his ERA on the year to 6.08.

The Phillies didn’t even have to pitch the ninth, what with having already lost and all.

Nice to see the bullpen pitch a little better. Durbin did give up the solo shot to Winn, but it was the only hit or walk the relievers surrendered over three innings.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row. Durbin threw 23 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson both threw 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Blake Hawksworth went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL. Ibanez and his .399 slugging percentage for the season hit third.

Polanco reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Pujols with one out in the first. He moved to second on a single by Ibanez. It brought Howard to the plate with two men on and he doubled into right. Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Ibanez moving to third. Werth popped out to first for the second out, but Victorino picked him up with a single into center that scored both runners and made it 3-0. Ruiz singled to right before Valdez flew to left for the third out.

No RBI for Werth with one out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Kendrick walked to start the second. Rollins was next and hit a ball to second with Kendrick forced at second for the second out. Polanco hit into a double-play.

Werth reached on an infield single on a ball hit out in front of the plate with two outs in the third and the lead at 3-2. He was picked off of first to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth. Valdez lined to short for the second out before Kendrick walked again. Rollins singled into center and Ruiz scored, putting the Phillies up 4-2. Polanco popped to second to leave both runners stranded.

Ibanez started the fifth with a single, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him. Werth walked before Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

The Cardinals were winning 7-4 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Hawksworth got Ruiz and Valdez to start the inning and Dobbs hit for Kendrick. Dobbs singled softly to left, but Rollins grounded to second to turn the Phillies away.

Howard and Werth singled back-to-back in the seventh with two outs and the Phils down 8-4. It put men on first and third for Victorino, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave both men stranded.

Righty Jason Motte got the first two in the eighth before Gload hit for Romero. Gload singled, but Rollins grounded to second to end the frame.

Two hits in two at-bats for the two lefties on the Phillies bench.

Ibanez walked with one out in the ninth and Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-20 with two singles.

Polanco was 1-for-5. 4-for-14 with four singles since his return.

Ibanez 2-for-4 in the game. 6-for-his-last-13.

Howard was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. He’s 8-for-20 with a double and two home runs since the break.

Werth 2-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-17 with a double and six walks since the break.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with two RBI. 7-for-23 with a double and a homer over the last five games. He’s walked once in his last 74 at-bats. On-basing .271 in July.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-16 since the break.

Valdez was 0-for-4. 3-for-16 since the break. Among the 265 NL players with 175 plate appearances for the season, his .268 on-base percentage is 258th.

Jamie Moyer (9-9, 4.88) faces righty Chris Carpenter (10-3, 3.16) tonight. Moyer has a 1.09 ratio to go with his 4.88 ERA. He’s walked just 20 in 110 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting just .238 against him. Things would be better if he hadn’t given up 20 home runs on the year. He’s been hit hard in each of his last two starts, allowing 13 runs in 8 1/3 innings in the outings combined. Carpenter has been great again this year, but had two weak outings in a row before holding the Dodgers to a run over eight innings his last time out.


It only feels like they’ve already played 18 days in a row

The second half of the season got off to an ugly start for the Phils as the Cubs took three of four in Chicago. In a season where the offense has been a big part of the problem, the losses had a lot more to do with the number of runs the Phillies allowed than the number they scored. The Phils scored 19 runs in four games and didn’t manage to win either of the games in which they scored six runs.

The pitching, on the other hand, was awful. The Phils gave up 28 runs and twice yielded more than ten. Halladay and Moyer combined to allow 12 runs in nine innings in games one and four of the series. The pitching staff gave up 45 hits in 35 innings in the set and seven of the hits were home runs.

It was the bullpen, though, that I think we need to be the most worried about. Contreras and Baez combined to allow six runs in 1 2/3 innings in game one. Madson gave up a critical homer to Aramis Ramirez in game two and Romero, Herndon and Baez combined to allow five runs on seven hits over two innings in last night’s game.

Here’s what the relievers did overall in the series:

IP H BB R ER ERA Ratio
10 20 4 12 11 9.90 2.40

The Phils don’t have an off-day until August 2. That means game one of the series in Chicago was the first of 18 games in 18 days. That would be a problem if the bullpen was pitching well. They aren’t.

Here’s what the seven guys currently in the pen have done since June 15:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Herndon 9 2/3 3.72 1.66
Contreras 9 11.00 1.78
Lidge 8 2/3 7.27 1.73
Baez 8 1/3 4.32 2.06
Romero 8 3.38 1.50
Durbin 6 3.00 1.50
Madson 3 1/3 5.40 0.90
       
Total 53 5.60 1.66

First of all, David Herndon has been pitching pretty well of late, but he shouldn’t be the guy on the team throwing the most innings. In general, with the exceptions of Contreras and Lidge, the ERAs for the group aren’t that terrible. The ratios are, though, with Madson the only guy in the group with a ratio under 1.50. He’s only thrown 3 1/3 innings since June 15.

The biggest worry is the guys at the top of the list, the pitchers who have been throwing the most, are the guys that are getting blasted. If you combine the numbers for the four guys who have thrown the most innings in relief since June 15 (Lidge, Baez, Contreras and Herndon), they have a 6.21 ERA and a 1.79 ratio in those appearances. Hopefully the return of Durbin and of Madson will mean some relief for those guys. Despite the big home run that Madson allowed to Ramirez in game three of the set, the duo combined to allow just that one run over 3 1/3 innings in the four-game set with the Cubs.


Shawon of the dead

Wilson Valdez has gotten 178 plate appearances this year. In those plate appearances he’s walked four times and grounded into 14 double-plays. That means he’s hit into a double-play 3 1/2 times more than he’s walked this season.

That seems a little unusual. I thought I would go on a hunt to see when the last time a player in either league a) got at least 150 plate appearances in a season and b) hit into a double-play 3 1/2 or more times than he walked.

The chart below shows players who have gotten at least 150 plate appearances in a season and grounded into double-plays more than 1 1/2 times as often as they walked since the start of 2000:

Year Player GDP/BB
2010 (so far) Wilson Valdez 3.5
2009 Robinson Cano 1.53
2007 Jose Castillo 1.83
2007 Ivan Rodriguez 1.78
2007 Howie Kendrick 1.67
2006 Mike Redmond 2.25
2005 Ivan Rodriguez 1.75
2001 Jorge Fabregas 1.67
2000 Devei Cruz 1.92
2000 Shawon Dunston 1.83

So it doesn’t happen all that often. None of those guys in the ten previous seasons are close to Valdez’s rate. Redmond is the closest with his effort in 2006 when he got 190 plate appearances for the Twins, walked four times and hit into nine double-plays.

How far back do we have to go to find someone to top Valdez? Not quite as far as you might think, cause it’s Shawon Dunston to the rescue in 1999. Between the Mets and the Cards he got 255 plate appearances in which he walked just twice while hitting into eight double-plays. That gives him a four for GDP over BB, topping Valdez’s 3.5 at least for the time being.

Valdez still has seventy-fives games to go, though.

The next update to Philliesflow will be next week.


Don’t look at me — I don’t know why you go to extremes either

The Phillies ended the first half of the season with a pair of beautifully pitched games and 1-0 wins. You can’t really win when you score one run, except when you do. So far in 2010 the Phillies have won seven times when they scored one run or two runs. In the 486 regular season games they played in 2007, 2008 and 2009 they won a total of nine games in which they scored less than three runs.

If you want to win scoring one or two runs the formula isn’t complicated. You’ve got to flounder offensively and get a great outing from your pitcher. You probably won’t have much trouble guessing who was on the mound for the Phils this year in the seven games they won when they scored less than three runs: Halladay four times (4/11, 4/21, 5/29 and 7/10), Hamels twice (5/4 and 7/11) and Moyer once (June 22).

It sure seems like they Phillies were at the extremes in the first half when it came to scoring runs — like they would either put up a ten or a one, but not much in between. But were they? The chart below shows the percentage of games this year in which the Phillies scored less than four runs, more than six runs, or four, five or six runs. It also shows the percentages for the other 15 teams in the NL this year and for the Phillies 2007-2009 and how the teams did in those games.

 
’10 Phillies

’10 Rest of NL

PHI ’07 thru ’09
             
# of runs
scored
% of
games
WPCT % of games WPCT % of games WPCT
             
0,1,2,3 49.4 .256 45.0 .206 33.3 .105
4,5,6 18.4 .563 34.5 .631 38.7 .654
> 6 32.2 .964 20.5 .882 28.0 .919

The chart shows that the Phillies scored less than four runs in 49.4% of their games in the first half. That’s more than the combined results for the other 15 NL teams and a lot more than 33.3% of the games that they put up less than four from ’07 through ’09. Thanks to some rather outstanding days on the mound they managed to go 11-32 in those games. In addition to the games listed above that they won when scoring one or two runs, they also won four times when scoring three (Halladay, Halladay, Kendrick and Figueroa).

That makes six games so far this year that the Phillies have won when they scored less than four runs and Halladay started. They have scored three runs or less in 14 of his 19 starts.

The chart also supports the suggestion the Phillies have been more likely to score in the extremes this season. The Phils have scored four, five or six runs in just 16 of their 87 games. The rest of the NL has been almost twice as likely to put up four, five or six in a given game and the Phils were more than twice as likely over the three previous seasons.

Pretty much everyone wins the games when the score more than six and the Phils play in more than their share and win more than their share. They’re 27-1 in games when they’ve scored more than six runs this season and have managed the feat in nearly a third of their games (here’s the one if you can handle it — it required the Twinkies to score nine runs after the end of the eighth inning). You might conclude that this is because the Phils have scored more runs in their >6 games than the comparison groups. They have, at least compared to the rest of the NL this year, but maybe not by as much as you would guess. The Phils have scored an average of 9.29 runs per game in the 28 games they have scored more than six runs this season. The other 15 NL teams have scored an average of about 9.09 runs per game in theirs while the ’07-’09 Phillies also scored an average of 9.29.

The real point of the chart is that the Phillies can’t be scoring less than four runs in half (okay, 49.4%) of their games in the second half. Being pretty good at winning when you don’t score is nice, but it would be a whole lot nicer if it wasn’t necessary.

Finally, I wanted to reiterate yet again the important distinction between scoring three runs in a game and four runs in a game (at least for the Phillies in recent years). From 2007 through the first half of 2010, the Phils are 21-56 (.273) when they score three runs and 43-32 (.573) when they score four. There’s no doubt at least a little flukiness at play there — they are, for example, are 4-4 this year when they score two runs and 4-10 when they score three.

The NL beat the AL 3-1 in the All-Star game thanks to some excellent pitching and a three-run double from Brian McCann. Halladay got two outs in the sixth and wasn’t charged with a run despite allowing a pair of singles. Howard was the DH for the NL team and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.


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