Remember this from last week?
|Starts||Team RA||Team RA
per game not started
Here’s another way to look at it, dividing the games up into those in which Kendrick, Blanton or Moyer started and the games in which they didn’t:
allowed per game
by Blanton, Kendrick, Moyer
started by Blanton, Kendrick or Moyer
One thing that’s a lock at this point is that Blanton, Kendrick and Moyer won’t be combining to make 78 starts this season. Even if Blanton is with the team on opening day, he’s coming off the worst year of his career and a good candidate to get a lot better in 2011. In 2010, he allowed 5.33 runs per nine innings for the Phils. In 2008 and 2009, he allowed 125 runs in 266 innings, which is about 4.23 runs per nine innings. In 2009, Blanton made 31 starts in which he threw to a 4.05 ERA and the Phillies allowed 4.42 runs per game in those starts.
If Blanton made 31 starts for the Phillies next year, the difference between the team allowing 5.36 runs per game in those starts (like they did in 2010) or 4.42 (like they did in 2009) is about 0.94 runs per game. That’s more than 29 runs over 31 starts.
The point there is that, either with Blanton or with someone else getting Blanton’s starts in ’11, the Phillies should be able to improve on his 2010 production without much problem and should benefit significantly by doing so.
The games not started by Blanton, Kendrick or Moyer were started by a rather impressive group of pitchers. Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt combined to make 78 starts. The other six went to Happ (three), Worley (two) and Figueroa (one).
That group looks like it’s only going to get more impressive with the addition of Cliff Lee. The bad news on that front is that even with the addition of Lee, the Phils aren’t going to allow 2.99 runs per game in 2011 or anywhere close, even in the games started by Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels.
Last year Hamels and Halladay combined to make 78 starts in which they threw to a 2.56 ERA over 541 innings. They were great. They’re probably going to be great again, but not that great, mostly because Oswalt’s starts for the Phillies in 2010 were absurdly good. After allowing five runs in six innings against the Nationals in his first start with the Phils, Oswalt threw to a 1.31 ERA over his last eleven starts with the team and ended the year with a 1.74 ERA with the Phils. Of the four members of the quartet, though, none of them has a career ERA near 2.56 and it’s unreasonable to assume they would throw to a 2.56 ERA as a group next year or that the Phillies would allow 2.99 runs per game in the games they started, much less the games they started plus the starts by next year’s Worley, Happs and Figueroas. Of the four big starters for the Phils, Oswalt has the best career ERA at 3.18. Hamels is at 3.53. Lee and Halladay have both spent much of their careers in the American League — Halladay has a career 3.32 ERA and Lee a career 3.85 ERA.