If you’re wondering how the pitching staff for the Phils was so dominating when it came to preventing walks in 2010, Roy Halladay seems like a good place to start. After leading the AL in fewest walks per nine innings in 2009, Halladay led the NL in fewest walks per nine with the lowest walk rate of his career in 2010. In 250 2/3 innings for the Phils last year, Halladay walked 30 batters. That’s 1.078 batters per nine innings. Ted Lilly, who pitched for the Cubs and the Dodgers in 2010, finished second in the league. Between his work with the two teams, Lilly walked 44 in 193 2/3 innings, or 2.045 batters per nine, which is about 1.9 times the walk rate per nine innings for Halladay.
Over the last ten seasons, Greg Maddux led the NL in fewest walks per nine innings five times. Only twice in those ten seasons, Maddux in 2001 (1.043) and David Wells in 2004 (0.920), has the pitcher who lead the NL in fewest walks per nine innings pitched allowed walks at a lower rate than Halladay did in 2010.
So he didn’t walk a lot of folks.
Not only did he not walk a lot of folks, he also pitched a ton of innings. No NL pitcher has thrown more innings than the 250 2/3 that Halladay threw in 2010 since Livan Hernandez threw 255 for the Expos in 2004.
So Halladay was great. There’s a thing, though, and here it is: While it’s easy to attribute the amazing success of the Phillies last year at preventing walks to Roy Halladay, the Phils that weren’t Roy Halladay were great at preventing walks, too.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Phillies staff overall excelled at preventing walks in 2010. As a team they issued fewer walks than any other NL team since 1995. In 1,456 1/3 innings pitched, they walked just 416 batters, which is just 2.57 batters per nine innings. The St Louis Cardinals were the second-best team in the league at preventing walks overall. They walked 477 in 1,453 2/3 innings (2.95 per nine innings).
Even without Halladay’s numbers, the pitchers for the Phils still walked batters at a lower rate than any other team in the NL:
|INN||BB||BB per 9|
|All PHI ’10||1456 1/3||416||2.57|
|All STL ’10||1453 2/3||477||2.95|
|’10 PHI other than Halladay||1205 2/3||386||2.88|
So while Halladay might have been the most outstanding Phillie at preventing walks in 2010, he couldn’t have been the only guy that was really good at preventing the free pass.
Speaking of guys who are great at preventing walks, Cliff Lee says the Phillies are a better team than the Yankees here. I’m sure that will go over well.
In 2010, Lee walked 18 in 212 1/3 innings between the Mariners and the Rangers. That’s about 0.76 per nine innings, which was way lower than Halladay’s mark and way lower than anyone else in the American League. Carl Pavano finished second in walks per nine innings in the AL last year — he walked 1.51 batters per nine, which was way, way behind Lee.
Shane Victorino says he isn’t one to stir the pot or make bold predictions, but “if you look on paper, we’re the favorites to win it all.”
At least nobody is lacking confidence. No word yet that the season has been canceled cause all the other teams decided it was a waste of their time to show up. Further bulletins as events warrant.