Whether you think the sky is falling for the Phillies offense or not, there were areas in which the hitters were better in 2010 than they were in 2009 relative to the rest of the league. Among them are the rates at which they got hits, walks and struck out.

Here are the number of plate appearances for the team in each of the last two years, plus how many times in each year the team got hits, walks and struck out along with the percentage of plate appearances for each:

2010 % of PA 2009 % of PA
PA 6,291 6,338
H 1,451 23.1 1,439 22.7
BB 560 8.9 589 9.3
SO 1,064 16.9 1,155 18.2

In 2010, the Phillies had fewer plate appearances than they did in 2009 and got more hits. They got 47 more plate appearances in 2009, but struck out 91 more times. As a percentage of plate appearances, they struck out less in 2010.

The table above makes it look like they walked less. They did. But not as much less as the rest of the league.

In 2009, the average NL team walked in about 8.97% of their plate appearances. The Phillies walked in 9.29% of their plate appearances. In 2010, the average for NL teams was down to 8.52%, but the Phillies didn’t drop as much. They walked in 8.90% of their PA and their difference relative to the league average was slightly better in 2010 than it was in 2009.

So, in 2010, the league overall walked less than they did in 2009. The Phillies walked less, too, but not as much less as the average team.

Here’s how the rate at which the offense recorded hits, walks and strikeouts per game in 2009 and 2010 compared to the rest of the league:

’10 PHI NL AVG ’10 ’10 PHI/AVG ’09 PHI NL AVG ’09 ’09 PHI/AVG
Hits per Game 8.96 8.65 1.036 8.88 8.77 1.013
BB per Game 3.46 3.25 1.065 3.64 3.44 1.056
SO per Game 6.57 7.36 0.892 7.13 7.06 1.010

So, after getting 1.013 times as many hits per game as the average NL team in 2009, the Phils got 1.036 times as many hits per game as the average NL team in 2010.

In 2009, the Phillies walked 1.056 times as often as the average NL team per game. In 2010, they walked 1.065 times as often as the average NL team per game.

And, finally, in 2009, the Phils struck out more times per game than the average NL team. In 2010, they struck out a lot less than the average NL team.

Pat Gillick says this Phillies team is better than the 2001 Mariners on paper. That team won 116 games, but lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.

Here’s a list of Phillies scheduled to pitch in upcoming games.

This suggests that Cliff Lee suffered a mild strain on his left side earlier this month. In the article, Lee says it’s a non-issue and that he expects to start the season on time.

Andrew Carpenter cleared waivers and will be turned into a reliever.