Remember this? In 2010, the Phillies walked just 416 batters for the season, which was the fewest number of walks issued by an NL team since the Mets walked 401 in 1995. So far in 2011, the Phils have walked 226 batters in 91 games — that puts them on a pace to better their 2010 mark with just 402 walks.

The bullpen hasn’t been good at preventing walks at all. The pen has walked about 4.06 batters per nine innings pitched. Only two NL teams are allowing walks at a higher rate — the Chicago pen has walked 4.35 hitters per nine innings and the Reds relievers have walked 4.29. The NL average for relievers this year is 3.63.

So the relievers aren’t good at preventing walks. You know who have been, though? Halladay, Hamels and Lee.

Hamels and Lee
412 2/3 70 1.53
Rest of team 418 2/3 156 3.35

Two things are important there. One is that Halladay, Hamels and Lee don’t walk anyone, but the other is that they have thrown a huge number of innings for the Phils this year, about 49.6% of the innings that the team has pitched.

The rest of the team hasn’t been particularly outstanding at preventing walks, allowing 3.35 walks per nine. That’s higher than the average rate for the NL overall, which is 3.16 for the year so far in 2011. That’s misleading in this case, though, cause the walk rate is much better for starters overall than it is for relievers and most of the starting inning for the Phils in this example are taken up by Halladay, Hamels and Lee. So far in 2011, the average starter is walking 2.93 batters per nine. As mentioned above, the average reliever is walking 3.63 batters per nine.

Halladay has been the star of the team in both years in terms of preventing walks, leading the NL in fewest walks per nine innings in 2010 and so far in 2011. Hamels had a much higher walk rate in 2010 than he did in 2010, so he wasn’t a whole lot of help. Moyer was, however, walking just 20 batters in 111 2/3 innings in 2010.

Halladay and Hamels ’10 459 1/3 91 1.78
Not Halladay/Hamels ’10 997 325 2.93
Halladay and Moyer ’10 362 1/3 50 1.24
Not Halladay/Moyer ’10 1094 366 3.01

The Phillies have added another elite non-walker in 2011 in Lee — he’s seventh so far in the NL in BB/9 behind Halladay (1st) and Hamels (3rd). That’s why the Phils are on pace to walk even fewer in 2011 than they did in 2010, but they are not getting the kind of support up and down the pitching staff that they did in 2010 in terms of preventing walks in 2011.

Madson pitched a scoreless inning for Clearwater last night.