Game Score is an enormously flawed stat, but looking at the Start Log data for 2012 does help demonstrate part of what was wrong for the Phillies last year.
The average Game Score for a start by a Phillies pitcher in ’12 was 54.2, which is the lowest it has been since 2009. There were only two starters for the Phils in 2012 who posted an average Game Score for the year better than the team’s average of 54.2 — Hamels averaged 59.74 in his 31 starts and Lee averaged 58.93 in his 30. Halladay, notably, joined Worley, Blanton, Kendrick, Valdes, Cloyd and Rosenberg in the group of starters under the team’s 54.2 average.
In 2011, Halladay, Hamels and Lee all averaged Game Scores above 60.
The Phils had six games in 2012 in which their starter threw to a Game Score better than 80. Here are the teams six best starts for 2012 by Game Score:
April 5, Halladay 83. Phillies beat the Pirates 1-0 on Opening Day as Halladay allows two hits and no walks over eight shutout innings.
April 18, Lee 85. By Game Score, this is the second-best start of the year for the Phillies in 2012. Lee strikes out seven in ten shutout innings. Bastardo started the bottom of the eleventh in a scoreless tie and the Giants got an unearned run on two singles and a Wigginton error.
May 3, Blanton 87. Best start of the year for the Phillies by Game Score. Blanton throws a complete-game, three hit shutout and the Phils top the Braves 4-0. He threw just 88 pitches in the game.
August 7, Hamels 83. Best start of the year for Hamels as he throws a complete game, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out six. Howard hits a two-run homer in the top of the first as the Phils score three runs on their way to a 3-0 win over Atlanta.
August 10, Halladay 82. The only pitcher to make two starts with Game Scores over 80, Halladay allowed a run on two hits and no walks while striking out eight as the Phils topped the Cardinals 3-1, breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run shot by Utley.
August 19, Kendrick 82. The third Game Score of 80 plus in a 12-day period for the Phils. Kendrick makes his best start of the year, allowing three hits and a walk over eight shutout innings while striking out seven. The Phillies score five runs charged to Randy Wolf in the first three innings and roll to an 8-0 win.
For the Phillies it was their first season since 2008 in which they didn’t get a start with a Game Score better than 90.
In 2011, Lee threw a complete-game shutout of the Nats on April 14, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out 12 and posting a Game Score of 92.
Halladay threw a perfect game on May 29, 2010 with a Game Score of 98.
There were two starts with a Game Score above 90 in 2009. On August 19, Lee struck out 11, walked none and allowed two singles in a complete game against the Snakes. The Phils won 8-1 and Lee’s Game Score was 92. On September 1, Hamels allowed two hits and a walk while striking out nine in a complete game shutout as the Phils topped the Giants 1-0. 91 Game Score in that start for Hamels.
This Q&A from the Phillies web site speculates that Michael Young could play some first base against lefties this year if Howard continues to struggle against them. Mayberry and Ruf seem like good candidates as well. Mayberry seems like the one of that trio who would not be terrible defensively at the position he was playing (left field, presumably) if he was in the lineup and not at first, which presumably makes it less likely he would be there than Ruf or Young if Howard was on the bench against a lefty.
This suggests that the Phillies and Bastardo have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million deal.
Article on 22-year-old lefty Adam Morgan here. Morgan threw to a 3.35 ERA in 158 2/3 innings over 27 appearances, 26 of which were starts, between Clearwater and Reading in 2012.
This article discusses the possibility that Michael Young will hit between Utley and Howard in 2013.
This article suggests the Phillies are seriously considering signing Delmon Young.
Update: The Phillies signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal. I would have guessed he would get more money than that. At least on paper, that’s a really good deal for the Phils to land the MVP of last year’s ALCS. No word yet they plan to play on paper next year, though. So brace yourself for the possibility there might be a bump or two ahead.
This says Young could earn as much as $3.5 million if all incentives are reached.
Young earned $6.75 million in 2012.