Last week I looked at how some Phillies hitters performed in situations tagged as high leverage by Baseball-Reference. Today I wanted to look at how the pitchers fared in high leverage situations.

First of all, not all the members of the staff appeared in high leverage situations with the same regularity. Here’s the percentage of batters that each pitcher who threw for the Phils in ’08 faced in high leverage situations:


Player

Batters faced

High leverage

Percent

Gordon

139

83

59.7

Lidge

292

140

47.9

Romero

255

108

42.4

Durbin

365

128

35.1

Madson

340

93

27.4

Blanton

305

67

22.0

Eyre

53

10

18.9

Walrond

49
9
18.4

Moyer

841

139

16.5

Seanez

189

31

16.4

Myers

817

117

14.3

Eaton

478

67

14.0

Hamels

914

123

13.5

Happ

138

18

13.0

Kendrick

722

92

12.7

Swindle

24
2
8.3

Condrey

303

25

8.3

Carpenter
5 0
0.0

So Gordon was the Phillie who had the highest percentage of his batter’s faced come in high leverage situations, while Andrew Carpenter didn’t face anyone in a high leverage situation all year long (he faced just five hitters in ’08). Important to notice is while the bullpen guys at the top face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, the actual number of hitters faced in high leverage situations compared to the starters is not all that different. Moyer, for example, faced 139 hitters in high leverage situations while Lidge faced 140 despite the fact that Lidge was pitching in high leverage (and presumably, higher leverage) situations more regularly.

Of the 18 pitchers above, 13 faced at least 25 batters in high leverage situations in 2008. Of those 13, going by the OPS that opposing hitters put up against them, eight had better results in high leverage situations and five had worse results. Here they are, ordered by the difference in the OPS that hitters put up against them overall and in high leverage situations:


Player

OPS against season

Not High Leverage

High Leverage

Difference

Gordon

.783

.989

.632

.357

Lidge

.565

.679

.437

.242

Seanez

.682

.718

.497

.220

Romero

.647

.729

.538

.190

Madson

.675

.689

.638

.052

Blanton

.747

.754

.715

.038

Myers

.791

.795

.767

.028

Moyer

.731

.733

.719

.014

Hamels

.657

.649

.710

-.061

Kendrick

.855

.840

.951

-.110

Durbin

.675

.631

.761

-.131

Eaton

.868

.838

1.046

-.207

Condrey

.792

.769

1.052

-.283

Those numbers are based on the results against a very small number of batters. Still, the list is divided almost evenly among starters and relievers (six starters and seven relievers) and yet the five guys of the 13 whose OPS against improved the most in high leverage situations were all relievers. That may reflect that since relievers tend to face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, it may be difficult to survive as a reliever without being effective when they occur.

Here are the Phillies 2008 pitching splits in high leverage situations.

This says Kevin Millar is close to signing with Toronto.

This says that Moises Alou is not healthy, doesn’t want to be a backup player, would prefer to be in the AL and hasn’t decided if he will play this year. I don’t want to imply some kind of Jedi Mind trick knowledge of the situation that does not exist, but my guess is his signing with the Phillies isn’t imminent.