In 2013, the Phillie offense was bad and the pitching was worse. Among the pitchers, though, who were worse, the starters or the relievers? Both were really bad, but I think the answer is the relievers were worse relative to the rest of the league, even if the starters did more damage by throwing more innings.

The Phillies were 14th in the NL in both ERA for their starters and ERA for their relievers:

ERA NL Rank NL Avg
PHI SP 4.41 14 3.86
PHI RP 4.19 14 3.50

Just by ERA, the ERA for the team’s relief pitchers overall was about 1.20 times the NL average and the ERA for the team’s starters was about 1.14 times the NL average.

It’s worse for the pen if you look at the runs they allowed per inning rather than the ERA:

RA per IP NL Rank NL Avg
PHI SP .523 14 .465
PHI RP .518 15 .419

The Phils were better than the Rockies in runs allowed per inning pitched for their starters and better than nobody in their runs allowed per innings pitched for their relievers. Their starters and relievers allowed runs per inning at almost the same rate while the gap for the league was larger — relievers were much more effective at preventing runs. The .523 runs allowed per inning that the starters for the Phils allowed in 2013 was about 1.125 times the .465 runs per inning mark for NL starters for the year. The .518 runs allowed per inning for the relievers was much worse, about 1.236 times the NL average of .419 runs allowed per inning.

None of this means the starters were good. They really, really weren’t. I mentioned in the last post that Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were great in 2013. Here’s what everyone else on the team did in 98 starts in ’13 not made by Lee or Hamels:

Pitcher GS IP ERA Ratio
Kendrick 30 182 4.70 1.40
Pettibone 18 100.3 4.04 1.47
Lannan 14 74.3 5.33 1.52
Halladay 13 62 6.82 1.47
Cloyd 11 54.3 6.96 1.80
Martin 8 33 6.55 1.79
Miner 3 9.3 5.79 2.14
Valdes 1 3.7 22.09 3.27
Group Total 98 519 5.41 1.53
NL Average SP - - 3.86 1.28

So in a year in which the average NL pitcher threw to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.28 ratio, the Phillie starters other than Hamels and Lee combined to make 98 starts in which they threw to a 5.41 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Jonathan Pettibone led the group with a 4.04 ERA and Kyle Kendrick with a 1.40 ratio. That group combined to allow 10.35 hits per nine innings in a season in which the average NL starter allowed about 8.73 hits per nine innings. Roy Halladay is the only one of the eight that allowed less than a hit per inning in 2013 — you may remember he had some troubles with walks and home runs last year (he actually allowed hits at a rate below his career average while his rates of allowing walks and home runs were both more than twice his career average).

In 2013, the average NL reliever threw to a 3.50 ERA and a 1.28 ratio. The Phillies used 21 relief pitchers in 2013. Here’s the list of Phillie relievers in 2013 who had both an ERA of 3.50 or better and an ERA of 1.28 or better:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Papelbon 61.7 2.92 1.14
Bastardo 42.7 2.32 1.27

Among the 21 relievers the Phillies used in 2013, two (Jake Diekman and Joe Savery) threw at least ten innings in relief with an ERA better than 3.50 but a ratio worse than 1.28. Two (Raul Valdes and Michael Stutes) also had a ratio of 1.28 or better, but an ERA worse than 3.50. But Papelbon and Bastardo were the only two of the 21 that were as good or better than league average in both ERA and ratio.

Here’s the 19 who were worse than league average in both categories:

Pitcher G IP ERA Ratio
Justin De Fratus 
Jake Diekman 
Luis Garcia 
Raul Valdes 
Jeremy Horst 
Mike Adams 
J.C. Ramirez 
Joe Savery 
B.J. Rosenberg 
Zach Miner 
Phillippe Aumont 
Michael Stutes 
Cesar Jimenez 
Chad Durbin 
Ethan Martin 
Tyler Cloyd 
Mauricio Robles 
Casper Wells 
John McDonald 
58
45
24
16
28
28
18
18
22
13
22
16
19
16
7
2
3
1
1
46.7
38.3
31.3
31.3
26.0
25.0
24.0
20.0
19.7
19.3
19.3
17.7
17.0
16.0
7.0
6.0
4.7
0.7
0.3
3.86
2.58
3.73
5.74
6.23
3.96
7.50
3.15
4.58
3.72
4.19
4.58
3.71
9.00
3.86
3.00
1.93
67.50
0.00
1.50
1.30
1.60
1.21
1.81
1.36
1.88
1.30
1.48
1.55
1.91
1.25
1.41
2.13
1.29
1.67
2.14
9.00
6.00

Overall for the season, the starters threw way more innings than the pen. The Phillies pitched 1,436 1/3 innings in 2013 and 961 2/3, about 67%, were thrown by the starters. Hamels and Lee combined to throw 442 2/3 innings, which is about 46% of the total innings thrown by Phillie starting pitchers on the year.