Tag: Phillies one-run games

One run blame games

Something must be to blame for all the problems the Phils had in one-run games last season, mustn’t it? Sadly it mustn’t. They could simply be some or mostly bad luck. At the same time, you can make a case that in the one-run games that the Phillies lost in 2007 they had more problems scoring runs than they did preventing them.

Here are how many runs the Phils scored and allowed overall last year, in their games that they won or lost by more than one run and in their games that they won or lost by one run. Below that is the one run games broken down by whether or not they won or lost the game:







All games






Not 1-run games






1-run games






1-run games won






1-run games lost






The number of games played is very small, but the chart suggests that last year the Phils were better at preventing runs in games they lost by one run than in games they won by one run. It also suggests that in all one-run games, whether the Phils won or lost, they allowed fewer runs per game on average than in their games overall. The runs against numbers are very close to each other in the one-run games regardless of whether the Phils won or lost. The runs that the Phillies scored aren’t.

Here’s what it looks like if you take the runs scored and allowed in one run games and divide them by the average number of runs that the Phils scored (5.51) and allowed (5.07) over the entire season:




1-run wins



1-run losses



The runs scored in games the Phils lost by one run is pretty clearly the one of these things that’s not like the others.

The most surprising thing, though, isn’t that the runs scored differ so much between the one run games that the Phillies lost and won. The Phillies scored far more runs in games they won last year than in games they lost and their average runs scored per game in games they won was much higher than their runs scored per game in games they lost. The most surprising thing is how little the runs they allowed differed. Because in the same way that the Phils scored far more runs in their average win than in their average loss, they also allowed far more runs in their average loss than they did in their average win.

Chad Durbin got the start yesterday afternoon as the Phils topped the Indians 6-4 to improve to 7-12 in spring training.

Durbin went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a two-run home run by Aaron Herr. Clay Condrey is making a strong case to win a spot in the pen. Out of options, Condrey followed Durbin and threw a scoreless sixth, allowing one single and lowering his spring ERA to 3.86. JC Romero followed with a scoreless inning of his own in which he walked one batter. Vic Darensbourg was next and he threw a scoreless frame, also walking one hitter and dropping his ERA to 3.00. Tom Gordon pitched the ninth and allowed a run on a solo shot by Victor Martinez, puffing Flash’s spring ERA to 9.64. It’s not really a misleading 9.64 either.

Victorino, surrounded by recent speculation that Manuel is not pleased with his attitude, had a big day with the bat. He was 2-for-2 with three RBI. Ruiz went 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI. He’s hitting .417. Feliz was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .238. Rollins was 2-for-3 with two doubles, hopefully he’s heating up in time for the start of the season after a weak spring. Ditto Utley, who 2-for-2 with a walk and a triple. Snelling was 0-for-2 and Helms walked in his only chance.

The Phillies play the Devil Rays today.

Brad Lidge threw live batting practice yesterday and should appear in a Grapefruit League game this weekend.

The article linked above suggests the Phils should trade Wes Helms to the Giants for Steve Kline and the only fly in the ointment is the complete and total lack of interest on the part of San Francisco in acquiring Helms.

Kris Benson will not pitch in a minor league game tomorrow as scheduled due to soreness in his right arm. Everyone seems to say it’s not a big deal. We’ll see.

Jason Jaramillo, Pete Laforest and Brennan King have all been reassigned to minor league camp.

Turns out if you play for one run what you often get is Nunez grounding out to end the game a few innings later

The Phils couldn’t have won a one-run game last year if they had read a book about why not to pinch-run for Pat Burrell in the sixth inning. How bad was it? Pretty bad. Here’s the overall record, record in one-run games, non one-run games and the difference in winning percentage in non-one run games and one-run games for the teams in the NL East in 2007:

Team Overall 1-run Not
PHI 89-73 (.549) 14-23 (.378) 75-50 (.600) .222
NYM 88-74 (.543) 22-15 (.595) 66-59 (.528) -.067
ATL 84-78 (.519) 18-25 (.419) 66-53 (.555) .136
WAS 73-89 (.451) 27-24 (.529) 46-65 (.414) -.115
FLA 71-91 (.438) 22-24 (.478) 49-67 (.422) -.056

Overall, the Mets and Marlins were pretty close to the same in one-run games and games decided by more than one run. The Nats had a much better winning percentage in one-run games. The Phils were awful and the Braves were bad too, just not as bad as the Phillies.

Along with the Mets, the Phils played the fewest one-run games in the division last season (37). The Nationals played the most with 51. This also means the Phils played the most non-run games in the division along with the Mets. In non one-run games, the Phils dominated the division, playing to a .600 winning percentage.

If I were to guess about the primary problems for the Phils in one-run games my top two would be the terrible bullpen and the insistence on replacing good players with bad ones that were better defensively late in games. The Phils’ pen was certainly miserable, but looking at the teams in the NL East, the Braves also struggled in one run games and their bullpen was far better (second best in the NL by ERA). The Marlins bullpen was weak and they fared better in one-run games than they did overall. By ERA, the Reds had the worst bullpen ERA in the league last season and they went 26-24 in their one-run games, a .520 winning percentage that was far better than their .444 winning percentage overall for the season. So while the bullpen is surely a factor, it’s not the only one.

Whatever the answer, it’s something the Phils are going to need to fix in 2008. By a wide margin, using winning percentage as the measure they were the worst team in the NL in one-run games in 2007. The Braves were second worst with their .419. The Pirates, who went 16-22 for a .421 winning percentage, were third worst. One of the reasons it would be a nice thing to figure out is that the Mets are just so effective in one-run games. Over the past two seasons they Phils have gone 36-46 in one-run games while the Mets have gone 53-31.

Yesterday the Phils got seven strong innings from Brett Myers and beat the Reds 6-2 to improve to 6-12 in spring training. Myers allowed two runs on five singles and didn’t walk a batter. Madson followed Myers and allowed a single in a scoreless eighth. Blackley pitched the ninth and walked one but didn’t allow a hit or a run. With his nice outing, Blackley has his ERA down to 8.22 as he continues his bid for the opening day roster.

Dobbs had the only extra-base hit for the Phils, a double. He was 1-for-3 on the day. Snelling was 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI. His numbers are suddenly up to 292/393/417 for the spring. Helms was 1-for-2 to raise his average to .300. Rollins’ slow spring continued as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his average to .158. Jenkins was also 0-for-3 with a strikeout and is hitting .136.

The Phils play Cleveland this afternoon.

Looks like there may be something going on with Shane Victorino, who is hitting 231/250/333 this spring, and Charlie Manuel. In this article Manuel says that the Phillies miss Aaron Rowand’s leadership and that some guys can’t police themselves. This after Manuel said that just because you’re a regular player doesn’t mean you always will be.

This reminds that the Phils almost took Rocco Baldelli over Chase Utley in the 2000 draft.

Lots of Phils’ players are unfazed by their miserable spring. Manuel seems a little more fazed.

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