Tag: Phillies pitchers

Eight is enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little bit

A two-run homer from Steve Holm I can live with, but intentionally walking Omar Vizquel three times in a game is a little bit tougher. That’s just indefensible for a lot of reasons, but the big ones are that he’s 41-years-old and on-based .305 and slugged .316 last season.

And yes, I do remember that after each of the three intentional walks to Vizquel in Sunday’s game the pitcher struck out the next Giant to end the inning. It’s not that kind of a thing.

Indefensible or not, there’s got to be something going on. Turns out it might be that what part of it is is that the Phils are getting shelled by eight hitters this season. Here’s what guys in the eight hole have done against the Phillies so far:




309 405 434 839

If that looks bad, well, it is. The .839 OPS that opponents eight hitters have posted against Phillies hurlers is the worst in the NL. By a lot. Not including yesterday’s game, Colorado had been second-worst against eight hitters using OPS as a measure. They had posted a .775 OPS against them.

Overall for the season, opponents have hit 264/333/422 against the Phils, a .756 OPS — eight hitters have been significantly better than other hitters in the lineup.

The .309 batting average eight hitters have posted against Phils’ hurlers is the worst in the league. The Phillies have struck out opponents eight hitters 17 times this season, also (tied for) the worst in the league. The Reds have struck out the eight hitter the most times — again, not counting yesterday’s games, 43. The Phils have walked the eight hitter intentionally six times, the most in the NL.

Put it all together and you’ve turned the molehill of the eight-spot into a mountain. Here’s what Phillies’ pitchers have done overall against hitters in each of the non-pitchers spot in the order so far this season, and their rank compared to the other NL teams using OPS as the measure (still doesn’t include yesterday’s games. Really, nothing in this post includes anything from yesterday’s games):

# in order

OPS against

NL Rank
1 .829 14
2 .675 5
3 .913 12
4 .882 9
5 .806 7
6 .749 9
7 .745 9
8 .839 16

Using OPS as the measure, not only have the Phillies been the worst team in the NL against eight hitters, but #8 hitters in the order have been more effective against them than leadoff men, #2, #5, #6 and #7 hitters.

Eight NL teams, that’s half, have thrown to a lower OPS against their opponents #3 hitters than the Phillies have to their opponents’ #8 hitters (ie, eight NL teams have thrown to an OPS lower than .839 against #3 hitters).

In 2007, eight hitters hit 285/366/374 against the Phillies pitchers. That was bad, 11th worst in the NL, but not quite as bad as the Phils were overall. Overall in 2007 the Phils’ pitchers threw to the 13th-best OPS in the league.

In 2007 the Phils still walked the eight hitter a lot. The 68 walks to the eight hitter were third most in the league (overall the Phils were tied for allowing the eighth-most). They intentionally walked the eight hitter 17 times. Only two teams intentionally walked the eight hitter more than that, Colorado and Arizona both walked the eight hitter 18 times in ’07.

All these huge numbers for eight hitters this year must at least one someone and probably more on the Phillies’ pitching staff is getting bombed by guys in the eight hole. And someones are. Among the guys in the rotation, eight hitters are 7-for-19 with a double and three walks against Myers (368/455/421 with an .876 OPS). That’s bad, but Kendrick and Moyer have been even worse. Eight hitters are 5-for-15 with two doubles, a home run and two walks against Kendrick (333/444/667, 1.111 OPS). 7-for-16 with four doubles, a triple and two walks against Moyer (438/500/813, 1.313 OPS).

Some of that is surely just bad luck that will even out along the way. The thing the Phillies can definitely control is how often they pitch around the eight hitter and how often they walk him intentionally. I’d go with a lot less. It’s just one that doesn’t need to be over-thought. There’s a reason that the guy is hitting eighth and the chances are pretty good that it’s there are seven guys in the lineup that can hit better than he can. Try to get him out.

Just give someone else the damn ball

If the Phillies had their lives to live over I’m hoping there’s at least one thing that they would have done differently about the 2007 season. They just let Adam Eaton pitch and pitch and he wound up with a line that was ridiculous. He went into the All-Star break with a 5.69 ERA and just got worse in the second half, making 12 second-half starts in which he threw to a 7.38 ERA. He ended the season with a 6.29 ERA in, amazingly, 30 starts. Over the past seven seasons only one other NL player has thrown to a worse ERA in a year he got at least 30 starts. Eric Milton threw to a 6.47 ERA with the Reds in 34 starts in 2005. The Reds, you may remember, didn’t win their division in 2005. They finished fifth, 27 games out of first place in the NL Central.

I’m working towards a couple of points and it’s going to take a while to get there, so I’ll just tell you what they are:

1) The thing that’s worse for a team than having a pitcher having a terrible season is having a pitcher having a terrible season who pitches a lot.

2) The Phillies off-season has been pretty unexciting. But the biggest problem the Phillies has doesn’t require a bold off-season move as a remedy. Thirty starts from Adam Eaton with a 6.29 ERA is the biggest problem the Phillies have to solve for 2008, and the solution for that may even be Adam Eaton. And if it’s not, it’s hard to believe that improving on that is going to require a move that knocks anybody’s socks off.

The Phillies used 28 pitchers in 2007. As a group they got 4,375 outs and were charged with 821 runs.

Obviously, some pitchers pitched more than others and some allowed more runs than others. Here’s how many outs each of the 28 pitchers got (the column to the far right is outs by that pitcher over outs by the team (4,375)):

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outs outs/team outs
Moyer 598 0.13669
Hamels 550 0.12571
Eaton 485 0.11086
Kendrick 363 0.08297
Lieber 234 0.05349
Myers 206 0.04709
Geary 202 0.04617
Durbin 194 0.04434
Lohse 183 0.04183
F Garcia 174 0.03977
Madson 168 0.03840
Condrey 150 0.03429
Alfonseca 149 0.03406
Gordon 120 0.02743
Mesa 117 0.02674
Romero 109 0.02491
Rosario 79 0.01806
Zagurski 64 0.01463
Hernandez 46 0.01051
Sanches 44 0.01006
Castro 36 0.00823
Davis 34 0.00777
Ennis 23 0.00526
Segovia 15 0.00343
Happ 12 0.00274
Smith 12 0.00274
Bisenius 6 0.00137
A Garcia 2 0.00046
Total 4375


So Jamie Moyer, at the top of the list, got 598 outs. 598/4,375 is .13669, which also means that Moyer got about 13.7% of the outs recorded by Phillies’ hurlers. The numbers in the far right column add up to one.

And here’s how many runs each of the pitchers allowed (the number on the far right is runs allowed by that pitcher over the total runs allowed by the team (821)):

(continue reading…)

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