Leaving Atlanta Pitching Well, Catching the Ball

The Phillies pitched impressively (except for the ninth and 10th innings Tuesday) and played fantastic defense this week in Atlanta, which is why they took two of three from the Braves and improved to 10-5.

It’s early. It’s Friday. Maybe it’s time to look at some numbers?

Yes? No?

OK, here we go:

  • The Phillies are fourth in baseball in runs (91). Only the Dodgers (98), Brewers (97) and Rays (93) have scored more. That 20-spot on the Pirates yesterday sure helped the Brewers jump to the top of the charts, huh?
  • The Phillies’ .822 OPS ranks fourth. Only the Dodgers (.867), Brewers (.864) and Yankees (.830) are better.
  • The Phillies are averaging a home run every 32.81 at-bats, which is 14th in baseball. They haven’t homered since Jayson Werth‘s solo shot in the ninth inning Saturday against the Marlins. Who said they rely too much on the long ball?
  • The Phillies have just three stolen bases, which is last in baseball. It doesn’t help to have Jimmy Rollins on the DL, but dead last is a little surprising.
  • They have struck out just 87 times, which is third-fewest in baseball. Only the White Sox (86) and Royals (86) have struck out less.
  • Phillies starters have a 3.07 ERA, which is tied with Oakland for fifth in baseball. The Rays (2.67 ERA), Cardinals (2.82 ERA), Padres (2.91 ERA) and Giants (3.04 ERA) are better.
  • The bullpen has a 4.24 ERA, which is 18th. Brad Lidge threw a scoreless inning last night, and is going to throw again tonight in Reading. The Phillies seem encouraged by last night’s performance in Lehigh Valley because his fastball hovered in the 90-92 mph range, hitting 93 mph. J.C. Romero rejoined the team last night. If Lidge and Romero do what everybody expects them to do, you would think the bullpen’s performance will improve.
  • The Phillies have committed eight errors, which is tied for the fourth-fewest in baseball. The Twins have just one error so far to lead the pack.

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Congratulations to Scott and Lori Franzke, who had their son August at 10:13 last night. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces. Lori and August are doing fine.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

17 Comments

Why did Dobbs leave the game last night? If it was for defensive purposes, why did Valdez pinch hit for him as Dobbs needs the at bats to stay sharp?

Todd and all: if we take away Halladay’s amazing numbers from the statistics, the teams ERA is a not so impressive 4.43. Obviously everyone’s numbers do contribute, but this just shows how much we have been relying on Doc so far. This can’t keep up if we hope to be true contenders for the WS again. We need Cole and KK to pitch like they did in their last starts. We need Blanton and Happ back asap and we need the Pen to start pitching the way they did the first week of the season.

On a different note: I guess all of us, myself included, who were arguing for Victorino to lead off with JRoll batting 6th or 7th, have to admit we were wrong. Since he moved to the leadoff posistion he’s batting only .257 with an OBP of .289. He has no SB and only 2 BBs as apposed to 3 Ks. Not great leadoff stuff. In the games he’s led off he has gotten on base twice in the 1st inning-1 hit and 1 walk. for a OBP of .250. Boy does this team miss ROllins!!!

Vic is hitting .212 and has a .254 on base. He’s hit 10 singles and worked 4 BB. Utley is the other question, although he only had 2 SB (in 2 attempts) in all of April last year. Werth also only had 2 in April 09 (in three attempts).

The Phils have only attempted twice. I’d say it’s Rollins injury, Vic’s limited times on first base, and maybe Lopes early absence.

My favorite moment from last night’s game was Heyward vs Moyer in the 6th inning. Moyer appeared to be in trouble with a couple of runners on base. He throws 3 balls to Heyward (oh no we all thought!) then the “Old Goat” proceeds to outfox the “Young Whippersnapper”. Priceless.

oops, to give a fair comparison, the starters ERA without Doc’s starts is 4.17, the team’s ERA is the 4.43 I posted above.

fan – Vic isn’t hitting from any position right now. What no one should do is base their decisions re batting order on a week’s worth of games.

Starters since the 15th

Happ: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 1.76 WHIP (6BB)
Halladay: 8 IP, 2 R, 1.000 WHIP
Moyer: 6 IP, 5 R, 1.167 WHIP (7 SO)
Hamels: 8 IP, 2 R, .875 WHIP (0 BB)
Kendrick: 8 IP, 0 R, .750 WHIP
Halladay: CG, 0 R, .667 WHIP
Moyer: 6 IP, 2 R, 1.000 WHIP

Moyer’s previous start was marred by one big inning, and the Phils actually don’t have a great record in these games. Nonetheless, I think it’s misleading to say that the starting staff has been relying on Doc. The starters are holding their own. ERA is misleading in the early going: they’re haven’t been walking batters and are inducing tons of GB as a group.

fij Isn’t it a little too early to worry about the ERA? As “bad” as it has been, it has been good enough to produce a 10-5 record. Last year the Phillies’ ERA was 14th or 15th in the NL for at least the first 2 months of the season. What did that get them? Oh, yeah, a trip to the WS.

f.i.j.: And if you take away that iceberg at the end, the Titanic had a Hell of a nice voyage!

You can formulate an argument and play with numbers if you want, but teams have great performers that skew numbers if you remove them and bad performers that would improve numbers. I’m not going to look it up, but I’d guess that there is a pitcher like Kendrick (or two) whose bad performance would improve the team’s ERA, so what’s your point? The big “A” stands for Average. An average takes in all the numbers, otherwise it isn’t an average, it’s something else.

Besides which, you’re taking the team’s ERA, which includes starters and relievers, so it isn’t much of a comparison.

The last time I looked, they were in first place. This strikes me as looking for things to complain about.

CONGRATS TO SCOTT & LORI! Welcome to the Phillies, August!

to all of you who commented: I agree that the stats can go both ways. Remove KK’s and Moyer’s bad outings and the ERA is even better. Happ has an ERA of 0. What I was trying to say is how great DOc has been so far. COnsidering that our #3 starter hsn’t pitched an inning yet, and I am very happy with our rotation. And, as sophist55 mentions, the staff has put together a great run lately.

As for Victorino;s week in leadoff: if this was rollins putting up those numbers we’d all be screaming for him to be dropped to 7th and Vic to replace him–we all know it…even if we won’t admit it.

Karen: Who are scott and Lori??

fij What is this “we” you keep talking about? Do you have a frog in your pocket?

fij…..Scott and Lori Franzke. Read Todd’s whole post! LOL!
Congrats from me, too, Scott & Lori!

Congratulations to Scott and Lori Franze on their new little slugger August (is it okay to name someone August if they are born in April. I know April’s a girl’s name but…) And welcome to your new Phamily August!

FIJ, glad to see you posting regularly again.

Erich: trying to but new job, new hours, harder to get online in evening my time to post.

The “we” is all of us who are honest and know how we’d react if certain things happened pherrisphain. This obviously doesn’t include you who can never admit to being wrong…..(though you generally are)

fij There is that frog again. Ribbit! Ribbit! I am only wrong as often as you blow smoke. Wait a minute, that makes me always wrong.

Please, please, please..can someone address the issue with 1210WPHL (The Big Talker)radio and Phillies games? Yesterday, during the momentous 9th inning in San Francisco, it was getting to be sundown in Philly, and the reception just falls off the map! I LIVE in Philly and had to go sit in my car to hear the rest of the game. In this age of HD Radio, can’t these games be put on an HD2 station (like KYW does with WYSP2)? Come on folks–this ain’t the 1960′s anymore!!!

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