Four Is the Magic Number
The Phillies have scored three or fewer runs in 21 of their 40 games this season, but what does that mean exactly?
- National League teams that score four or more runs in a game are 260-99 (.724).
- The Phillies are 17-2 (.895) when they score four or more runs, which is the best record in the league.
- National League teams that score three or fewer runs are 66-225 (.227).
- The Phillies, Pirates, Padres and Dodgers are the only four teams in the league to score three or fewer runs in the majority of their games. The Pirates (18-23), Padres (18-23) and Dodgers (19-23) have losing records.
The Phillies should thank their lucky stars for their pitching. They are 8-13 (.381) when they score three or fewer runs. An 8-13 record actually is pretty impressive, considering the league has a .227 winning percentage in those games. Only two teams have better records when the offense doesn’t show up. The Giants are 9-13 (.409) and the Cardinals are 6-9 (.400).
The Phillies have the best record in the National League, but this is not a way to live. This is putting a lot of strain on the pitching staff, and it could spell disaster (i.e. a repeat of the 2010 NLCS) in the postseason. The Phillies need the offense to step up. They are counting on Chase Utley to help. He certainly should help, if he is healthy and can stay healthy, but that remains to be seen. If the Phillies do not get more production from their corner outfielders I think Domonic Brown has to come up sooner rather than later, if he continues to hit Triple-A pitching. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt Charlie Manuel to play John Mayberry Jr. a little more, even against right-handed pitchers. I’m not saying Mayberry is a savior. He hasn’t proven he can hit right-handed pitching consistently, but with Ben Francisco struggling (his RBI last night was his first since April 29) it wouldn’t hurt to throw him in there once a week, would it?
Four runs and the Phillies are pratically unbeatable. They’ve got to find a way to make it happen.