Phillies vs Dodgers: May 12-14

The Phillies (15-14) continue their homestand against their 2008 NLCS victims, the Los Angeles Dodgers (22-11).  The Dodgers have been on fire this year, already 4.5 games into first place.  Much of this came due to the torrid production of Manny Ramirez, who was batting .348/.492/.641 when he was suspended for 50 games last week (did anybody else hear about this by chance?).  He has been replaced by Juan Pierre, who is not a very good baseball player but has hit the ball well in the past few games since the suspension.  The Dodgers certainly owe some of their impressive 22-11 record to Manny, but they would still be in first place without him.  He does not add 4.5 wins per 33 games, perhaps 1-2 at the rate he's been going.  After getting double the Manny last year, facing him 11 times (3 times as a Red Sock and 8 times as a Dodger-- even more than the normal amount of games teams play against opponents in other divisions of their league), the Phillies will avoid him entirely in 2009.  How's that for luck?

The main reason that the Dodgers have been so good is probably luck, actually.  I know that may disappoint some Dodger fans, but their production does not seem to be due to any huge individual improvements (except for closer Jonathan Broxton).  Some may be quick to point out Baseball Prospectus has them at 20.4 third order wins, not far behind their 22 real life wins.  The problem with third order wins is that it only adjusts for certain kinds of luck, and dismisses some skill as luck.  Third order wins account for luck on timely hitting leading to more runs, luck on scoring those runs in timely situations, and luck with respect to difficulty of opponents.  Scoring/avoiding runs in timely situations is larger a product of strong relief, and probably should not be adjusted for all that much, but we'll get to that on another day.  However, this early in the season, the two main types of luck are BABIP luck and HR/Flyball luck.  The Dodgers have had some HR/Flyball luck, but their BABIP luck has been insane. 

Their hitters have a .329 BABIP despite only a .301 BABIP with similar players last year, and their pitchers have a .275 BABIP despite a .299 BABIP with similar pitchers and fielders as last year.  These BABIPs are the best in the league on both accounts.  What that means is that either the players are both hitting the ball much harder than before and the fielders are covering ground way better than before, or they have been lucky.  The answer is clearly the latter.  I recently did an article on StatSpeak.net (where I write some of my more hardcore statistical analysis that does not pertain to the Phillies directly), in which I projected what the 2009 BABIP of players should be based on their numbers in the previous few seasons.  Manny Ramirez had a .377 BABIP before being suspended (I projected him around .330), Orlando Hudson has a .357 BABIP (I see him around .323), Matt Kemp has a .349 BABIP (I actually see him at .352, so he's just a really good hitter), and Russell Martin has a .346 BABIP (I see him around .301).  Meanwhile, the entire bench is filled with guys with BABIPs over .400 as well.  Pierre has managed a .435 BABIP somehow (my research suggests he probably should be around .310).  In other words, the Dodgers hitters have been lucky.  They also are not a particularly strong team at fielding.  Their BABIP on flyballs has been just .109 (league average this year has been .144), despite Manny in LF.  Andre Ethier is not a particularly strong fielder in RF, and his numbers do not look particularly amazing this year either.  Kemp's numbers have improved, but there is a lot of doubt in my mind that he suddenly turned into a Gold Glove outfielder after putting up average defensive numbers in 2008.

The Dodgers are about to turn into a far more average club than they have been, and it would be nice if that started this week.  The Dodgers might not need to require too much luck on Tuesday night.  They send out LHP Clayton Kershaw against RHP Chan Ho Park.  Kershaw is a extremely talented young pitcher, who has not shared in the good luck the Dodgers have had this year.  In actuality, he has been the victim of a small amount of bad luck.  Chan Ho Park has failed to show the Phillies what he did in Spring Training since the season began.  He did have a very good start in a no decision against Johan Santana last Wednesday, but he has not shown the ability to strike guys out and avoiding free passes that he did in Spring Training.  As Happ continues to perform impressively in the bullpen, Park's spot in the rotation remains unsecured. 

 

On Wednesday, the Dodgers will send an old friend to face the Phillies, LHP Randy Wolf.  Wolf spent eight seasons with the Phillies before taking on a series of one year gigs with west coast teams since 2007.  Wolf was always supposed to be better than he was with the Phillies, but likely suffered immeasurable damage due to the abuse of Larry Bowa, who sent him out to pitch exhausted likely leading to a career injuries.  It may be that his impressive start (2.95 ERA) is him finally being healthy, but some of this seems to be luck on avoiding outfield flyballs going over the fence.  Citizens Bank Park may cure him of this good luck.  This is a very different Phillies team than the one that Wolf played for in 2006.  Only 11 of the 25 Phillies on the current roster played on that 2006 team (Howard, Rollins, Utley, Victorino, Ruiz, Coste, Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Madson, and Condrey), and only 6 of them started the 2006 season with that team.  The Phillies send LHP Jamie Moyer out against him, who hopes to rebound after a couple of terrible performances.  Every poor performance Moyer has, we all start to wonder if he is about finished, but than he bounces back.  The Phillies have to hope that he bounces back this time around.  The Dodgers did rough him up in the NLCS (for their only win), but have not been exceptional against him in the regular season in limited action. 

 

The Phillies' ace Cole Hamels gets his first opportunity to put together back to back wins on Thursday night, when he will faced by RHP Chad Billingsley in a rematch of the last game of the 2008 NLCS.  Billingsley has been very good this year, as I detail below.

MATCHUPS:

Tuesday 7:05-- RHP Chan Ho Park vs LHP Clayton Kershaw
Wednesday 7:05--
LHP Jamie Moyer vs LHP Randy Wolf
Thursday 1:05--
LHP Cole Hamels vs RHP Chad Billingsley

Below, I summarize the individual players in tons of detail.  Rather than simply copy down statistics, I have added a lot of description about the lineup, bench, rotation, and bullpen of both the Dodgers and Phillies as well as some detailed analysis of the players' performances this year.  I also add some more detailed information on BABIP, thanks to my own research on the topic.  I continue to include the batter/pitcher matchups, but I would advise against taking them too seriously.  A discussion here details the fallacy of reading into those too much.  It is far more useful to look at general platoon splits than to study these things more rigorously.  That said, my personal guess is that looking at the three true outcomes can help somewhat (though I have not researched this topic myself) at predicting how an individual pitcher/hitter matchup will do.

DODGERS


LINE UP

The Dodgers have been putting up 5.6 runs per game this season, approximately the same pace as the Phillies.  A lot of this was thanks to an incredible season from Manny Ramirez that is now awash in controversy.  Even still, many other Dodgers have been putting up excellent seasons.  Orlando Hudson has a .935 OPS coming into the series, despite projections of around .770 OPS.  The primary cause of this is his .357 BABIP.  This is not a sustainable BABIP; I have him around .323 in my projections.  Most of his luck has coming from line drives and flyballs falling in, which could be indicative of an increase in power but he only has three homeruns.  My guess is that he has caught a few lucky breaks and that he will have a more modest season overall.  Manny was having quite a season too.  His replacement, Juan Pierre, has had quite a lot of success in his 52 PA.  Unfortunately, this has come on the back of a .435 BABIP, which he will not maintain.  Pierre still lacks the on-base skill and power to be a very valuable player, and this will die down.  Like the Phillies, the Dodgers have struggled to get production out of their leadoff hitting shortstop.  He only has a .622 OPS despite projections around a .765 OPS. This seems to be real struggles, as he has been striking out in 19% of his at-bats, and has not had many extra base hits at all.  His BABIP is actually fine, as is his eye.  However, his contact rate has gone down noticeably.  It could easily just be a slump, but it's something that the Dodgers should look out for.  He seems to be struggling from both sides of the plate.  James Loney is the cleanup hitter, but he has failed to hit a single homerun this year and only has seven extra base hits.  He seems to be swinging less this year, without much improvement in patience.  He has struggled a lot against LHP, going only 4 for 27 against them this year with no extra base hits.  He has avoided striking out against them much, but perhaps at the expense of some power.  Behind Loney is the fifth hitter Russell Martin, who has had a power outage as well.  He only has five extra base hits with no homeruns this year.  He has been popping up a lot this year-- already seven times. 

1) SS Rafael Furcal (S): .246/.312/.310

projection average (proj): .285/.355/.410
projected BB/PA (bb): 10%
projected K/AB (k): 13.5%
career gb% (gb): 50%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 12%
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 7%
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): projected slightly above average due to speed; he spreads the ball around well and gets a decent number of infield hits so the .315-ish BABIP projection makes sense
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): good eye and patient, good contact
righty/lefty (r/l):  .749 vs .801 ops; 1.4 k/bb both ways; more power as RHB
home/away (h/a): .821 vs .705 ops; 1.3 vs 1.5 k/bb; much more power at home
pull/opposite (p/o): slight pull hitter
anything else (other):

2) 2B Orlando Hudson (S): .331/.416/.519

proj: .280/.355/.415
bb: 16%
k: 15%
gb: 49%
iff: 7%
ifh: 5%
babip: projected above average (.315-ish)-- pretty good at avoiding infield flies and has done very well on line drives historically despite unamazing power; my research indicates he should be around .323
s/c/z: very good eye and pretty patient; pretty good contact skill too
r/l:  .808 vs .709 ops; 1.6 k/bb both ways
h/a: .824 vs .745 ops; 1.6 vs 1.7 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter as RHB but opposite field hitter as LHB
other: better against groundball pitchers (.835 vs .703 ops)

3) Andre Ethier (L): .285/.399/.488


proj: .295/.365/.470
bb: 9.5%
k: 17.5%
gb: 42%
iff: 4%
ifh: 6%
babip: projected high (.330-ish) which makes sense given that he rarely pops out, and hits his flyballs far; my research suggests he should be around .335
s/c/z: pretty good eye and good contact skill (especially high given high strikeout rate)
r/l: .882 vs .758 ops; 1.4 vs 2.4 k/bb
h/a: .889 vs .822 ops; 1.3 vs 1.8 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

4) 1B James Loney (L): .264/.348/.322

proj: .295/.350/.455
bb: 8%
k: 15%
gb: 44%
iff: 11%
ifh: 6%
babip: projected around .320, probably because he hits a lot of balls hard.  my research suggest around .309.
s/c/z: not so great eye but close to to average, good contact skill, thrown a lot of pitches out of the strike zone
r/l: .865 vs .731 ops; 1.4 vs 1.9 k/bb
h/a: .729 vs .925 ops; 1.5 vs 1.6 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: better against groundball pitchers

5) C Russell Martin (R): .272/.390/.320

proj: .285/.380/.430
bb: 12.5%
k: 15%
gb: 50%
iff: 12%
ifh: 4%
babip: projected around .315, but my research sees him around average (.301) since he pops out a lot and isn't especially fast
s/c/z: very patient, pretty good eye, average contact
r/l: .762 vs .900 ops; 1.3 vs 0.8 k/bb
h/a: .803 vs .786 ops; 1.1 vs 1.3 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

6) CF Matt Kemp (R): .275/.343/.483


proj: .300/.350/475
bb: 7%
k: 23%
gb: 44%
iff: 3%
ifh: 10%
babip: extremely high BABIP on groundballs which makes sense somewhat given infield hit rate, but .354 career seems high.  however, my research sees him coming in around .352.  Avoiding popouts explains why his BABIP is high on flyballs and he hits balls hard, so he should be good on flyballs.  projected .360 BABIP isn't all that ridiculous, but probably should be lower.
s/c/z: good eye, poor contact
r/l: .782 vs .930 ops; 4.1 vs 2.6 k/bb
h/a: .865 vs .787 ops; 3.7 vs 3.4 k/bb; much power at home
p/o: pull hitter
other: better against groundball pitchers (do the dodgers play the same terrible groundball pitcher or something?)

7) 3B Casey Blake (R): .260/.347/.500

proj: .265/.335/.440
bb: 8.5%
k: 22%
gb: 40%
iff: 9%
ifh: 7%
babip: projected around .310.  my research puts him around .315.  he doesn't popout much and gets a decent number of infield hits.
s/c/z: patient hitter with okay eye and slightly below average contact skill
r/l: .765 vs .822 ops; 2.8 vs 1.6 k/bb
h/a: .726 vs .832 ops; 2.4 k/bb both ways
p/o: pull hitter
other: none

8) OF Juan Pierre (L): .426/.481/.511

proj: .285/.325/.360
bb: 5.5%
k: 7%
gb: 56%
iff: 10%
ifh: 8%
babip: he's projected around average (.300) but my research puts him closer to .310  he's very fast though not powerful and does popout a little.  however, he spreads the ball around pretty well.
s/c/z: quite bad eye the past few years despite having a good eye early in career, somewhat impatient, great contact skill
r/l: .726 vs .694 ops; 0.9 vs 1.2 k/bb
h/a: .735 vs .700 ops; 0.9 vs 1.1 k/bb
p/o: slight opposite field hitter
other: none



BENCH

This season, the Dodgers have gotten a lot of production out of their pinch hitters.  In 43 PA, they have a line of .368/.442/.421.  This is largely due to Mark Loretta, who is 7 for 12 this season as a pinch hitter with 3 walks and a double.  Up until Manny's suspension, Juan Pierre was getting a decent share of pinch hitting opportunities, but he was only 2 for 12 in those attempts.  Pinch hitting is not a terribly persistent skill, and certainly not for a such a small sample size, so it's unlikely that the Dodgers maintain pinch hitting success like this.  The Dodgers only carry four bench players, including backup catcher Brad Ausmus who has not pinch hit.  Loretta is not an especially good baseball player at this point, and should not be expected to produce much.  Juan Castro has gone 7 for 16 this season, but is projected to have an OPS around .590.  Both Castro and Loretta are right-handed.  Xavier Paul is the only LH PH on the bench at the moment.  In the minors, he did not have an especially strong platoon split.

C Brad Ausmus (R): .381/.435/.429

proj: .220/.300/.290
bb: 9.5%
k: 19.5%
gb: 51%
iff: 10%
ifh: 5%
babip: projected around .270, which makes sense given his mediocre strikeout rate, weak power, his propensity to pop out, and his slow speed.
s/c/z: good eye, patient, decent contact
r/l:  .653 vs .729 ops; 1.8 vs 1.0 k/bb
h/a: .700 vs .641 ops; 1.4 vs 1.8 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

IF Mark Loretta (R): .333/.444/.367

proj: .275/.340/.365
bb: 9%
k: 11%
gb: 38%
iff: 8%
ifh: 5%
babip: projected around average which seems about right.
s/c/z: good eye, somewhat patient, very good contact
r/l: .742 vs .805 ops; 1.4 vs 0.7 k/bb
h/a: .802 vs .722 ops; 0.9 vs 1.3 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none


IF Juan Castro (R): .438/.412/.563


proj: .220/.270/.320
bb: 5.5%
k: 17%
gb: 46%
iff: 10%
ifh: 3%
babip: projected very low (around .260).  he doesn't have much power and isn't particularly fast, so this could be right.
s/c/z: good eye, not very patient, average contact
r/l: .605 vs .582 ops; 4.1 vs 1.8 k/bb; much more power against RHB though
h/a: .600 vs .598 ops; 3.3 vs 3.0 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none


OF Xavier Paul (L): .500/.500/.500

proj: .255/.315/.385
bb: 7.5%
k: 24%
gb: 50% in minors in 2008
iff: 3% in minors in 2008
ifh: ?
babip: seems pretty good due to high GB rate and low pop up rate
s/c/z: ?
r/l: seems to hit LHP a bit harder but with similar k/bb numbers in minors
h/a: not enough info
p/o: ?
other: none


SUSPENDED: LF Manny Ramirez (R): .348/.492/.641

proj: .300/.395/.540
bb: 14%
k: 22%
gb: 39%
iff: 8%
ifh: 5%
babip: does well on line drives and avoids popups pretty well; spreads ball around so he does okay on groundballs too-- projected to hit .330 or so, which sounds about right.  my research puts him at .322.
s/c/z: good eye and average contact, pitched around a lot
r/l:  .982 vs 1.073 ops; 1.6 vs 0.9 k/bb; similar power both ways
h/a: 1.107 vs .994; 1.3 vs 1.4 k/bb
p/o: somewhat of a pull hitter, but not very much at all for a power hitter
other: none



ROTATION

The Dodgers will send young lefty Clayton Kershaw to the mound against the Phillies on Tuesday night.  Kershaw has had an up and down season, with some very good performances and some clunkers.  He comes into this game having won his first game of the year against Washington last Wednesday.  He has struggled thus far in 2009 with runners on base, which explains why his ERA is higher than his FIP.  His outpitch is his curveball, and he's pretty tough on lefthanded pitchers, but not amazingly tough.  He throws fastball a lot-- last year about 71% and this year about 77% of the time, and he clocks in around 93-94.  He has a changeup that he throws occasionally about 10 mph slower than that, and his curveball is 10 mph slower than that.  On Wednesday, the Phillies will face another lefthander, our old friend Randy Wolf.  The Phillies have repeatedly targeted Wolf in his free agent stints since leaving town, but Wolf has preferred to stay on the West Coast.  This year with the Dodgers, he has been more successful than in his other injury riddled years since leaving town.  He has had a bit more control than most projection systems projected, though he has been a tiny bit lucky with the longball.  Despite pitching well, Wolf has gotten no decisions in his last five starts.  He has not yet faced an offense like the Phillies' offense this year, and the Phillies will hope to bump that ERA up a bit.  Wolf throws a slider and a curveball a lot, in addition to his fastball, and he mixes in a change up as well.  His curveball is only about 67mph, which contrasts nicely with his 89mph fastball.  Wolf does pretty well against lefties, and has done particularly well against them this year.  By the time the Phillies get to face a right-handed starting pitcher, it will be Chad Billingsley on Thursday evening.  Billingsley enters with an exceptional 2.45 ERA, but a large portion of that is due to some luck on flyballs.  Only 1 of his 47 flyballs surrendered landed on the crowd's side of the fence, and so he is not quite as good as his ERA.  He has thrown his cutter a lot more this year, which has helped him against LHB it seems, as he has struck out 25% of righties that stepped into the batter's box to face him this year.  Billingsley has seven complete games in as many starts this year, but comes off his first loss of the season against the Giants despite only surrendering three runs in seven innings.  Billingsley has been quite lucky with runners on base this year, allowing only a .226 BABIP in those situations despite a 1.25 k/ubb in those situations and a stronger 3.9 k/bb with bases empty.  His only homerun came with the bases empty as well.

TUESDAY OPPONENT: Clayton Kershaw (L): 4.91 ERA, 4.4 BB/9, 9.3 K/9, 1.1 HR/9, 4.16 FIP, 40% GB

proj avg: 4.20 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 46%
pitches: 71% fb, 23% cb, 5% ch, 0.3% sl
r/l: .752 vs .741 ops; 1.8 vs 2.6 k/bb
h/a: .667 vs .843 ops; 2.9 vs 1.4 k/bb

Kershaw vs Phillies:

Howard: 1/5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Rollins: 2/5, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP
Utley: 2/4, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
Coste: 1/4, 1 BB, 2 K
Victorino: 0/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Werth: 1/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Bruntlett: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Feliz: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K


WEDNESDAY OPPONENT: Randy Wolf (L): 2.95 ERA, 2.95 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.71 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 60% fb, 18% cb, 13% sl, 9% ch
r/l: .761 vs .706 ops; 2.1 vs 3.1 k/bb
h/a: .724 vs .776 ops; 2.4 vs 2.1 k/bb

Wolf vs Phillies:


Feliz: 4/14, 3 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Bruntlett: 1/6, 0 BB, 2 K
Cairo: 1/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Ibanez: 2/5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Werth: 1/5, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K
Howard: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 0/1, 2 BB, 0 K
Utley: 1/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Victorino: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB,0 K


THURSDAY OPPONENT: Chad Billingsley (R): 2.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 8.9 K/9, 0.2 HR/9, 3.00 FIP, 46% GB

proj avg: 3.60 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 8.7 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 46%
pitches: 59% fb, 19% ct, 18% cb, 2% ch, 2% sl
r/l: .634 vs .766 ops; 2.8 vs 1.5 k/bb
h/a: .702 vs .695 ops; 2.3 vs 1.8 k/bb

Billingsley vs Phillies:

Feliz: 4/12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Rollins: 3/9, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Howard: 2/6, 1 HR, 3 BB (1 IBB), 3 K
Utley: 2/5, 2 BB (2 IBB), 2 K
Victorino: 1/5, 2 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 1/4, 2 BB, 2 K
Werth: 2/4, 2 BB, 0 K
Ruiz: 2/5, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Dobbs: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Ibanez: 1/2, 1 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K




NOT FACING US: Eric Stults (L): 3.58 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 0.3 HR/9, 3.84 FIP, 36% GB


proj avg: 4.70 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 64% fb, 24% ch, 12% cb, 0.2% sl
r/l: .778 vs .989 ops; 1.6 vs 1.4 k/bb
h/a: .786 vs .858 ops; 2.2 vs 1.2 k/bb

Stults vs Phillies:

Feliz: 3/5, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Howard: 2/2, 2 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Rollins: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Utley: 1/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K


NOT FACING US: Jeff Weaver (R): 2.57 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.96 FIP, 40% GB

proj avg: 5.15 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 1.4 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 50% fb, 20% sl, 16% cb, 7% ct, 8% ch
r/l: .687 vs .858 ops; 3.4 vs 1.9 k/bb
h/a: .770 vs .785 ops; 2.5 vs 2.4 k/bb

Weaver vs Phillies:


Ibanez: 13/34, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K
Feliz: 5/21, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 SF
Stairs: 7/17, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
Cairo: 5/14, 1 BB, 3 K
Rollins: 4/5, 2 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 1/5, 0 BB, 1 K
Howard: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Utley: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K





BULLPEN


The Dodgers bullpen has been very good so far in 2009, in large part due to the incredibly impressive season that Jonathan Broxton has had.  While some of this success can surely be attributed to Broxton frantically trying to build up his numbers before Matt Stairs rips one into the night, the transformation has nonetheless been very impressive.  Broxton has struck out 27 of the 56 hitters he has faced, and has picked up a few mph on his incredibly fast fastball.  He has averaged 97.5mph this season on his fastball, in fact.  In Broxton's career, he has gotten hitters to miss at 50% of the pitches out of the strike zone that he has thrown, but this year, that is up to 75%.  Righthanded hitters have always struggled with him, but Broxton has not allowed a single hit to a lefthanded batter this year in 29 PA.  He has struck out 14 LHB and walked only one.  The Phillies would do themselves a service to avoid save situations, since Broxton is on fire.  The rest of the bullpen has not been particularly kind to hitters either, even without tough lefthanded setup man Hong-Chih Kuo (who is on the DL).  Belisario has been an impressive righty out of the pen, striking out 10.2 per nine.  Ramon Troncoso has been impressive as well, limiting his walks with only a 2.21 ERA.  The Dodgers carry eight men in the pen, but only two are lefthanded.  Will Ohman is the primary LOOGY, but he has not been impressive against them thus far.  In 21 PA, he has surrendered 3 HR (to Ian Stewart, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jody Gerut) and only K'd 3.  The other lefty is Brent Leach.  He has only faced seven hitters thus far this year, but his minor league numbers indicate a lack of a significant split.

CL: Jonathan Broxton (R): 0.56 ERA, 2.25 BB/9, 15.2 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 0.74 FIP, 52% GB

proj avg: 3.00 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.8 K/9, 0.6 HR/9
gb: 43%
pitches: 75% fb, 22% sl, 3% ch
r/l: .539 vs .694 ops; 7.7 vs 1.7 k/bb (major difference is walks)
h/a: .559 vs .671 ops; 3.5 vs 2.9 k/bb


Broxton vs Phillies:

Feliz: 2/10, 0 BB, 3 K
Rollins: 1/4, 2 BB, 0 K
Howard: 0/5, 0 BB, 3 K
Victorino: 3/5, 0 BB, 1 K
Utley: 2/4, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Werth: 0/3, 0 BB, 3 K
Dobbs: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Ruiz: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Cairo: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Coste: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K


Ronald Belisario (R): 3.26 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 10.2 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.69 FIP, 59% GB

proj avg: 6.00 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 1.9 HR/9
gb: 57%
pitches: 81% fb, 18% sl, 0.4% ch
r/l: .533 vs .862 ops; 8k/0bb vs rhb, 9k/7bb vs lhb
h/a: .769 vs .615; 2.5 vs 2.4 k/bb

Belisario: has not played any Phillies


Cory Wade (R): 5.59 ERA, 0.9 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.25 FIP, 31% GB

proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 56% fb, 28% cb, 16% ch
r/l: .588 vs .584 ops; 2.3 vs 8.7 k/bb (not much data)
h/a: .421 vs .730 ops; 6.2 vs 2.2 k/bb (not much data)

Wade: has not played Phillies



Will Ohman (L): 4.66 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 4.7 K/9, 2.8 HR/9, 7.42 FIP, 35% GB

proj avg: 3.90 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 8.2 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 64% fb, 34% sl, 2% ch
r/l: .749 vs .614 ops; 1.5 vs 2.9 k/bb
h/a: .799 vs .573 ops; 1.7 vs 2.6 k/bb

Ohman vs Phillies:


Howard: 4/17, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 9 K
Utley: 4/13, 1 2B, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP
Rollins: 1/9, 1 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 0/7, 1 BB (IBB), 2 K,
Werth: 2/4, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Ibanez: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Cairo: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K
Coste: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Stairs: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Guillermo Mota (R): 7.43 ERA, 6.75 BB/9, 4.05 K/9, 0.7 HR/9, 5.95 FIP, 37% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 43%
pitches: 55% fb, 25% sl, 20% ch, 0.3% sf
r/l: .678 vs .727 op; 2.6 vs 1.6 k/bb
h/a: .720 vs .680 ops; 2.3 vs 1.8 k/bb

Mota vs Phillies:


Rollins: 3/15, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 5 K
Feliz: 3/9, 2 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Victorino: 1/6, 0 BB, 2 K
Howard: 2/4, 2 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 0/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Utley: 2/5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Werth: 1/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Cairo: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 Sac
Dobbs: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Brent Leach (L): 18.00 ERA, 18.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 7.18 FIP, 25% GB

proj avg: 5.10 ERA, 6.2 BB/9, 6.2 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 50% in minors last year
pitches: ?
r/l: 1.9 vs 1.6 k/bb in minors last year
h/a: not enough info

Leach: has not played any Phillies


Ramon Troncoso (R): 2.21 ERA, 0.9 BB/9, 4.4 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.49 FIP, 58% GB

proj avg: 4.25 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
gb: 61%
pitches: 71% fb, 23% ch, 4% sl, 0.5% ct
r/l: .647 vs .633 ops; 2.6 vs 4.5 k/bb
h/a: .678 vs .617 ops; 3.5 vs 2.9 k/bb

Tronsoco vs Phillies:

Howard: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Utley: 1/2, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Rollins: 1 K
Victorino: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


James McDonald (R): 7.27 ERA, 7.3 BB/9, 4.7 K/9, 1.0 HR/9, 6.58 FIP, 47% GB

proj avg: 5.10 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.4 HR/9
gb: 37%
pitches: 70% fb, 16% cb, 14% ch
r/l: .956 vs .567 ops; 0.14 vs 0.9 k/bb
h/a: .746 vs .716 ops; 0.25 vs 0.9 k/bb

McDonald: has not played any Phillies


DISABLED LIST: Hiroki Kuroda (R): 1.59 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 3.2 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 3.00 FIP, 47% GB


proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 5.9 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 51%
pitches: 59% fb, 26% sl, 12% sf, 2% ct, 0.2% cb
r/l: .605 vs .703 ops; 3.7 vs 1.9 k/bb
h/a: .615 vs .688 ops; 4.4 vs 1.9 k/bb

Kuroda vs Phillies:

Howard: 0/5, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SF
Rollins: 0/6, 0 BB, 1 K
Utey: 2/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Werth: 1/4, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Dobbs: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 0/2, 1 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Coste: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K



DISABLED LIST: Hong-Chih Kuo (L): 6.75 ERA, 6.75 BB/9, 6.75 K/9, 1.7 HR/9, 7.49 FIP, 56% GB

proj avg: 3.40 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 10.8 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
gb: 42%
pitches: 81% fb, 12% sl, 6% cb, 1% ch
r/l: .685 vs .635 ops; 2.2 vs 4.4 k/bb
h/a: .637 vs .695 ops; 2.0 vs 3.7 k/bb


Kuo vs Phillies:

Feliz: 0/4, 0 BB, 2 K
Rollins: 0/4, 0 BB, 2 K
Utley: 1/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Howard: 0/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Coste: 1 BB, 1 Sac
Ibanez: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Victorino: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Werth: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 1 BB


PHILLIES




LINE UP

The heart of the Phillies lineup is very left handed.  The rest of the lineup is pretty well balanced, but with Utley hitting 3rd, Howard hitting 4th, and Ibanez hitting 6th, managers have an advantage to use lefties against the Phillies in key situations.  Both of the switch hitters atop the lineup hit lefties a little better than righties, and the bottom of the lineup has two righties.  The Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz is back in the lineup, but struggling again.  Utley and Ibanez have both been on fire and have carried the team, though Utley has been battling a sore foot after being hit by a pitch last weekend.  Overall, the offense has been spectacular thus far.  The leadoff man, however, has not been.  His problems seem real, as he only has seven extra base hits this year.  Surprisingly, he does seem to be making similar contact and laying off pitches out of the strike zone similarly to previous years according to his page on fangraphs.com.   Even still, he seems to be walking less and striking out more, which sounds like a mental problem to me given that his eye is apparently no worse, nor is his ability to make contact.  That would be a good thing, since mental problems can be fixed more quickly than aging problems.  His extra base hit output seems to be a major question, though.  His one homerun this year came as a pinch hitter and barely made it over the fence.  He has not hit a single homerun righthanded either.  His problems also seem largely BABIP related, and from both sides of the plate.  The most likely culprit is that he is not making contact with the right pitches.  Additionally,  6 of the 18 line drives he has hit this year have been caught, and only 5 of his 49 groundballs have found the hole (with 2 more hits coming on infield hits).  Indeed, Jimmy's problems are largely luck and mental, and he should rebound nicely...hopefully soon.  Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup has mostly been very effective.  Ibanez and Utley have continued their fantastic seasons, and Ryan Howard is hitting the ball very well too.  Howard has 16 extra base hits, despite only 6 homeruns.  Many of those hits have been long flyballs that have fallen just short of the fence.  MLB.com's hitting charts are not working right now for some reason, but if they do get fixed, I will plot the one I was looking at the other day.  It basically showed Ryan Howard hitting a lot of flyballs just short of the outfield wall.  He's probably going to start hitting a few over it soon.  His homeruns have been way outtahere so far this year.  Looking at this website, we can see that five of Howard's homeruns went over 417 feet.  Many of his doubles and flyouts have gone very far as well.  Look for Howard to hit a bomb or two this series.

1) SS Jimmy Rollins (S): .195/.231/.268

projection average (proj): .285/.350/.460
projected BB/PA (bb): 8%
projected K/AB (k): 11%
career gb% (gb): 42%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 10%
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 5%
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): about average overall, though a little bit high popup rate so slightly below average.  my system has him at about .308.
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): good eye, pretty selective, but very high contact rate so low walk rate
righty/lefty (r/l): 1.7 vs 1.3 k/bb, mostly because of higher k-rate as lhb.  otherwise similar on contact
home/away (h/a): 1.5 vs 1.7 k/bb; .805 vs .739 ops
pull/opposite (p/o): definite pull hitter
anything else (other): stole 47 bases in 50 attempts last year.


2) CF Shane Victorino (S): .272/.319/.464


proj: .285/.345/.430
bb: 7.5%
k: 13%
gb: 46%
iff: 15%
ifh: 8%
babip: slightly above average due to high babip on groundballs-- partly because infield plays in for him and he spreads the ball around well; not that high due to high infield fly rate.  my system sees him at .303.
s/c/z: pretety bad eye but high contact rate
r/l: much more power righthanded (1.6% to 3.8% HR rate), but much better k/bb as lefty: 1.65 vs 1.88; higher babip lefty also (.316 vs .286)
h/a: far fewer walks on road but nearly exactly the same strikeout rate, same power, same babip
p/o: pull hitter both ways
other: stole 36 of 47 bases last year


3) 2B Chase Utley (L): .309/.437/.639


proj: .295/.380/.525
bb: 9.5%
k: 18%
gb: 37%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6%
babip: distinctly above average historically and for projections too; seemingly strong power leads to high line drive babip rate and reasonably high groundball babip especially for pull hitting lefty; high on flyballs despite high infield fly rate since he hits deep flyballs.  my system has him at about .308, but he beats projection systems consistently.
s/c/z: pretty good eye, somewhat selective, somewhat high contact rate
r/l: not significant-- only 1.7 vs 2.0 k/bb; .919 vs .865 ops
h/a: similar k/bb home & away; better hr at home-- probably park factors; higher babip at home too
p/o: pull hitter
other: much better against power pitchers relative to other hitters


4) 1B Ryan Howard (L): .287/.364/.539

proj: .275/.375/580
bb: 14%
k: 33%
gb: 40%
iff: 2%
ifh: 4%
babip: low on groundballs over time as he pulls the vast majority of them; very very high on flyballs because he almost never pops out in the infield at all and many of his flyballs are very deep.  also since so few of his flyballs stay in the park (only 2/3 or so), a higher percentage of his balls in play are line drives-- which he does well on like many power hitters-- his low contact rate means he sometimes make poor contact though.  probably above average overall-- my system sees him at .310.
s/c/z: swings a lot especially for someone who doesn't see many strikes.  however, he is pretty good at distinguishing pulls from strikes despite the consensus on him.  he makes terrible contact overall though
r/l: 1.064 vs .786 ops: say it with me "that means he's good against righties, not bad against lefties!"  in fact, he's the best hitter against righties in baseball right now probably.  his k/bb vs lhp is 3.7 vs 1.6 vs rhp.  he has a lot of power against lefties however, but a lower babip.  i don't have split data on pull% vs lhp/rhp but observationally i'm pretty sure that's the difference in his babip: .338 vs .309.
h/a: much higher babip on road.  very similar hr numbers.  2.0 vs 3.2 k/bb.
p/o: pull hitter, especially on groundballs-- hits more homeruns the opposite way though
other: struggles mightily against power pitchers and groundball pitchers, dominate flyball pitchers (since he almost never pops out, and has 10.3% hr rate) and smashes finesse pitchers (11.8% hr rate); he also does much better on babip with runners on base as defenders can't shift against him-- especially with runners in scoring position

5) RF Jayson Werth (R): .287/.392/.564

proj: .270/.360/.460
bb: 12.5%
k: 29%
gb: 38%
iff: 8%
ifh: 8%
babip: high on groundballs due to high infield hit rate, high on line drives due to power, and hits pretty deep flyballs too; has been historically probably higher than it should be since he's faced more lhp than normal rhb do; overall still seems to be very above average.  my system has him at .329.
s/c/z: very selective and pretty good eye; somewhat low contact rate
r/l: .762 vs .919 ops; 2.4 vs 2.0 k/bb; hr rate of 6.7% vs 2.9%
h/a: not much of a split at all
p/o: spreads ball around well for power hitter, but still a pull hitter
other: stole 20 bases in 21 attempts last year

6) LF Raul Ibanez (L): .327/.386/.655

proj: .285/.350/.480
bb: 9%
k: 17%
gb: 42%
iff: 11%
ifh: 5%
babip: above average, probably because he spreads the ball around pretty well for a power hitter; much better babip with men on-- probably hooks ball in hole well or maybe he was shifted against more so beforehand.  my system sees him right at .300.
s/c/z: definitely a good eye though it's getting worse, slightly above average contact
r/l: .850 vs .733; 1.5 vs 2.8 k/bb
h/a: better k/bb (1.6 vs 1.9) but worse power probably park factors, and probably likely to be better at home
p/o: slight pull hitter but not much for a power hitter
other: none

7) 3B Pedro Feliz (R): .303/.355/.424

proj: .250/.300/.420
bb: 6%
k: 15.5%
gb: 44%
iff: 15%
ifh: 5%
babip: very low-- pops up a lot, hits groundballs predictably to left side and is slow so they can play shaded over and deep; not all that much power so not terrific on line drives either, makes a lot of weak contact as he isn't good at making contact so he chops a lot of balls.  my system sees him at .271.
s/c/z: high swing rate and not terribly good at distinguishing balls from strikes.  swung significantly less in 2008, but it was as much of a decrease in balls as strikes, makes average contact
r/l: 3.3 vs 2.3 k/bb; .708 vs .755 ops, more babip and a little more power agaisnt lefties
h/a: much higher k rate on road, similar bb rate; more power on road, higher babip at home.  likely not much difference (.725 vs .716 overall ops)
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: defensive numbers dipped last year, had offseason surgery for back, perhaps these are related

8) Carlos Ruiz (R): .172/.273/.207

proj: .255/.335/.390
bb: 10%
k: 14%
gb: 50% (but rose in 2008 to 54% from 46%)
iff: 9.5%
ifh: 4%
babip: was extraordinarily low in 2008, but that seems to be rather flukey.  his high groundball rate and solid contact rate and pitch selection indicate he should be a good babip guy, but he does very poorly on groundball as he chops the ball a lot.  my system sees him at .288, but he seems to have trouble matching projections for him.
s/c/z: very good eye and excellent contact skill, extremely patient
r/l: bizarre reverse split despite 0.5 k/bb vs lhp and 1.2 vs rhp; impossibly low .204 babip against lhp, probably flukey and probably much better vs lhp in reality
h/a: similar k/bb, worse babip but higher power at home (park factors)
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: better against power pitchers, currently on DL with strained rib cage, probably longer than 15 days as originally thought

 




BENCH

Like their lineup, the Phillies' bench is much better from the left side.  Dobbs and Stairs are two solid lefthanded pinch hitters with power.  Stairs is by far more patient and is much more successful against lefties than Dobbs.  From the right side, the Phillies have superutility man Eric Bruntlett.  Bruntlett struggles mightily against RHP, but actually has very solid numbers against LHP.  Bruntlett can be used as a counterswitch when managers bring in lefties to face Dobbs or Stairs.  The Phillies other RHB on the bench is Miguel Cairo.  He is not a very good hitter, but is flexible and can play many positions.  Cairo has only managed a single hit thus far in 13 chances, and his time is bound to be limited.  The backup catching duties fall to Chris Coste who has also struggled.



IF/OF Eric Bruntlett (R): .143/.231/.286

proj: .240/.325/.335
bb: 10%
k: 18%
gb: 41%
iff: 14%
ifh: 5%
babip: high popup rate leads to low babip, but not that low; also doesn't do all that well on line drives due to lack of power
s/c/z: somewhat above average eye and doesn't swing much; makes very good contact, sees a lot of strikes
r/l: .592 vs .764 ops; 2.5 vs 1.2 k/bb; 5.7% vs 8.8% xbh/ab-- he's actually  average if not above average against lhp; he just is terrible against rhb.  he should be used as a counterswitch to loogy use against lefty pinch hitters
h/a: more power at home and more walks at home; similar strikeout rate and babip
p/o: opposite field hitter
other: none

IF Greg Dobbs (L): .148/.207/.148

proj: .285/.335/.445
bb: 7%
k: 17%
gb: 36%
iff: 13.5%
ifh: 3%
babip: has been high but probably should not be projected as high-- success derives from impossibly high line drive babip which doesn't typically happen for non-extreme power hitters.  given his popup rate, he probably isn't a .320 babip guy and there isn't a .285 hitter
s/c/z: poor eye but very high swing rate; average contact rate
r/l: .761 vs .579 ops despite impossible .481 babip against lhp.  in reality, he strikes out in 48% of at-bats against lhp.  he should never see them.  absolutely no power against lefties also.
h/a: virtually no split at all
p/o: pull hitter
other: much better against finesse pitchers

OF Matt Stairs (L): .353/.522/.765

proj: .255/.340/.440
bb: 11%
k: 22%
gb: 42%
iff: 11.5%
ifh: 5%
babip: average all around.  my system sees him at .295.
s/c/z: very good eye and slightly below average contact
r/l: .862 vs .748; much more power against rhp; 1.4 vs 2.1 k/bb
h/a: not much of a split at all
p/o: slight pull hitter but not much for a power hitter
other: use stairs in case of emergency

IF/OF Miguel Cairo (R): .133/.133/.133

proj: .255/.315/.335
bb: 7%
k: 15%
gb: 45%
iff: 11%
ifh: 7%
babip: not much power so slightly below average
s/c/z: okay eye, maybe a little above average; makes good contact
r/l: 1.6 vs 2.0 k/bb; .647 vs .735 ops
h/a: virtually no split at all, somewhat better walk rate at home
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

C Chris Coste (R): .204/.316/.367

proj: .265/.315/.405
bb: 5.5%
k: 17.5%
gb: 40%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6%
babip: slightly below average, seemingly due to poor eye and swinging and hitting bad pitches.  my system sees him at .294.
s/c/z: high swing rate, pretty poor eye, average contact
r/l: .747 vs .855; same k/bb rate, much better babip against lhp, similar power but slightly more vs lhp
h/a: .886 vs .679; 5.4% vs 1.5% hr rate
p/o: pull hitter
other: struggles with power pitchers somewhat









ROTATION

The Phillies rotation has struggled a lot early, though they seem to be mostly struggling with bad luck rather than bad performances.  Their walk and strikeout rates across the board are indicative that we should expect similar performances to last season, and their groundball rates haven't been out of the norm either.  However, all of them seem to struggling on homeruns per flyball.  This is known to be a luck based statistic, with little variance in skill level, so it is somewhat hard to believe that they would necessarily continue to perform this badly.  However, it does seem coincidental that all of them would struggle with it at once. 



TUESDAY STARTER: Chan Ho Park (R): 6.67 ERA, 4.3 BB/9, 5.3 K/9, 1.7 HR/9, 6.19 FIP, 44% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 45%
pitches: 51% FB, 29% SL, 12% cb, 5% ch, 4% ct
r/l: .666 vs .820 ops; 2.6 vs 1.3 k/bb; .280 vs .301 babip; 2.6% vs 3.6% HR rate-- much better against righties
h/a: 2.0 vs 1.7 k/bb; .708 vs .780 ops



Park vs Dodgers:

Pierre: 12/25, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 Sac
Furcal: 8/22, 2 2B, 3 BB, 2 K
Loretta: 7/23, 0 BB, 5 K
Ausmus: 4/17, 1 2B, 2 BB, 5 K
Hudson: 3/11, 2 2B, 2 BB (1 IBB), 1 K
CastrO: 0/4, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 Sac
Ethier: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Blake: 0/2, 0 BB, 2 K
Kemp: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K
Martin: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K



WEDNESDAY STARTER: Jamie Moyer (L): 7.26 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 5.2 K/9, 2.9 HR/9, 7.67 FIP, 36% GB

proj avg: 4.80 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 41% fb, 30% ct, 24% ch, 6% cb
r/l: virtually no split but that seems to be selection as he sees 24% lefties only compared with 32% league average for lhp
h/a: 2.3 vs 1.9 k/bb; not much difference on contact; slightly better babip at home but not more so than the average starter gets

Moyer vs Dodgers:

Loretta: 3/19, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 Sac, 1 SF
Hudson: 4/19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 Sac
Ausmus: 4/17, 1 2B, 1 BB, 5 K
Blake: 2/17, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K
Pierre: 3/11, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 Sac
Furcal: 2/7, 1 BB, 1 K
Castro: 2/7, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Ethier: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Loney: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 SF
Martin: 0/2, 1 BB, 1 K


THURSDAY STARTER: Cole Hamels (L): 6.17 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 2.1 HR/9, 4.85 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 3.45 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 8.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 55% fb, 32% ch, 14% cb
r/l: .680 vs .748, but same 3.6 k/bb both ways; slightly more power vs lhb-- this is probably selection bias as managers withhold all but the best lefties against him (explaining 20% of hitters faced are lefties only)
h/a: 3.85 vs 3.4 k/bb; .676 vs .709 ops-- less of a difference due to higher HR rate at home
other: much higher k-rate at night: 25% vs 20%, which is statistically significant.  ERA difference (4.71 vs 3.01 exaggerated by babip difference), as HR rate and XBH rate very similar.  most likely he strikes out more at night.



Hamels vs Dodgers:

Blake: 2/8, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP
Hudson: 2/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 2/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 3 K
Loney: 1/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Martin: 1/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 2 K
Pierre: 2/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Ausmus: 0/4, 1 BB, 1 K
Castro: 0/4, 1 BB, 1 K
Ethier: 0/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Loretta: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K




NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Joe Blanton (R): 6.82 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 2.1 HR/9, 5.63 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.25 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 45%
pitches: 56% fb, 16% ch, 15% sl, 12% cb
r/l: 2.3 vs 1.8 k/bb; .750 vs .719 ops
h/a: 2.2 vs 2.0 k/bb; .698 vs .776 ops; much worse babip away (.313 vs .282), more power surrendered on road
other: extraordinarily good against leadoff hitters, especially the first hitter of games


Blanton vs Dodgers:

Blake: 1/21, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 Sac
Kemp: 2/8, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Ethier: 4/8, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Hudson: 2/8, 0 BB, 0 K
Loney: 2/5, 1 BB, 0 K
Loretta: 1/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Martin: 2/5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Frucal: 0/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Castro: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K




NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Brett Myers (R): 4.81 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 6.3 K/9, 2.1 HR/9, 6.27 FIP, 45% GB

proj avg: 4.15 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 48% fb, 23% cb, 18% sl, 9% ch, 1% ct, 0.2% sf
r/l: .788 vs .747 ops despite 3.1 vs 1.95 k/bb; main issue is much higher HR rate vs rhb, slightly higher babip vs them as well; does not seem to be selection bias
h/a: .738 vs .800 ops; 2.7 vs 2.15 k/bb; slightly higher HR rate at home, but that is probably park factors as he surrenders far more doubles on road
other: HR rate is bizarre-- very few pitchers have the HR/Flyball rate he does.  My personal suspicion is that statistics that don't exhibit much persistence despite what common sense suggests only do not exhibit persistence specifically because players make adjustments.  If you throw fastball after fastball on the outside corner on every 1-2 count, the hitters will respond by hitting singles to the opposite field over and over again and your BABIP will go up.  However, pitchers learn to mix up their pitches and BABIP ends up lacking persistence due to the constant game theoretical reaction that pitchers and hitters take.  For Myers, his bizarre refusal to use his curveball early in the game leaves him especially vulernable to RHB who know it isn't coming.  A little game theoretical mixed strategy would probably allow him to finally live up to his peripherals which suggest a low HR rate and borderline ace stuff.



Myers vs Dodgers:

Pierre: 13/40, 1 2B, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 Sac, 1 SF
Furcal: 6/28, 1 2B, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 Sac
Loretta: 7/22, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 Sac
Ausmus: 5/14, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 4/10, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K
Martin: 3/9, 1 BB, 2 K
Ethier: 1/7, 1 BB, 3 K
Loney: 1/6, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 K
Blake: 1/6, 0 BB, 2 K
Castro: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Hudson: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K



BULLPEN

Lidge has been nowhere near as effective as the Phillies closer in the early going this year, but has gotten through a few tough saves anyway.  However, that still leaves him as one of the best closers in baseball if he is healthy, which is certainly looking like a big if.  His health itself has been in question as he has recently took a weak off to heal a sore knee.  Lidge has struggled mightily in his recent appearances, both in surrendering bigger hits and walking hitters.  On the other hand, setup man Ryan Madson has been very good.  Ryan Madson has stepped up to be an elite setup man recently, as his velocity improved mightily over the course of 2008 and has started strong in 2009.  He has had a few bad moments and a few moments of dominance thus far.  The Phillies will have to make do against LHB with J.C. Romero suspended through May.  Scott Eyre, Jack Taschner, and J.A. Happ are the Phillies' lefties in the pen.  Happ does not have especially difficult stuff against lefties, though, and will probably be the long man.  Eyre and Taschner both should not face RHB.  Taschner is looking more and more like he should not face lefthanded hitters much either.  Check out this article from Eric Seidman, a Phillies fan who writes for Baseball Prospectus, if you have a subscription to it (not sure that it's free content).  He discusses LOOGYs in detail and rejects Jack Taschner explicitly as a worthwhile LOOGY (which I admit that I emailed with him several weeks about, wondering if we had been too dismissive of him) Chad Durbin is somewhat streaky, but I've remained bearish on him for a while.  He still is a reasonable middle reliever to use at times.  Condrey is the other middle reliever, but he should not face lefties at all if possible.  However, he has been extremely good this year and may deserve a little more exposure than I give him credit for.  The Phillies' bullpen has been extraordinary since the beginning of 2008, and has kept them in games in 2009 thus far.  It is due for some regression, but I suppose the rotation is due for some improvement as well.

CL Brad Lidge (R): 8.53 ERA, 6.4 BB/9, 10.7 K/9, 3.55 HR/9, 8.31 FIP, 32% GB

proj avg: 3.50 ERA, 4.1 BB?9, 11.0 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 41% (though this went up to 46% with increased slider use in 2008)
pitches: 56% sl, 43% fb, 0.4% ch in 2008 (historically 54% fb, 42% sl)
r/l: 3.6 vs 2.8 k/bb; .601 vs .686 ops (tough to tell if that tendency became more or less extreme in 2008 due to limited sample size)
h/a: 3.6 vs 2.9 k/bb; .666 vs .614 ops though due to higher babip away
other: HR/Flyball plummeted in 2008-- probably unsustainably low and his ERA should rise; still rumors of him tipping pitches explain the HR/Flyball spike in 2006 & 2007



Lidge vs Dodgers:

Furcal: 0/8, 1 BB, 4 K
Pierre: 3/8, 0 BB, 1 K
Castro: 0/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Hudson: 1/3, 1 BB, 1 K
Loretta: 2/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Ethier: 1/2, 1 BB, 1 K
Kemp: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Loney: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Martin: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K




Ryan Madson (R): 2.70 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 10.8 K/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.13 FIP, 42% GB

proj avg: 3.80 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 48%
pitches: 58% fb, 24% ch, 15% ct, 4% cb
r/l: 3.65 vs 1.8 k/bb; .714 vs .786 ops
h/a: no major split at all



Madson vs Dodgers:

Furcal: 3/16, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 K
Pierre: 3/12, 1 3B, 2 BB (1 IBB), 1 K
Loretta: 3/7, 2 2B, 0  BB, 1 K, 1 SF
Hudson: 2/6, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Ethier: 0/5, 1 BB, 0 K
Loney: 2/6, 0 BB, 0 K
Ausmus: 1 BB, 2 Sac
Kemp: 2/3, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Blake: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Castro: 1/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Martin: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K


Scott Eyre (L): 5.40 ERA, 8.1 BB/9, 5.4 K/9, 2.7 HR/9, 9.03 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.20 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 8.8 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 41%
pitches: 59% fb, 35% sl, 6% ch, 0.2% cb
r/l: 1.5 vs 1.9 k/bb; .815 vs .720 ops
h/a: not much of a split


Eyre vs Dodgers:

Loretta: 4/15, 2 BB, 4 K
Furcal: 2/6, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Pierre: 2/5, 0 BB, 0 K
Ausmus: 1/4, 1 BB, 1 K
Castro: 2/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Ethier: 2/3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Hudson: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Loney: 1/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Martin: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K





Jack Taschner (L): 5.14 ERA, 6.4 BB/9, 4.5 K/9, 1.3 HR/9, 6.18 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 35%
pitches: 57% fb, 30% sl, 13% ch
r/l: 1.45 vs 2.2 k/bb; .754 vs .747-- large selection bias where he faces only very good lefties and not very good righties
h/a: .698 vs .797 ops; 2.1 vs 1.5 k/bb

Taschner vs Dodgers:

Ethier: 2/5, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 0/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Loney: 1/4, 1 BB, 2 K
Furcal: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Martin: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Hudson: 1/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Loretta: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K
Ausmus: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Blake: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K





Chad Durbin (R): 3.57 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, 7.1 K/9, 1.5 HR/9, 5.84 FIP, 31% GB

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 41%
pitches: 47% fb, 38% sl, 8% ch, 7% cb, 1% ct
r/l: virtually no split
h/a: somewhat of a reverse split but probably just noise



Durbin vs Dodgers:

Blake: 2/5, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 Sac, 1 SF, 1 HBP
Hudson: 1/4, 1 3B< 0 BB< 1 K
Kemp: 1/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Martin: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Ethier: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Loretta: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Ausmus: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Loney: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Pierre: 1 BB




Clay Condrey (R): 2.12 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9, 4.35 FIP, 47% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 4.9 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 50%
pitches: 59% fb, 17% ct, 15% sl, 9% ch
r/l: 2.1 vs 1.3 k/bb; .761 vs .842 ops
h/a: .703 vs .898 ops; 2.2 vs 1.3 k/bb


Condrey vs Dodgers:

Ethier: 3/7, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 6/7, 1 3B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Pierre: 3/7, 0 BB, 0 K
Loney: 2/5, 0 BB, 0 K
Furcal: 3/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Martin: 2/3, 1 BB (IBB), 0 K
Castro: 0/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Ausmus: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Blake: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Hudson: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Loretta: 1 BB






J.A. Happ (L): 2.84 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 6.6 K/9, 0.5 HR/9, 3.49 FIP, 35% GB

proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 29% in majors thus far; 42% in AAA in 2008
pitches: 64% fb, 18% ch, 14% sl, 2% ct, 2% cb
r/l: 1.7 vs 3.0 k/bb in majors thus far; 2.7 vs 3.5 k/bb in AAA in 2008
h/a: not enough info


Happ: has not faced any Dodgers




SUSPENDED: J.C. Romero (L)

proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 5.5 BB?9, 7.5 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
gb: 55%
pitches: 58% fb, 25% sl, 17% ch, 0.1% cb
r/l: 1.2 vs 2.2 k/bb; .814 vs. 591 ops
h/a: 1.6 vs 1.3 k/bb; .697 vs .768 ops

Romero vs Dodgers:

Blake: 1/10, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 Sac
Ausmus: 2/6, 0 BB, 1 K
Ethier: 2/3, 2 BB, 0 K
Hudson: 0/1, 3 BB, 1 K
Loney: 1/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Pierre: 2/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Furcal: 1/3, 1 3B, 0 BB, 0 K
Loretta: 1/3, 1 3B, 0 BB, 0 K
Martin: 2/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Kemp: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K




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