With a 56-40 record, the Phillies lead the NL East by 6.5 games. They have the second-best record in the NL and the fifth-best record in baseball. At +78, they also have the second best run differential in baseball. They've won 17 of their last 20 games, including 8 of their last 10 against playoff contenders (except for one game against the Padres).
And yet they've done all this with a 4.45 team ERA, good for 13th in the NL and 22nd in the majors.
So how have they done it? It's simple: they've bludgeoned their opponents to death. The Phillies' offense is a beast, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. Who needs Roy Halladay when you have production like this:
Runs: Despite playing the fewest games of any NL team (tied only with the Cubs at 96), the Phillies lead the NL in runs with 527. Their nearest competitor is the Rockies, who have scored only 496 despite playing in a stadium that inflates scoring by 26%. (Compare that to Citizens Bank Park, which inflates runs by only 5% this year.) The Phillies' closest NL East opponent is the Marlins, who have scored 79 fewer runs than the Phillies (while playing 3 more games). In all of baseball, the Phillies trail only the Angels (533) and Yankees (543) in scoring. What do those two teams have in common? Their pitchers don't hit.
Runs per game: Because of all the rainouts the Phillies have suffered through, they've only played 96 games this year. Compare that to the Cardinals, who have already played 101 games. Putting the previous discussion into a rate statistic, the Phillies have scored 5.49 runs per game, just 0.005 runs fewer per game than the Angels and 0.05 fewer per game than the Yankees. The Phillies score at least almost 1 run per game more than all NL teams other than the Rockies (5.06) and Dodgers (5.01), whom the Phillies best by only about 0.5 runs per game. The NL average is 4.44 runs per game.
OPS: The Phillies' OPS is .798, good for best in the NL and second-best in baseball. They trail the Yankees, who are dominating with a .829 OPS. The closest challenger in the NL is the Rockies at .780. The Braves are the closest team in the NL East at .747.
Slugging: The Phillies are a patient team, with a .344 OBP, good for second in the NL and seventh in the majors. But where they really are dominating is in slugging. Their .454 slugging percentage is first in the NL. The Rockies are second at .440 and the next closest team is the Brewers at .422. The Phillies' slugging percentage is second in the majors, trailing only the Yankees (.470).
HR: Of course, the Phillies' slugging dominance is driven by their prodigious home run hitting. They've hit 138 home runs, 25 more than the closest NL team (Rockies at 113). In all of baseball, only the Yankees (144) and Rangers (143) have hit more. Yes, Citizens Bank Park inflates home runs, but only by 7%. And anyway, the Phillies, despite playing only 44 away games this year (second fewest in baseball, least in the NL), lead the NL in away home runs as well, with 64 (only 2 behind the majors-leading Indians and Rangers).
Runners on: The Phillies score their runs by dominating once someone gets on base. They have the second-best offense in baseball with runners on base, with an .828 OPS. They trail only the Angels, who best them by only 1 point, with an .829 OPS. The next closest NL team is in a completely different strata -- the Rockies at .775.
GDP: When the Phillies get guys on base, they don't squander the opportunity by hitting into double plays. Their 60 double plays is tied for second-best in the NL and fourth-best in the majors.
SB%: Relatedly, they don't lose guys on the basepaths due to caught stealings. They're nowhere near they were in their record-setting 2007 campaign when they were successful 88% of the time they tried to steal a base, but they're doing prety well with a 78% success rate, good for first in the NL and tied for fifth in the majors.
VORP: Looking to more advanced metrics, before scoring 24 runs this weekend, the Phillies led the majors in hitting VORP at 176.5. No doubt that number remains at the top after what the team did this weekend against the NL Central-leading (at the time) Cardinals.
EQA: The Phillies also lead the majors in park-adjusted EQA, besting the Dodgers by 1 point -- .279 to .278. Unlike the VORP number, this number is good through yesterday's games.
ISO: The Phillies are getting the most of their at-bats, as measured by isolated power. They lead the NL with a .191 ISO, third behind the Yankees and Ranger (both at .194). The closest NL team is the Rockies at .181.
BABIP: The Phillies are being this productive without getting particularly lucky. Their BABIP is .295, 20th in the majors and 12th in the NL. Compare the Phillies BABIP with the productive and lucky offenses of the Angels (.324), Dodgers (.318), and Rays (.314).
So let's put it all together. The Phillies score a ton of runs by getting on base, hitting the crap out of the ball, and not wasting outs on the basepaths. Collectively, they do these things decidedly better than every other team in the NL and almost as well as the best of the teams that play in the league where the pitcher doesn't hit.
Sure, I'd like a nice shiny Roy Halladay at the top of the rotation as much as the next fan. But does this dominating offense really need that to win?