What's going on with Cole?


There has been some recent talk (most on the sports radio stations) about Cole and a comment he made about the balls just happening to find their way through.  Some people speculated that this was a shot at the defense and Cole should look at himself.  I don't know Cole and how self-aware he is, but his recent comments are much more on the ball than the criticism against him.  Let's compare this year to last.

First the bad.

2008 ERA: 3.09
2009 ERA: 4.68

End of story, right?  Cole is to blame, he isn't staying focused, he sucks, he's a prima donna, yadda yadda yadda.  Or maybe we should look a little deeper.

Let's compare the numbers he has control over (at least, mostly).

2008 WHIP: 1.08 (lead league)
2009 WHIP: 1.32

2008 HR/9: 1.11
2009 HR/9: 1.32

2008 BB/9: 2.10
2009 BB/9: 1.68

2008 K/9: 7.76
2009 K/9: 7.83

2008 BABIP: .270
2009 BABIP: .335

2008 LOB%: 76.0%
2009 LOB%: 70.4%

2008 FIP: 3.72
2009 FIP: 3.82

2008 Strike %: 66.88%
2009 Strike %: 66.91%

Just four more stats to compare:

2008 Feliz UZR150: 9.3
2009 Feliz UZR150: 6.0

2008 Rollins UZR150: 15.0
2009 Rollins UZR150: 7.7

2008 Utley UZR150: 21.4
2009 Utley UZR150: 4.4

2008 Howard UZR150: 2.4
2009 Howard UZR150: 3.8

I am no defensive expert, but these stats show me that the Phillies defense ain't what it was last year, especially Utley who has really dropped off.  Hamel's numbers are better across the board except a blip up in HR/9 and his BABIP.  BABIP is something that is controlled a LOT more with defense and Hamels isn't seeing the defense he saw last year.  His FIP is almost identical which leads me to believe that the Phils were very above average on D last year and below on D this year.  I am not sure if that is an anomaly or something else, but this year, Hamels is doing what he did last year, just the defense isn't doing what it did last year.

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