The Phillies' hitting is not what it used to be, and the team has changed from one built around a punishing offense to one built around a historically good starting rotation. Runs scored per game are far below the 5.51 that the Phils averaged in 2007, while runs allowed are 35% less than they were that year, when the Phillies both scored and allowed more than 5 runs per game. However with offense around the league declining year after year, a run scored in 2011 is worth more than one scored in 2007, and the team’s performance needs to be viewed in light of that changing environment.
1) Scoring relative to the league is similar to what it was in 2008 and 2010.
For all sets of graphs below, the one on the left shows Phillies and NL Average stats; the graph on the right shows the Phillies' stats as a % of the NL Average.
(for all graphs: click to enlarge)
The 107.0% of the league average so far this year is in the same ballpark as the 2008 and 2010 rates (108.6% and 110.2% respectively).
In addition, if the Phillies continue scoring runs at the rate since Utley's return (4.82 per game), they will finish at 4.54 for the year, or 109.4% of the league average. This is actually higher than the 108.6% of the league average that they scored on their way to the WS title in 2008, and very similar to last year's 110.2%.
In the two-plus months between Utley's return on May 23rd and the Hunter Pence trade, the Phillies were the second best offensive team in the National League. The offense has revved up even more since the trade, at least for the first 14 games:
2) Slugging is down, On Base Percentage holding steady
3) Singles are up, Extra Base Hits down
4) Walks holding steady, while Strikeouts are dropping significantly
5) Pitches per PA relatively unchanged; Swinging at the first pitch remains very low
In the first graph, first-pitch swinging is on the left hand axis; pitches per plate appearance on the right.