If by "inconsistent", we are talking about the fact that they started very slowly, but have done better lately, then Yes!
First 16 games: 2.7 runs per game (15th in the NL), and they were also 15th in scoring 3+ or 4+ runs
Last 30 games: 4.8 runs per game (3rd in the NL), 5th most games of 3+, 2nd most games of 4+
But it seems that most times when people call the offense inconsistent they mean that the Phillies score a lot some days, and struggle some others. Well, of course, every team does that to some extent. So does the Phillies' scoring fluctuate more than most other teams?
The way to determine this is by calculating the standard deviation for each team to measure how far each game's score differs from that team's average. Also, because higher scoring teams will tend to have bigger numerical differences, we control for that by dividing the standard deviation by the team's average runs per game.
If we compare the NL teams' stats since the start of the season, the Phillies have been the 6th most inconsistent team in league:
So not only is the Cards' offense potent, it's consistently potent. Also, a good part of the inconsistency in Colorado's numbers is likely due to the difference between its home and away parks.
However if we look at the first 16 games and the last 30 separately, it's a different picture:
In the first 16 games, they were the most inconsistent:
But over the last 30, they've been only the 10th most inconsistent (i.e. 7th most consistent) offense in the NL:
Another type of inconsistency raised in the Naked Punch comments is within the game, i.e. scoring runs in bunches rather than spreading them throughout the game. I don’t have the data for other teams, but this is how many runs the Phillies have scored by the size of the inning:
1 – 62 (33%)
2 – 42 (22%)
3 – 24 (13%)
4 – 28 (15%)
5 – 20 (11%)
6 – 12 (6%)
So 45% of runs have been scored in innings of 3 runs or more. That’s kind of interesting, but I have no way of knowing if that’s high, low, or neither.
I will add though, that since the unit for Wins and Losses isn't the inning but the game, this is more of an academic question, with little bearing on the success of a team.
So, no surprise, Baseball-Refence has the data on scoring by inning (here - scroll halfway down).
And the Phillies are in fact among the highest in bunching their runs in big innings:
- The 45% calculated above for innings with 3+ runs is 3rd in the NL
- They are #1 in the percentage of runs scored in innings of 4 or more (32%)
- They are 2nd in runs scored in innings of 5 or more (17%)
|Innings with X runs||Runs Scored by Inning size||% of runs scored in big innings|
|0||1||2||3||4||5+||1||2||3||4||5+||Total||3+ %||rank||4+ %||rank||5+ %||rank|
The Pirates have been amazing so far. Not only are they only averaging 2.9 runs per game, but they have only had 4 (FOUR!) innings all year in which they've scored more than 2 runs.