Items after the jump:
- Nationals preview
- Phillies stats vs. early 2011 and vs. the Nats
- NL Standings and team stats
- Upcoming milestones
Washington Nationals Preview
- The Nats are 1.5 games ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL East, and 3.5 ahead of the Phillies.
- They've been winning primarily on the strength of a staff that leads the NL in ERA and FIP (and therefore fWAR), and is 2nd in xFIP (to St. Louis).
- Their starters have by far the lowest FIP, and their relievers are a close 2nd to Colorado's.
- The starters' combined ERA (2.03) is even better than their FIP, and 4 of the 5 have ERAs under 2.00, including all three the Phillies will face this weekend.
- The Phillies have had very limited exposure to those three:
Stephen Strasburg: no Phillie has faced him more than 3 times; combined they are 3 for 15 with one double (Polanco), no walks, and 4 Ks.
Gio Gonzalez: Polanco 3-8 with a HR, Pierre 2-4, Wigginton 0-3, Thome 0-4
Jordan Zimmermann: Ruiz (3-7 with a HR), and Victorino (3-8 with 2 doubles) have had some success in the few times they've faced him
- Offensively, the Nationals are near the bottom in most categories, with notable exceptions in BB% (5th) and pitches per PA (7th).
- Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche are the only two off to very good starts so far, although 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper has provided a much-needed spark since making his debut on Saturday.
Phillies Batters vs. Projections
It was expected that the Phillies' offense could not stay as bad as it was for long, and the past 10 games have at least shown encouraging signs that that might be the case. They've averaged 5.4 runs per game, 3rd highest in the NL over that span (4.6 excluding Wednesday's slugfest).
John Mayberry Jr. has appeared in every Phillies game so far, but hasn't started since April 23rd. In the 10 games starting with that one, he has only had 14 PAs in those 10 games, but is 5 for 13 with two doubles and a walk for a .967 OPS. The hits haven't been smashed, and he is still striking out a lot with 5 of his 8 outs being Ks, but it's somewhat encouraging nonetheless.
Phillies Team Stats vs. early 2011 and vs. Nationals
- Runs per game is now fairly close to that of early 2011, which, by the way, included four games of 10 runs or more.
- As was the case last year, once Phillies hitters work the count in their favor, they are looking for a pitch to drive rather than try to get on via a walk. They are 15th in the league in pitches taken when in 2-0, 3-0, or 3-1 counts.
- They're doing about the same as last year in the "small ball" categories of sacrificing, advancing runners, and attempting to steal bases, which is to say not that well -- they're at or below league averages. The one exception remains base stealing efficiency, where they are second in the NL.
- ERA has now fallen to 5th in the NL.
NL Standings and Team Stats
- St. Louis has been the class of the NL so far, with the most runs scored and the second-fewest allowed.
- The Dodgers have won 3 more games than their differential would indicate. They are 6th in the NL in both runs scored and runs allowed.
- he needs 7 more games played (33 for the year) to tie Tony Taylor for 4th on the Phillies' all-time list with 1,669
- with 7 more singles (28 total), he will tie 19th century outfielder Roy Thomas for 4th on the Phillies' list
- 9 more total bases (36 total) wil make him the 4th player in history to get 3,000 with the Phillies
- Polly needs 12 more hits (34 total) to reach 2,000 for his career
- his 4th steal of the season on Wednesday tied him with Brett Butler for 21st on the All-time list with 558
- he needs 10 more to reach the top 20
Jim Thome (DL)
- his 2nd RBI will tie him with Gary Sheffield for 25th on the All-time list at 1,676
- he needs 3 more K's (13 for the season) to become the 2nd player in history to reach 2,500; Reggie Jackson has 2,597
- 3 more Games Played (15 for the season) will make him the 51st player in history to reach 2,500