To follow up on taco pal's excellent post yesterday, compare two offenses:
It should be obvious what the 2012 line of this chart is, as that's the line for the Phillies so far this year. The 2011 line is for the Phillies last year, but it's only a portion of last year - the first 59 games, the same number the Phillies have played this year.
And, what do we see from this comparison? Compared to last year at the same point, this year's team has hit for better average, has more power, has a higher OPS, and scored slightly more runs per game. Last year's model got on base a bit more because it walked more. The team also struck out slightly less (even with Ryan Howard playing!), but those are the only areas where it was better. In comparison to the rest of the league, the Phillies in 2011 through 59 games were 10th in the NL in runs scored per game; this year, through 59 games, they are 9th.
The bottom line is that the same team that won 102 games last year had an ever-so-slightly worse offense through the first 59 games than this year's team has had through the first 59 games
Of course, the overall results have been wildly different. Compare where both teams were through 59 games:
The 2012 team is ranked 10th in the NL, compared to 1st in the NL for the 2011 team. That's a huge difference, and something the team needs to rectify. But, the reason for the team's struggles, at least compared to last year's first-place team at this point in the season, is not the offense. It's the
pitching results from the pitching.