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The Phils start a series with NL East rival Washington, and even though they're limping home from a 3-7 road trip, they're still not out of the division race because the Braves and Nats haven't been playing any better over the last 60 days.
Here we are, following back-to-back losses by the Phils, and back-to-back wins by the Braves. And in spite of that, these are the records of the NL East's "big three" since 4/19, after the Braves’ hot start:
Braves 28-26 Phillies 27-27 Nationals 25-28
These are arbitrary endpoints, of course, and to take any solace from this requires that one assume that a) the Phillies can at some point put together a streak similar to the one the Braves started the year with, and b) that the Braves and Nationals are not much better teams than they've shown so far.
- Cole Hamels' Record - Phillies Hitters vs. Projections - Phillies Team Stats vs. 2012 and vs. the Nationals - NL Standings and team stats - Upcoming Milestones
Cole Hamels' Record
Hamels' record fell to 2-10 after yesterday's loss, and commentators today are continuing to point to the offense as the chief culprit for that. Joecatz has rightly raised the point that Hamels deserves at least some of the blame. Below is a list of pitchers with similar ERA and FIP to Hamels, and it seems that two things can be said about all of these to one degree or another:
1. They're having OK but not great seasons 2. They've been somewhat unlucky
Where Hamels stands out is that, in addition to not pitching great, and being somewhat unlucky (which alone would have limited him to 4-5 wins), he has also gotten the worst run support of anyone in this group:
Phillies Hitters vs. Projections
Phillies Team Stats vs. 2012 and vs. the Nationals
The Nationals' offense continues to be even worse than that of the Phillies: they've scored 0, 1, or 2 runs in 44% of their games (vs. 34% for the Phils).
The only thing the Nats have done better is to be slightly more patient, ranking 9th in walks (7.4%), to the Phillies' 11th (7.1%).
Pitching and Defense
Washington's pitching, on the other hand, continues to be solidly above average:
NL Standings and Team Stats
Milestones likely to be reached over the next week or so...
Jimmy Rollins - Two more stolen bases (8 total) will tie him with Ed Delahanty for 2nd on the Phillies all-time list, at 411. The 19th century's Billy Hamilton, who holds the Phillies record with 508, will survive the Rollins era as the team's all-time leader. - He also needs 3 more home runs to reach 200 for his career, becoming the 10th Phillie to do so. That will make Rollins just the 9th player (and only shortstop) in MLB history to have 2,000 hits, 400 stolen bases, and 200 home runs.
Rollins hasn't had a steal since June 5th, and hasn't homered since May 31st.
Chase Utley - Utley's next HBP will tie him with Hall of Fame outfielder Fred Clarke for 20th place all-time, at 153.
Ryan Howard - He needs 3 RBIs (37 for the year) to tie Sam Thompson (1889-98) for 5th most in team history at 957. Ahead of him will still be Chuck Klein (983), Del Ennis (1,124), Ed Delahanty (1,286), and Mike Schmidt (1,595).
Michael Young - Young stands at 998 career RBIs, and needs 2 more (16 total) to reach 1,000.
Cole Hamels - His next start (16th this year) will tie Curt Schilling for 6th most in Phillies history with 226. - His next win (3rd this year) will tie him with Kid Carsey (1892-97) for 11th on the Phils' all-time list, at 94. - The one after that (4th) will tie Tully Sparks (1897, 1903-10) for 10th. - He needs 13 strikeouts (102 total) to tie Grover Cleveland Alexander (1911-17, 1930) for 5th most in Phils history.
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