The Mets have two very good young starting pitchers. And that's really it. No bullpen, little offense, and no defense. But it's a start. Also, Jimmy Rollins is only four away from becoming the Phils' all-time leader in doubles. And the Phils have the best record in the NL East over the past 2 months.
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The 2nd NL wild card in 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals, won 88 games. It may take more than that this year to get that second WC, but in order to just get to 88 wins the Phillies will have to play .596 baseball the rest of the way, a 97-win pace.
That, along with the Braves' 7.5-game lead over the Phils, translates to only a 6.8% chance of making the playoffs, according to coolstandings.com. That will be a key number to keep an eye on in the weeks leading up to the July 31st trade deadline.
On the bright side, these are the NL East's records since April 19th:
So the Phillies haven't lost any ground in the last two months, but they haven't dug out of their early season hole, either, and time is running out for that.
- Phillies Hitters vs. Projections
- Phillies Team Stats vs. 2012 and vs. the Mets
- NL Standings and team stats
- Upcoming Milestones
Phillies Hitters vs. Projections
Ryan Howard has had a good last week despite his 0-4 against lefty Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday. He and Michael Young have been the lone bright spots recently.
Speaking of Howard and lefties, his last effective year against LHPs was 2010, when he hit .264/.333/.492 (.826 OPS) against them. In the 2.5 years since then, he has managed only .204/.262/.353 (.615 OPS). We all would like for Howard to face fewer lefties, particularly relievers, but there appears to be quite a bit of reluctance to have star players sit out, even when it's clear it would help the team in those games. Below are some notable hitters who have done as bad or worse vs. LHPs since 2011, but continue to play against them:
Eric Hosmer: .247/.300/.321 (.621 OPS), 440 PAs since 2011, 76 in 2013
Ryan Howard: .204/.262/.333 (.615), 363 and 72
Shin-Soo Choo: .210/.325/.286 (.611), 463 and 102
Andre Ethier: .223/.268/.323 (.591), 473 and 83
Justin Morneau: .219/.259/.282 (.541), 390 and 81
Phillies Team Stats vs. 2012 and vs. the Mets
The Mets are worse than the Phils in most key offensive categories, but not in the only one that really counts -- runs scored. I thought this might be due to differences in hitting with runners in scoring position, but the Mets are worse in that area as well:
Phillies .250 avg, .729 OPS (both 7th in the NL)
Mets .229 avg, .654 OPS (both 12th)
Pitching and Defense
Twenty-four year old Matt Harvey, in his second season in the majors, has a 6-1 record, with a 2.16 ERA, 2.03 FIP, and 2.71 xFIP so far. He has already racked up 3.7 fWAR, and is a leading candidate for the Cy Young award (although we've seen that fortunes can change quickly from the first half to the second). He is scheduled to face John Lannan on Sunday.
In addition, 23-year old Zack Wheeler, acquired in the 2011 trade deadline deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants (a best case scenario for many 2013 Phillies fans), looked good in his first major league start on Tuesday, pitching 6 scoreless innings and giving up only 4 hits while striking out 7, although he did walk 5. He had a 3.93 ERA and 4.04 FIP in AAA before being called up, with 9.57 K/9 and 3.54 BB/9. The Phils will miss him this time.
Also, you think the Phillies' defense is bad? It is. But all the metrics agree that the Mets' defense is even worse, and 3 out of 4 agree that it's the worst in the NL.
NL Standings and Team Stats
Which team's position players lead the NL in fWAR?
The Phillies' next opponent, starting Monday -- the San Diego Padres.
Milestones likely to be reached over the next week or so...
- His next stolen base (8th of the season) 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.
- Rollins is sitting at 995 career strikeouts, and 5 more will make him the 7th Phillie in history to K 1,000 times.
- He needs 4 more doubles (21 total) to tie Delahanty as the Phillies' all-time leader, with 442.
- 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.
- Utley's next HBP will tie him with Hall of Fame outfielder Fred Clarke for 20th place all-time, at 153.
- Howard's sacrifice fly on Tuesday was the 957th RBI of his career, tying Sam Thompson (1889-98) for 5th most in Phillies history. Ahead of him are still be Chuck Klein (983), Del Ennis (1,124), Ed Delahanty (1,286), and Mike Schmidt (1,595).
- Young knocked in runs 1,000 and 1,001 with his 2-run home run in the first inning of Wednesday's game.
- Tonight's start (his 16th this year) will move him past Curt Schilling for 6th most in Phillies history with 227.
- 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.
Also from The Good Phight:
- Phillies Minor League Roundup, June 20, 2013
- Chaos and the 2013 Phillies
- Catz Corner: Delmon Young, Nate Schierholtz, Hunter Pence and the PLAN at the Deadline
- Phillies Minor League Roundup, June 19, 2013
- Phillies Links, 6/19/13: Breathe Through Your Nose and Stop Booing Jayson Werth
- Devastatingly Kendrickian Turns of Events: Nationals 6, Phillies 2 (11)
- 2013 MLB Draft: Phillies Select JP Crawford, Shortstop
- He Has Risen, Part 6: Utley to Begin Rehab Today