Phillies Stat Notes: the Word of the day is Patience

Rich Schultz

The Phillies are seeing more pitches and walking more, and as a result are leading the NL in On Base Percentage.

Small sample warning: it's very early, and any stretch of this few games at any point in a season is liable to include crazy, fluky, unsustainable numbers.

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Contents

Phillies Hitters
- Phillies Team Stats vs. 2013 and vs. the Braves
- NL Standings and team stats
- Upcoming Milestones

Phillies Hitters

Tony Gwynn is filling in nicely, thanks in part to a .545 BABIP.

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Phillies Team Stats vs. 2013, and vs. the Braves

Hitting

The Phils lead the NL in OBP after two weeks, and a big reason for that is that they also lead the league in walking.

They are second in batting average at .276, behind only Colorado's .299. The Rockies have hit .354 at home (.990 OPS), and .250 on the road (.663 OPS).

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As in years past, the Phils continue being among the least likely in the league to swing at the first pitch (3rd this year, taking 76% of first pitches). Despite that, they are only 11th and somewhat below average in getting into hitters' counts of 2-0, 3-0, or 3-1, but unlike in years past they have been quite patient in those counts. Whereas in the past they've primarily used hitters' counts to look for a pitch to drive, in these first 12 games they have been more likely than in the past to take a pitch -- they are second in the NL in taking pitches in those hitters' counts.

Phillies Plate Discipline stats and NL rankings, 2010-14:Plad_medium

Everyone in the Phillies' regular lineup with the exception of Ben Revere is walking more so far than they have on average over the past three years (again, small sample warning for this year):

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Atlanta Braves

The Braves on the other hand are coming in with the 3rd worst OBP, and 4th worst runs per game. That seems to be changing however, as they scored 7, 6, and 10 runs in sweeping the weekend series against the Nationals.

Pitching and Defense

Phillies starters and relievers have been about equally bad thus far. In fact, somewhat surprisingly, the bullpen's FIP is actually lower than the starting staff's in the first 12 games.

Defensive stats continue tracking with the eye test, consistently ranking near the bottom in the two-week sample.

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta has allowed the 2nd fewest runs in the league to date, trailing only Milwaukee. They've been helped by a tiny 6.0% HR/FB rate, and when adjusting for that, their starters' xFIP is ranked near the bottom.

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NL Standings and Team Stats

Note the dearth of hitting in the NL Central so far, with the exception of the red-hot Brewers. Also the lack of good pitching so far in the NL East:

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Milestones

Milestones that may be reached over the next week or so...

Jimmy Rollins
- With two walks on Friday, Rollins passed Willie Puddin' Head Jones (third baseman of the 1950s Phils), for 6th most in Phillies history, at 694.

Chase Utley
- His first sacrifice fly of the year will break a tie with Garry Maddox to take sole possession of 4th all-time at 52, behind only Mike Schmidt (108), Bobby Abreu (54), and Greg Luzinski (53). Riveting. By the way, the Phillies are the only team in the NL without a sac fly so far (they're still 4th in the NL in scoring runners from 3rd with less than two out). Boston is the only team in the AL without a sac fly.

Jonathan Papelbon
- With his 3rd save of the year on Sunday, Papelbon tied Armando Benitez for 26th All-time.

Raul Ibanez
- The ex-Phillie got his 2,000th hit in dramatic fashion on Saturday, hitting a 3-run home run off the Mets' Jose Valverde with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra innings. It was reminiscent of Ibanez' game-tying two-run home run off Valverde with two outs in the ninth in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS.

With that hit, Ibanez also became the first player in MLB history to reach 2,000 career hits after having less than 400 through his 29 season -- he had only 193.

For reference:

- Phillies All-time hitting leaders
- Phillies All-time pitching leaders

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