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Don't Fall Asleep!

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We've all been there.  Watching or listening to a Phils game, the team is losing with sub-par offensive production for the first several innings.  Baseball is a wonderful game, much more exciting and intriguing than its detractors believe, but sometimes, let's face it, the games can get boring.  Especially when the Phils are losing and the offense is dormant.  Sometimes, sleep beckons before the game is over.

But wait!  In 2007, fight the temptation: Don't fall asleep while watching a Phils game!

Why not?  Because the Phils are an exciting late inning offensive team.  The constant droning in the media and on the airwaves about the team not being clutch might make you think that the team's bats go silent as the evening wears on, but nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the Phils are the best late innings offensive team in baseball.

Let's look at some numbers.  First, we've got DFAF, a stat that the Phils lead the league in.  What's DFAF?  It's a new GoodPhight stat - the Don't Fall Asleep Factor.  It's simple:  subtract the team's OPS for innings 1 through 6 from the team's OPS for innings 7+ and get rid of the decimal point for simplicity (multiply by 1000).  The higher the number, the better the team is in the late innings compared to the early innings. In other words, the higher the number, the more you're going to regret falling asleep in the middle of a game.  Simple as that.

Here's the DFAF chart for all major league teams:

<![if supportMisalignedColumns]> <![endif]>
Rank TEAM OPS OPS 1-6 OPS 7+ DFAF
1 Philadelphia 0.779 0.767 0.803 36
2 LA Dodgers 0.723 0.717 0.734 17
3 Oakland 0.729 0.725 0.738 13
4 St. Louis 0.717 0.717 0.715 -2
5 Florida 0.767 0.768 0.764 -4
6 Atlanta 0.739 0.741 0.735 -6
7 Milwaukee 0.784 0.787 0.779 -8
8 Seattle 0.759 0.763 0.750 -13
9 Washington 0.680 0.685 0.672 -13
10 Colorado 0.750 0.755 0.738 -17
11 San Diego 0.710 0.718 0.696 -22
12 Toronto 0.764 0.773 0.745 -28
13 Chicago Sox 0.670 0.681 0.649 -32
14 NY Mets 0.754 0.766 0.730 -36
15 Kansas City 0.706 0.719 0.678 -41
16 Houston 0.736 0.751 0.707 -44
17 Cleveland 0.784 0.799 0.751 -48
18 Texas 0.760 0.778 0.723 -55
19 NY Yankees 0.799 0.818 0.762 -56
20 Arizona 0.724 0.744 0.683 -61
21 Boston 0.792 0.811 0.749 -62
22 Pittsburgh 0.689 0.711 0.645 -66
23 Baltimore 0.721 0.743 0.674 -69
24 San Francisco 0.701 0.724 0.655 -69
25 Minnesota 0.731 0.756 0.680 -76
26 Chicago Cubs 0.749 0.775 0.698 -77
27 LA Angels 0.771 0.801 0.702 -99
28 Tampa Bay 0.774 0.818 0.677 -141
29 Cincinnati 0.756 0.804 0.659 -145
30 Detroit 0.830 0.881 0.716 -165

Lest you think the Phils are so great in the later innings because they don't produce early on, here's a chart that shows the teams' rankings for each of the individual components above. The number in each column indicates the team's MLB rank for the particular stat.

<![if supportMisalignedColumns]> <![endif]>
Team OPS OPS 1-6 OPS 7+ DFAF
Philadelphia 6 13 1 1
LA Dodgers 22 26 12 2
Oakland 20 22 10 3
St. Louis 24 27 16 4
Florida 9 12 3 5
Atlanta 17 21 11 6
Milwaukee 4 8 2 7
Seattle 12 15 6 8
Washington 29 29 26 9
Colorado 15 17 9 10
San Diego 25 25 20 11
Toronto 10 11 8 12
Chicago Sox 30 30 29 13
NY Mets 14 14 13 14
Kansas City 26 24 23 15
Houston 18 18 17 16
Cleveland 5 7 5 17
Texas 11 9 14 18
NY Yankees 2 2 4 19
Arizona 21 19 21 20
Boston 3 4 7 21
Pittsburgh 28 28 30 22
Baltimore 23 20 25 23
San Francisco 27 23 28 24
Minnesota 19 16 22 25
Chicago Cubs 16 10 19 26
LA Angels 8 6 18 27
Tampa Bay 7 3 24 28
Cincinnati 13 5 27 29
Detroit 1 1 15 30

The Phils have the second highest overall OPS in the NL (sixth in the majors) but are only fifth in innings 1-6 in the NL (13th in the majors). So, their offensive is powerful, but it is more sluggish in the beginnings of games.

However, after the sixth inning, wake up! The team's OPS from the seventh inning forward is tops in the majors, 24 points higher than second-place Milwaukee and 36 points higher than the Phils' own OPS in innings 1 through 6. Thus, the Phils' 36 DFAF is the highest in the majors.

Contrast the Phils' DFAF to the best offensive team in the majors. Detroit has scored 454 runs, 52 more than the second place Indians. They have the only team OPS over .800, at .830. Yet their DFAF is the worst in the majors, at -165. Detroit fans: you can feel safe going to sleep once the seventh inning hits.

But for those of us who are Phillies fans, stay awake!

[I'll continue looking into this DFAF stat for pitching and individual players over the next few weeks.]