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This Game Is Easy: Hit a Little, Pitch a Little, and You'll Win

Last night was a perfect capsule of the Phillies' post-season so far.  They hit, they pitched, and they won.  It really is an easy game, isn't it?

It's actually quite remarkable how dominant the Phillies' all-around game has been so far this post-season.  In almost every important stat, the Phillies are at or near the top for the post-season, often much better than the Yankees.

Starting with the hitting, the Phillies have been heads above the competition:

Runs:  The Phillies have scored the most runs in the post-season by far -- 61 to the Yankees second-best 49.  Both teams have played 10 games, so the Phillies have scored 6.1 runs per game compared to the Yankees' 4.9.

OPS:  The Phillies' offense has the highest OPS of the post-season.  They entered last night with an .840 OPS compared to the Yankees' .800.  After last night, the Phillies were up to .847 and the Yankees down to .767.  And remember, the Phillies put up their .840 OPS (entering last night) with their pitcher hitting; the Yankees have not yet had a pitcher hit.  Not surprisingly for the two teams in the World Series, these stats are the highest for any of the post-season teams.

BA/OBP/SLG:  You could imagine a situation where the Phillies, despite being in the World Series, might not lead all the post-season teams in all of the triple-slash stats.  But, that hasn't happened, as the team dominates here too.  At .262/.364/.483, the Phillies are tied with the Cardinals for best batting average and lead by healthy margins over the other teams in the other stats.  The Yankees' vaunted offense is at .256/.346/.421.  Again, the Phillies are outperforming all other teams, including the Yankees, despite the Phillies' pitchers hitting in 9 of the 10 games.

Late innings:  What's been quite remarkable about the Phillies' performance is that they have excelled in the late innings.  The Phillies have hit .252/.345/.482 in the first 6 innings but ramped it up to .283/.405/.485 from the seventh inning on.  Note, in particular, the huge jump in on-base percentage in the late innings for the Phillies.  The Twins and the Cardinals had higher batting averages in the late innings, but no team has a better OBP or SLG as the game comes to an end, even considering all the late inning heroics the Yankees have had this October.  For comparison, the Yankees' late inning line is .248/.383/.464.

These numbers might not be surprising considering the Phillies are known for their powerful offense.  But, the pitching numbers are incredible as well:

Overall:  The Phillies' pitchers have the lowest OPS against of any post-season team by a wide margin.  The Phillies' pitchers have given up a .633 OPS  The Yankees are second at .671.  The Phillies also have the lowest ERA (2.73, Yankees second at 2.79), highest strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.18, Twins second at 2.44, Yankees third at 2.39), and lowest WHIP (1.12, Twins second at 1.19, Yankees third at 1.26).

Starters:  The Phillies' starters also have the lowest OPS against at .604.  The Yankees are second at .614.  The Phillies blow away the competition in strikeout-to-walk ratio (a remarkable 5.67, Yankees half that at 2.84) and WHIP (0.97).  They are second in ERA at 2.67 compared to the Yankees' 2.55.

Bullpen:  Remarkably, the Phillies' bullpen has also dominated.  They are second in opponents' OPS at .699 (Dodgers are first at .687, with the Yankees and Mariano Rivera at .786, good for sixth this post-season) and second in ERA at 3.24 (Cardinals in first at 2.08, with Yankees third at 3.34).  The peripherals are only middle-of-the-pack, but the results have been great.

All in all, when you hit well and pitch well, you're going to win, which is exactly what the Phillies are doing.  Easy.