clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Phillies Waterfalls of Failure and Frustration

Reminds me of PtB for some reason.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Reminds me of PtB for some reason. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Taco pal had an excellent 45-game state of the Phillies in last night's recap thread.

This is a somewhat more quantitative take on what is different from what we might have expected.

There are two ways to do that comparison:

1) versus early 2011, when they were also missing Chase Utley and struggled to score runs
2) versus 2011 overall, knowing that any comparison to a 102-win team is going to be unfavorable, but at least hoping to identify the biggest factors.

This uses waterfall charts to show those comparisons, by starting with the 2011 result and layering on the 2012 differences in hitting and pitching. It's a purely results-oriented view, simply describing what happened.

2012 vs. Early 2011

Last year after 46 games, the Phillies had weathered the absence of Chase Utley and were anticipating his return. Their offense, including the Valdez/Orr/Martinez Interim Trio (sorry) at second, had managed only 3.83 runs per game.

However the pitching more than made up for that awful offense with a 3.02 ERA and only 3.17 runs allowed per game, and at the end of that run they had a robust 28-18 record and .609 winning percentage.


The size of the bars is the increase or decrease in winning percentage, using the pythagorean formula. For example, the increase for the offense is calculated by replacing last year's 3.83 runs per game, with this year's 3.95 and recalculating the anticipated winning percentage.

Offense: This year, not only is Utley's return not imminent, it's much more uncertain, and they've also been without Ryan Howard. In spite of that, the offense has done somewhat better than it did a year ago.

Starting Pitching: Runs per game (including unearned runs) charged to the starting pitchers is up from 3.19 in early 2011, to 3.45 so far this year. The increase in Starters' ERA is much smaller (3.10 to 3.24), and much of the increase is in unearned runs, for what it's worth.

Bullpen: Runs/9 IP allowed by the bullpen are up from 3.12 to 5.35

Luck/clutch: This is simply the difference between the pythagorean formula estimate and the actual winning percentage in both years. Rather than luck or clutch, this might be better described as the timing or sequencing of when the runs were scored.


2012 vs. Final 2011

This compares this year's first 45 games with the overall 2011 stats.


Offense: Down from 4.40 runs per game, to 3.95 this year. Below are OPS's by position for full year 2011 and 2012 to date:

2011 Overall 2012 Chg
C .687 .927 35%
1B .838 .740 -12%
2B .698 .731 5%
3B .665 .625 -6%
SS .734 .552 -25%
LF .714 .708 -1%
CF .800 .737 -8%
RF .807 .830 3%
P .376 .407 8%
PH .392 .606 55%

Chooch's impact is evident, but so is Rollins'. The drop-off at 1B isn't as great as might have been feared. At second, 2011 includes the AAAA players for 1/3 of the season, but also Galvis is doing quite well (a little help from Orr's .781 thrown in). The improvement expected in Left hasn't materialized yet, and Victorino is still scuffling.

Starting Pitching: From 3.07 (total) runs allowed per 9 IP, to 3.45 this year.

Bullpen: From 3.74 per 9 IP last year, to 5.35 this year.

Luck/clutch: This is almost entirely the difference between this year's .500 pythagorean and the actual .477 W%, plus a small difference in 2011.