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Mike Adams Out With Back Spasms

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After having a rib removed in the off-season and being worked hard recently by Charlie Manuel, Mike Adams is struggling with back spasms. And the Phils' eighth inning woes continue.

And they danced!
And they danced!
Drew Hallowell

Mike Adams' efforts to be the Phillies' eighth inning savior are on hold. After pitching in three of four games leading up to Saturday's game, Adams couldn't warm up and has been sidelined since then.

In terms of the 8th inning, bringing Adams in has not solved the Phillies' problem. The major league average ERA for the 8th inning so far in 2013 has been 3.55 with a .680 OPS against. For the NL, the average ERA in the 8th is 3.64 with a .681 OPS against.

The Phillies are far below these marks. So far, they have a 4.50 ERA for the 8th. Opposing hitters have a .809 OPS against Phillies pitchers in the 8th, good (bad) for a 137 sOPS+ (indicating that opposing batters have an OPS 37% higher than the major league average for the 8th inning). This is the worst inning for Phillies pitchers in terms of OPS relative to the league.

In fact, this isn't much different than last year, and in some ways, it's even worse. Last year, the Phillies had a 4.67 ERA in the 8th inning, which is indeed a bit worse than this year. But, opposing hitters are hitting better against Phillies pitchers this year in the 8th. They had a .791 OPS last year against the Phils in the 8th, which was "only" 28% worse than the major league average for that inning. Those numbers, widely regarded as one of the reasons for the Phillies poor 2012 and the raison d'etre for the Adams signing, look pretty good compared to this year's numbers.

All of this is to say that Adams needs to be healthy, and the Phillies pitchers overall (still) need to improve in the eighth.