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Phillies Stat Notes: Luck (and Discipline?) Slipping Away

The Phillies' luck on balls in play has largely disappeared in recent games, and so have their improved plate discipline numbers. With Hamels back they look to bolster the rotation and minimize exposure to the bullpen.

Dustin Bradford

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.



Rearranging a bit this time to go from the general (standings) to the specific (players).

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

NL Standings and Team Stats

The Phillies fell back to last place, and at the moment are projected to win one less than they did last year. Their pythagorean projection based on their run differential is even worse, and third from last in the NL, just barely ahead of the Cubs.

It's a good thing Arizona is off their horrendous start, or the Phils would be last in both runs allowed and ERA.

LA meanwhile is right where you would expect, a game ahead of San Francisco in the West, and doing it with a balance of above average hitting and pitching.


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


The last several games have caused a couple of significant shifts in the Phillies' total stats, as they are wont to do this early in the season:

  • Their BABIP has fallen from a major-league-leading .346 less than a week ago, to a still high but not crazy .313 (3rd in the NL).
  • Their plate discipline stats have also suffered in the meantime, to where they are no longer among the best in the league, although still generally above average.

And while their runs per game is still at exactly the middle of the pack, that average belies the fact that they've been more inconsistent than most teams, and so their percentage of games with 3+ or 4+ runs scored (i.e. where they give the staff a fighting chance) has been below average.

Phillies hitters at Fangraphs


The Dodgers' leader in fWAR in the early going hasn't been Yasiel Puig (0.5), or Adrian Gonzalez (0.6), or Matt Kemp (0.0), but 35-year old third baseman Juan Uribe (1.0), who's off to a .333/.351/.560 start, helped by a .407 BABIP. Close behind is Dee Gordon, hitting .367/.409/.483 (.412 BABIP).

Dodgers hitters at Fangraphs


Pitching and Defense

While the Phils and Dodgers haven't been very different at the plate so far, the Dodgers have had the much better pitching.

Phillies pitchers at Fangraphs


The Phillies will miss Clayton Kershaw, who is still on the DL with a strained shoulder.

Dodgers pitchers at Fangraphs


Individual Stats

The old guard of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard are not only the team leaders in hitting stats, but also in fWAR (amazingly, with Howard 3rd). They've accumulated 2.7 fWAR, while all other position players combined  have -1.2. They've accounted for 41 Runs Created, while all other position players combined have generated 35. And in terms of Runs Above Average, they've generated 17.1 RAA, while all other hitters have combined for -12.9.

Utley was finally surpassed for the fWAR leadership, but since it was by Mike Trout, he still leads all homo sapiens. Rollins is 10th in the majors.


Phillies hitters at Fangraphs


Recent milestones and those that may be reached over the next week or so...

Jimmy Rollins
- Rollins needs three  more walks (11 total) to become the 6th Phillie in history to walk 700 times.

Chase Utley
- Utley needs five more total bases (48 on the year) to tie Bobby Abreu for 8th most in Phillies history, at 2,491.
- His sacrifice fly on Sunday broke a tie with Garry Maddox to take sole possession of 4th on the Phillies all-time list at 52. His next one will tie Greg Luzinski for 3rd, leaving him behind only Mike Schmidt (108), and Bobby Abreu (54).

Cliff Lee
- Lee needs 12 more strikeouts (40 total this year) to tie Larry Christenson for 11th most in Phillies history, at 781.

Cole Hamels
- Hamels' first win of the season will be the 100th of his career, and put him in a tie for 7th most in Phils history with Al Orth.
- He also needs 7 1/3 innings to tie Eppa Rixey for 9th on the Phils list at 1,604.


For reference:

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