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Phillies Stat Notes: Signs of life are probably temporary

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There are now 3 teams with worse records than the Phillies (meaning they would get the 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft if the season ended today). Chances are the Phils will still make a strong run at that #1 pick.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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If the season were to end today, the Phillies would have the 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

The team with the worst record in MLB at the moment is Milwaukee, who is 2.5 games behind the Phillies.

MLB Standings

The Phillies do still have the worst run differential in MLB (-56), as well as the worst pythagorean projection, at 17-30.

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NL Standings and Key Stats

After a hot start the Mets have cooled off significantly:

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Even so, it remains to be seen whether any of the other three teams in the division have enough to overtake them.

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Phillies Stats vs. last year, and vs. the Mets

Hitting

As Todd Zolecki reported recently, the Phillies went from last in the NL in extra base hits for most of the season, to leading the league over the last two weeks:

Through May 11 (33 games): 2.03 per game
Since May 12 (14 games): 3.36 per game

Even while they were last in XBH, they actually led the NL in triples through May 11th, but were last in HRs, and next to last in doubles.

Since May 12th, even though they lead in extra base hits, they are still next to last in HRs, but they are way ahead in doubles with 37 -- the second highest total in that period is only 27.

The surge in extra base hits coincided with the optioning of Cody Asche to AAA, and the promotion of Maikel Franco, but the bulk of the increase has actually come from the resurgent bats of the veterans, plus Cesar Hernandez. Of that 1.33 per game bump:

Utley: +0.31 more XBH per game since May 12 (5 doubles and a triple)
Howard: +0.28 (5 doubles and 4 HRs)
Hernandez: +0.26 (4 doubles)
Ruiz: +0.23 (4 doubles)

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Fangraphs team hitting stats

Pitching

Phillies starters have allowed 3 runs or less in 14 of the last 15 games, pitching to a 2.71 ERA over that time.

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Fangraphs team pitching stats

Phillies Hitters

Utley's bounce-back:

Through May 8 (26 G, 103 PA, .079 BABIP)... .099/.175/.198 (.373 OPS)
Since May 9 (16 G, 53 PA, .415 BABIP)........... .333/.414/.490 (.904 OPS)

Obviously the .415 BABIP is almost as unsustainable as the .079, so it will be interesting to see where he settles in.

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Fangraphs hitting stats

Phillies Pitchers

The table below compares Phils pitchers' stats, and uses FIP and xFIP to explain where they differ from the NL average for starting pitchers.

For example for Aaron Harang:
- xFIP assumes a league-average rate of fly balls leaving the yard, and so is based mostly on walks and strikeouts, and by that measure alone Harang has allowed 3 more runs than the league average starter.
- FIP (unlike xFIP) uses the actual home runs allowed by the pitcher, and since Harang has allowed only two all year (an unsustainably low 2.3% HR/FB rate), his FIP translates to 8 fewer runs allowed than an average pitcher. And since we've already established that he's 3 over based on walks and K's, he must therefore be 11 under the average in runs allowed due to home runs.
- ERA captures the rest of the activity, due to BABIP/fielding, the timing of hits, his success at stranding runners, etc. And since Harang's ERA is well below his FIP, these other factors have allowed him to allow another 7 runs fewer than league average, beyond what FIP alone can explain.


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Milestones

Chase Utley

- Yesterday Utley appeared in his 1,520th game as a Phillie to tie Willie Puddin' Head Jones for 9th most in Phils history, and tonight he'll tie Sherry Magee for 8th most at 1,521.

- He needs three more walks to move into a 10th place tie with Von Hayes, at 619.

- His next HBP will tie 19th century outfielder Curt Welch for 13th all-time.

Carlos Ruiz

- Last week Chooch became only the 2nd catcher in franchise history to hit 200 doubles:

Mike Lieberthal - 255
Carlos Ruiz - 200
Jack Clements - 193
Darren Daulton - 189
Bob Boone - 172

Cole Hamels

- Hamels needs two more wins to tie Curt Simmons for 5th most in franchise history:

Steve Carlton - 241
Robin Roberts - 234
Pete Alexander - 190
Chris Short - 132
Curt Simmons - 115
Cole Hamels - 113

Always-a-Phillie Jimmy Rollins

- Yesterday Rollins became only the 13th player in history to appear in 2100 games at Shortstop.

- He's about to reach MLB's all-time top 100 in extra base hits, needing four more to tie Orlando Cepeda at 823.

- He's already 4th all-time in extra base hits among shortstops (i.e. players who spent at least 2/3 of their careers at short).