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Phillies Stat Notes: May 2nd

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They're not a .600 team, but they're better than we thought.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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The Phillies have the 4th best record in the NL (tied with the Pirates), despite being dead last in scoring runs.

NL Standings and Key Stats

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Comparing the Phillies' surprisingly good record to their somewhat less surprising run differential of -16 is controversial. Saying that they are more like a .420 team (which is the pythagorean record their run differential translates to) is justifiably viewed as putting way too much weight on small-sample run differentials.

Runs scored: 82
Runs allowed: 98
Run Differential: -16
Pythagorean W%: .420
Pythag record: 10.5 - 14.5
Actual record: 15-10, i.e. 4.5 wins "luckier" than projected

The main reason for the skepticism is that the bullpen has made a complete turnaround and has been much more successful in recent weeks than it was in the first few games. In the season's first four games, the pen allowed 18 hits and 8 walks in only 10 2/3 innings. Their 15 runs allowed translated into a 12.66 ERA, and turned three of those early games into blow outs.

If we exclude those early games and focus on the last 21, that should be a more representative view of the team's performance:

Runs scored: 70
Runs allowed: 72
Run Differential: -2
Pythagorean W%: .486
Pythag record: 10.2 - 10.8
Actual record: 15-6, i.e. 4.8 wins "luckier" than projected

What's making the Phillies' record look "lucky" so far isn't the early blowouts caused by the bullpen. Instead, it's that they are winning an unsustainable number of 1-run games. They are 8-2 so far in those games, as John showed earlier, and in fact 8-1 if you exclude the first four.

Comparing Phillies Stats to Last Year, and to the Cardinals

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St. Louis comes in to the series with one of the most potent offenses in the game, including a surprisingly torrid start from Cuban Aledmys Diaz, who's been at or near the top in every major offensive category.

The Phillies have been neck-and-neck with the Braves for the lowest run scoring in the league, with the Phils currently at the bottom, 3.28 per game to the Braves' 3.29. They're both well below the next lowest, Cincinnati at 3.72.

Let by the inimitable Odubel Herrera, the Phillies' pitches per PA continue to hover above the league average (3.88 vs. 3.86).

The Phils are last in the NL in SB%, at 50% (10 for 10; though both the Angels and Mariners are even lower in the AL). The last time a team has had that low a success rate for a full season was the 2005 Nationals, also at 50%. The last team below 50% for a season was the 1994 Mets (49.0%).

The one other thing the Phillies offense leads the league in is Sacrifice Hits, with 11. At least they're also among the more successful, ranking 4th in successful sacrifices (73% of attempts).

Pitching

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Phillies Hitters

Compared to last year's average at their respoective positions, Rupp and Herrera are the only regular above the average, with Chooch and Blanco also doing well with less playing time.

Howard/Ruf at first base, and the corner infielders in particular, have been well below average as is well documented:

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