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Phillies Stat Notes: Swoon Schmoon — a playoff team as of today

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With two games left to close out their first half, the Phillies have the 5th best record in the NL, and would be facing the Cubs in the Wildcard game if the season ended today.

Through their ups and downs, overall they’ve had an average offense for the season to date, ranking 9th in scoring runs, and 8th in overall hitting.

Their run prevention has also been average (8th in runs allowed), with very good pitching hampered by poor fielding:

Standings

This table now includes FIP in the pitching stats, and two advanced fielding metrics: Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) from baseball reference, and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) from fangraphs.

Not surprisingly, the Phillies are at or near the bottom in both. Washington is average in both.

Runs vs. Average

The graph below shows Runs above average for each team in the NL, by each aspect of the game, as measured at Fangraphs.

So the Phillies for example have been well above average in starting pitching (+39), and slightly above average in both their bullpen (+7, despite recent troubles), and running the bases (+3). Their batting has been exactly at the average overall so far for the season to date.

The only major aspect that they’ve been below average in is fielding (-19).

The net total is that as a team they’ve been 30 runs better than average:

Batting

Compared to last year, and to the Nationals

*ISO, short for Isolated power, is the difference between batting average and slugging percentage, and essentially measures the average extra bases per at bat (1 for a double, 2 for a triple, 3 for a HR).

The Phillies are back in the lead in pitches per PA (4.06), and they continue leading the league in walking (10.3% of the time), but have the second highest strikeout rate (25.6%).

They are still at or near the bottom both in making contact (73.7% of their swings, 15th), and in the quality of contact (14th in hard hit rate, and in line drive rate).

Progress over time

The graphs below show how some key stats have progressed. On the left is the weekly performance (with a dotted line showing the NL average for each one), and on the right is the cumulative season-to-date number. Batting Average and BB% together drive a team’s On Base Percentage, and Batting Average and ISO combine to form Slugging Percentage.

After two of their strongest weeks of the season, Phils hitters struggled in the Yankees series:

Batting — Individual

Below are the Phillies ranked by OPS, along with how they compare to the MLB average OPS at their position. To the right are their OPS over the last 30, 14, and 7 days.

Franco and Hoskins have been hitting very well, while Herrera, who had a great week last week, has struggled in recent days:

Below is how each Phillie hitter’s OPS and wOBA have progressed over time.

These graphs are very busy — start with the names to see how they currently rank, and then follow each line to the left to see how they got there.

There is a stat called Runs Created, which has gone through various iterations, starting with Bill James in the 1980s, which takes all of a hitter’s stats and estimates how many runs they should translate to. Fangraphs calculates a version of that called weighted Runs Created (wRC) which is a counting stat version of wOBA.

The table below shows wRC by each Phillie, by week (the first is more like a week and a half). It quantifies the ups and downs we’ve seen: the hot starts by Hoskins, Hernandez, and Herrera, the occasional good week from Franco, and the strong hitting from Santana since May 1st.

Hoskins and Franco have been the only ones with much success so far this week:

(Note that the 3/26 “week” was actually 11 days long, from Opening Day on 3/29 through 4/8)

Pitching

Phillies pitching leads the NL in WAR (per fangraphs). They also lead in WAR for starting pitching in particular.

Phillies starters are only 6th in ERA, but that’s largely because errors and fielding percentage are inadequate measures of fielding, and so “earned” vs. “unearned” runs is a very flawed distinction. Based on FIP*, Phillies starters rank 2nd in the NL.

*FIP (Fielding-independing pitching) is based only on the stats that are considered to be most controllable by pitchers: strikeouts, walks, and home runs. xFIP takes that one step further by also assuming that home runs are only controllable by a pitcher to the extent to which they allow fly balls to be hit, and adjusts their HRs to the league-average rate of HRs per Fly Balls.

Pitching - Individual

Below is a high-level break down of each starter’s games:

QS is the typical definition (6+ IP, 3 or less ER)
“bad” is any start with more ER than innings pitched, and
“other” is all the rest.

Zach Eflin was a big reason the Phillies have been able to largely weather the month of June, winning all five of his starts in the month, with a stellar 1.76 ERA, allowing 1, 2, 1, 2, and 0 runs. Three of those five wins stopped losing streaks, and a fourth came after a single loss.

And below are each pitcher’s games, with the Game Score for each one on the right (highlighted green if in the 60-79 range, dark green if 80+):

Miscellaneous

On Base Streaks

Odubel Herrera has the longest on-base streak of the season so far (41 games, plus another 4 from the end of 2017), but Shin-Soo Choo is now up to 40 straight games, and can tie the season high tonight:

Odubel also had a 5-game HR streak this month, to tie the Phillies franchise record.

In so doing, he also became only the 5th player in MLB history to have both a 40-game on base streak, and a 5-game HR streak, in the same season. The others:

Babe Ruth (1921)
Barry Bonds (2001, 2003)
Jim Thome (2002)
Jim Edmonds (2004)

Hoskins Fastest Phillie to 30

When he hit his 30th career home run on Wednesday, it was in only his 119th career game, breaking the Phillies franchise record for fastest to 30. Chuck Klein had been the fastest, with 132 games, followed by Ryan Howard, with 134.

Howard of course holds the MLB records for being the fastest to several HR milestones:

100 HR: 325 games
200 HR: 658 games
250 HR: 855 games

For each of those he surpassed Ralph Kiner, who still holds the record for fastest to 300 (1087 games, vs. Howard’s 1093). Mark McGwire is the fastest to 350 and to 400.

I don’t know who the fastest to 30 in history was, but I do know that the most home runs through 119 games was 40 by Mark McGwire (Hoskins’ 30 is tied for 13th).

Extra Base Streak

The Phils have had an extra base hit in 75 straight games, the longest streak by any team this season. It’s the longest by the Phillies since they hit one in 97 straight games in 2008-09. The franchise record is 129 straight games in 1929-30.

References

Phillies hitters (fangraphs)
Phillies pitchers (fangraphs)
Team hitting stats (fangraphs)
Team pitching stats (fangraphs)
Team stats (baseball-reference)