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Phillies Stat Notes: 100 games in, the pitching is very good, the offense average

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(There’s still a game to be played in the Dodgers series this afternoon, but for the stats below we’ll look ahead to the Reds)

Summary

For the season to date the Phillies’ offense is sitting a tick below the median in the most important stats, ranking 9th in both overall hitting (wRC+), and average runs scored per game.

ERA has moved up to 5th, and that’s probably understating how good the pitching has been. The fielding-independent metrics rank the Phillies’ pitching 2nd, and in fact the Phils staff leads the NL in pitching WAR (per Fangraphs). That very good pitching is hampered by poor defense, ranking 14th at Fangraphs.

BsR = Fangraphs’ Baserunning Runs metric

Standings

The Phillies are back to one full game ahead of the Braves, and now seven (!) ahead of the Nationals.

The Reds remain in last place, but having been doing better lately, 18-12 in their last 30 games.

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.

For the Phillies:

Offense: -3 runs (i.e. worse than average)
- Below average hitting: -10 runs
- Above average baserunning: +7 runs

Run prevention: +36 runs
- Well above average starting pitching: +48 runs
- Slightly above average bullpen: +9 runs
- Awful fielding (-21)

The net total is that as a team they’ve been 33 runs better than average:

Batting

Compared to last year, and to the Reds

The Phils, again, are just below average, ranking 9th in runs scored and wRC+ despite a batting average that is only 12th.

The Reds have had a strong offense so far, despite a lack of power: 12th in ISO, but 3rd in average, and 2nd in OBP, to rank 4th in overall hitting:

*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 second in the NL in pitches per PA (4.03), just behind the Dodgers, and they continue leading the league in walking (10.0% of the time), but also have the second highest strikeout rate (25.1%).

They are about average in taking the first pitch, but get to deep hitters’ counts more than any other team in the NL. They’re also the 2nd most likely team to take a pitch in those counts.

They are dead last in both making contact (74.1% of their swings), and in their Hard-hit rate (29.4%). Line drive rate has inched from the bottom to “only” 2nd worst (20.1%).

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.

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.

Maikel Franco now 2nd in OPS, inching ahead of Odubel Herrera:

Below is how each 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.

The Runs Created stat, which has gone through various iterations, starting with Bill James in the 1980s, 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 for 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, and more recently, the upsurge from Franco, and cooling off by Santana.

The 7/23 week is just the first two games of the Dodgers series:

Pitching

Phillies pitching leads the NL in WAR, and 4th in MLB (behind only the Astros, Yankees, and Red Sox).

They also lead the NL in WAR for starting pitchers, not surprisingly, and are 3rd in MLB (behind the Astros and Indians).

Phillies starters are up to 4th in ERA, though that’s still likely lower than it should be because errors (and unearned runs) don’t adequately capture the impact of bad fielding. Based on FIP*, Phillies starters rank 2nd in the NL.

And of course, the various stats all agree that the Phillies’ fielding has been really bad:

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.

The bullpen has a 2.54 ERA so far in July, lowest in MLB:

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

Team HR Streaks

Another challenger falls short. The Rockies failed to homer last night and saw their HR streak end at 14 games. The Phillies still hold MLB’s longest streak of the season at 16 straight:

That’s also tied for second longest in franchise history, behind an 18-game streak by the 2008 team:

Extra Base Hit Streak

UPDATE:

The Phils have now hit at least one extra base hit in 96 straight game, the longest streak in MLB this season. It’s also the fourth longest such streak in franchise history, and could tie the 2008 team for 3rd place today:

Obviously it doesn’t take an offensive juggernaut to hit one extra base hit in a game, so this is not to imply that it is anything more than a statistical oddity. Note, for example, the lower slash line for this year’s streak.

On Base Streaks

As mentioned in John Stolins’ piece on targeting Shin-Soo Choo, his on-base streak ended at 52 games. It was the longest such streak in more than 12 years. Below are the longest streaks since 2000, and it’s interesting to note that Jim Thome’s 60-game streak, the second longest so far this century, included his first five games as a Phillie:

Trivia Question

Baseball Reference has pictures of seemingly everyone who ever appeared in a major league game, including grainy, impossible-to-discern photos from the 1800s. And yet, when you look up the leaders in rWAR on the 2007 Phillies, you see this:

I don’t like that most photos are not from their time with the Phillies, but let’s ignore that for the moment.

Who is the mystery man with the 3rd most WAR on that team? That answer will appear in the comments. But as for the story behind BB-Ref not being able to show his picture? Some light googling failed to turn up anything, but maybe a reader will have the skills and inclination to dig something up.

References

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