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Phillies Stat Notes

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lSome random notes as the Phillies visit the Rockies for a three-game series starting at 8:40pm tonight (see series preview).

Below are the two teams’ MLB rankings on key stats.

The Phils’ 9-9 record isn’t great, but they’re one of the (many) teams tied for 11th in MLB, and 5th in the NL.

One note on the Defense: ranking 15th in MLB is misleading here, since AL teams are dinged by the DH. The Phils rank 13th in the NL, which is closer to the eye test at least.

The Rockies have...

-the worst record in MLB so far this season at 6-12
-MLB’s lowest walk rate, at 6.7%
-the third lowest OBP (.283)
-and MLB’s worst overall hitting, when adjusted for their park, and by a wide margin (wRC+ of 70, with the second lowest being the Orioles’ 81)
-they have the inadvisable combination of the 3rd worst BB/K ratio when batting, and the very worst K/BB ratio when pitching
-while their staff strikes out the fewest batters in MLB, they at least have had the 4th highest ground ball rate, at 47.1%

The Rockies will be without utility guy Chris Owings, who just went on the 60 day IL. But before getting hurt he had 3 triples in the Rockies first 8 games. It’s the 7th time in the last 20 years that someone has hit 3 triples in the first 8 games, in a list dominated by the Rockies and Royals, probably thanks to their big parks.

-Rockies (3): Larry Walker, Cory Sullivan, Owings
-Royals (3): Tony Pena, Paul Orlando, Adalberto Mondesi
-Mets (1): Jose Reyes

The last 162

One consequence of the shortened 2020 season is that we didn’t get the annual look at a full season’s numbers, so while veterans have aged, and young players have come up to make their mark, we’ve been without those usual benchmarks.

The Phillies have played 162 games since 6/25/19, and most teams have played about the same. MLB Leaders since then...

Hits......................... Trea Turner 207
Doubles.................. Rafael Devers 53
HRs......................... Eugenio Suarez 51, Nelson Cruz 50 (T-9 Harper 39)
RBI.......................... Jose Abreu 142, Rafael Devers 127
Runs....................... Ronald Acuna 140 (in 140 games played)
Walks...................... Juan Soto 121, Bryce Harper 112
Stolen Bases.......... Jonathan Villar 41

Rate Stats (500+ PA)

AVG........................ DJ LeMahieu .332 (at 400+ PA: Tim Anderson .342)
OBP........................ Juan Soto .430
SLG......................... Nelson Cruz .675, Mike Trout .647
OPS........................ Nelson Cruz 1.083, Mike Trout 1.060, Juan Soto 1.022
wRC+...................... Nelson Cruz 181, Mike Trout 177, Alex Bregman 168

By the way, it’s noted above that Acuna has scored 140 runs in his last 140 games. Here’s his line in his most recent 162 games:

742 PA, 33 doubles, 51 HR, 115 RBI, 158 Runs scored (!), 98 walks, 200 Ks, and a triple slash of .288/.389/.588 for a .977 OPS (152 wRC+)

Nobody has scored 158 runs in a season in 85 years (Lou Gehrig, 167 in 1936).

Among pitchers

Batters faced......... Shane Bieber 903 (T-3 Nola 852)
Innings Pitched...... Bieber 230 (4th Nola 209.1)
Ks........................... Bieber 313, Gerrit Cole 311 (T-6 Nola 253)
Walks..................... Robbie Ray 95 (T-4 Nola 69)
ERA........................ Jacob deGrom 1.80, Cole 2.07 (9th Wheeler 3.15, 10th Nola 3.18)

One thing to note is that threshold for pitchers to qualify for an ERA title (or other rate stat title) is one inning per team game, so 162 for a typical season. The number of pitchers meeting this minimum over these last 162 games is a measly 30.

The number has been falling, as starters’ outings have shrunk, and so have their innings totals, but 30 over the last 162 is a huge drop. It may simply be due to the fact that this is looking at pitchers across parts of three seasons, and much more so than in any single season, over three years rotations change and we should not expect the same number of pitchers to rack up high innings counts.

Regardless, the falling number of qualifiers may mean MLB will need to lower the criteria sometime soon.

Getting off the ground

The Phillies finished the the 2017 season with a 66-96 record.

From mid-August 2017 through mid-August 2018, they compiled an 89-73 record. There may have been some luck in that record, but even their run differential translated to 86-76. It was not all that surprising then that, despite faltering at the end of ‘18, ownership and the front office decided it was time to go out and get one of Harper/Machado, and trade for the best catcher in baseball.

Since then, they’ve had two seasons around .500, and a shortened season at 28-32, which translates to ~76 wins over a full season. Coincidentally, when 2020 ended they had also won 76 over their last 162, dating back to 2019. They’ve currently won 78 of the last 162, and while many of us expect this number to climb as we progress through 2021, it is a little disconcerting that, whether we look at season records, or this rolling 162-game view, they’ve been stuck in the range just below and around .500.

Milestones

Bryce Harper’s game tying HR on Wednesday was his 52nd with the Phillies. With that, he passed Lenny Dykstra, Placido Polanco, and Tony Taylor. Noted sluggers all — but hey, 10+ years to go.

With his 52nd he tied John Briggs, Freddy Galvis, and John Mayberry Jr. for 58th most in franchise history.

Next up when he hits #53 will be Pete Incaviglia (in about the same number of PAs).

If Harper averages 35 HRs per year for the rest of his contract, he would get to 433, sandwiched between Mike Schmidt (548), and Ryan Howard (382).

He would need to average 45.6 to pass Schmidt.

Also on Harper: his next stolen base will be his 100th. That will make him the 3rd player with 200 HRs and 100 SBs since 2012:

Mike Trout (303 HR, 197 SB)
Paul Goldschmidt (243 and 124)

Others upcoming milestones:

Rhys Hoskins’ next HR will be #95, which will tie Jayson Werth (and Sam Thompson) for 26th most in Phils history.

Didi Gregorius needs one extra base hit for 300.