Friday, August 27, 2004
Time enough for finger-pointing and recriminations in the off-season.
Our time is better spent analyzing exactly how impossible it is for the Phillies to make the playoffs right now: let’s say that the Phils play .700 baseball for the rest of the season. Forlorn hope, I know. A .700 record in the last 35 games would give them 25 wins, coupled with their 62, and the Phils finish the regular season 87-75. That might give them an outside shot at it. For the wildcard. The division title is an impossibility: if the Braves play .500 baseball they’ll still win because they’ll have 91 wins. The wildcard: the Cubs have 71 wins and are in front in the wildcard race, so if they play .500 baseball, they’ll finish with 88 wins. So the Phils have a shot. Distant, forlorn, maybe, but a shot.
Naturally, of course, getting swept by the Brewers would effectively kill any shot they have. The bottom line is that these are gimmie wins that the Phils need badly because there is the spectre of the Florida Marlins, a team the Phils have gone 7-24 against in two seasons, on the horizon.
Here are some interesting stats:
Starters: (BB/PA; Post All-Star Break)
I love to keep track of walks per plate appearance (that's what BB/PA means) because it focuses on how consistent a player is. If they draw walks they are getting on base, and if they get on base the hits will follow.
Things I noticed … in 82 total plate appearances since the All-Star break, Marlon Byrd has failed to draw a walk. That is simply inexcusable. I used to be very high on him, particularly after he played so well in the latter half of ’03, but no longer. I’m sorely disappointed in his performance in the lead off slot and I think that the Phillies need to think about a serious upgrade at centerfield and in the leadoff slot in the off-season. (Phillies leadoff hitters hit just .334 in OBP this season. Too low.)
Compare with Part I of 2004:
Starters: (BB/PA; Pre All-Star Break)
What happened to Jason Michaels? Finally getting into the starting lineup killed the poor guy’s stats …
I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’ll be watching the mighty Cardinals juggernaut roll into Pittsburgh this weekend. My best man snared tickets to Saturday’s game for us. Very generous of him.
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