Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Well, I remember a few weeks ago complaining that the Phillies were playing inconsistently: winning a game, then losing, then winning two and losing two. The Phils would consistently log 5-5 records in their last 10. Now the Phillies are playing consistently: sweep a lousy team, get swept by a playoff rival. It is supremely irritating to watch, especially given what a massive payroll the Phils have, to see teams like the A’s and the Indians out-play the Phillies. If they spend a fraction of what the Phils do and do better, what are we doing wrong?

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)
Thome: .176
Abreu: .133
Bell: .092
Burrell: .113
Rollins: .090
Polanco: .047
Lieberthal: .060
Byrd: .000

Michaels: .086
Glanville: .055
Utley: .044
Pratt: .125
Perez: .024

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)
Thome: .160
Abreu: .188
Bell: .110
Burrell: .158
Rollins: .081
Polanco: .066
Lieberthal: .068
Byrd: .076

Michaels: .202
Glanville: .051
Utley: .036
Pratt: .096
Perez: .052

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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