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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Monday, August 23, 2004

The Philadelphia Phillies & The Art of Losing Baseball Games 

Games out of the wildcard: 6.0
Games out of the division: 8.5

Record in home-stand: 1-9
Record in current road series: 3-0

Go figure.

It has been a while since I was able to tabulate team-by-team rankings, so here you go:

Team GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA:
1. Colorado: .272
2. St. Louis: .271
3. San Francisco: .271
4. Philadelphia: .263
5. Chicago: .261
6. Atlanta: .260
7. Los Angeles: .258
8. Houston: .258
9. Cincinnati; .257
10. San Diego: .254
11. Florida: .251
12. New York: .251
13. Pittsburgh: .248
14. Milwaukee: .242
15. Arizona: .242
16. Montreal: .238

Interestingly, despite hitting poorly in the second-half of the season, the Phils are still in fourth place in GPA. For most of the season the Phils, Cards, Rockies, Cubbies and Giants dominated the top 5, but Atlanta and Los Angeles have dramatically moved up in the rankings and closed the gap. One team I’ve enjoyed seeing improve has been the Padres. True their slugging average (.403, 13th in the NL) isn’t that great, but they’ve improved their OBP (.340, 5th in the NL) and they’ve been improving their offense.

Otherwise, the Phillies haven’t collapsed as much as I suspected they would statistically. They are fourth in ISO, fourth in RC27, first in Secondary Average [ESPN’s stat to measure a player’s contribution to an offense: (TB – H + BB + SB – CS) / AB = .SecAvg], etc. The Phils still have a patient eye at the plate too. Check out the walks per plate appearance stat:

Top 5: BB/PA
1. San Francisco: .110
2. Philadelphia: .102
3. Cincinnati: .095
4. Houston: .094
5. Colorado: .090

I suspect that their place in the standings will erode. Consider team GPA’s in the NL East since the All-Star Break:

Atlanta: .271
Montreal: .263
Philadelphia: .253
New York: .253
Florida: .250

The team-by-team pitching stats remain unchanged:

Team WHIP (Walks plus hits by innings pitched): (BB + H) / IP = WHIP
1. St. Louis: 1.25
2. Los Angeles: 1.29
3. Milwaukee: 1.31
4. Chicago: 1.31
5. San Diego: 1.31
9. Philadelphia: 1.40

Team ERA (Earned Run Average): (ER * 9) / IP = ERA
1. Atlanta: 3.71
2. Chicago: 3.72
3. St. Louis: 3.77
4. Los Angeles: 3.79
5. New York: 3.93
13. Philadelphia: 4.64

I looked at ESPN’s DIPS ERA stat and saw that the Phillies DIPS ERA ranked 12th in the NL, which suggests that good defense is saving the Phils pitchers from an even worse fate … I looked at the DIPS stats because my future father-in-law was arguing that the Pirates pitching staff is under-rated about two weeks ago. I expressed skepticism, given their high WHIP, but there is evidence to support his claim: the Pirates DIPS ERA is sixth in the NL, and the Pirates play awful, awful defense, according to STATS, INC. They are dead last in the NL in Zone Rating. Having Craig Wilson stumble more than Tara Reid after a party in the Hamptons (sorry for the pop culture reference) in right has been painful to watch. The other night against the Cards, he badly lost a pop-fly and a routine fly ball out turned into a triple … not that the Phils defense is particularly good, according to STATS, INC: they are seventh in Zone Rating (.850), but third in fielding percentage (.986) …

Interesting, while the Phils post-all star break WHIP is slightly better (1.37), their ERA is much, much worse: 5.12 … Hmmm …

I had better get rolling. Hope ya’ll are having a good day.

A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
Stewart Alsop- Posters.
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