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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.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I was reading Tom’s comments about the Phils September surge on Shallow Center and I was very surprised to see how well they played in September: 14-7; team WHIP: 1.25; team GPA: .280, 6-0 against the Mets, 3-2 against the Braves, 3-0 against the Fish … hmm, coincidence that they played well while my wife & I were in Hawaii? If the Phils pay, we’ll be happy to take vacations to Hawaii all of the time … but Tom is right: it is a mild kick in the teeth to see them finally vanquish the Fish right when it essentially became irrelevant. If this team always plays better when the pressure is off, that suggests to me that Bowa’s temper tantrums take their toll on the players. The Yankees always play in stressful situations and you never see Joe Torre screaming and yelling. First order of business for the Phils: fire Bowa and hire someone a little more laid back.

Here’s how the Phils did in September:

Starters: (GPA / ISO)
Thome: .268 / .180
Abreu: .324 / .173
Bell: .340 / .259
Burrell: .264 / .288
Rollins: .290 / .194
Polanco: .278 / .200
Lieberthal: .397 / .327
Byrd: .150 / .091

Bench:
Michaels: .277 / .207
Glanville: .072 / .000
Utley: .201 / .155
Pratt: .268 / .294
Perez: .162 / .125
Howard: .363 / .360

Notably … what was up with Lieberthal and Bell this month? Those were monster performances by both … and a lot of credit has to go to Jimmy Rollins at short: I was very skeptical about his ability to be the Phils lead-off guy but he has put the Byrd-Rollins battle to rest and proven me wrong. I hope the Phils keep him in the off-season and pencil him in as the starter next year … Speaking of Byrd, I’m profoundly disappointed by his performance since his return from Scranton. I really thought he’d come back and improve like he did last season, but that didn’t happen.

The Phils had a surprisingly balanced offense in September too …

Starters: (RC27)
Thome: 5.00
Abreu: 9.14
Bell: 9.66
Burrell: 5.22
Rollins: 7.08
Polanco: 6.07
Lieberthal: 12.36
Byrd: 1.18

Bench:
Michaels: 6.19
Glanville: -0.19
Utley: 3.26
Pratt: 5.39
Perez: 0.10
Howard: 8.76

Yeah, you read that right: an offense with 9 Doug Glanville’s would have lost runs …

What the stats mean:
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO
RC27 (Runs Created per 27 Outs): ESPN’s formula for Runs Created is simply too complex for me to replicate easily here. This is their stat based on what a hypothetical team of nine of the same player would score.

Statistically, September was a very good month for the team: the Phils were fourth in the NL in OBP (.353), first in slugging percentage (.486, well above second-place San Diego at .462 … incidentally, I am impressed at how San Diego’s offense came together here late in the season. If they make the playoffs, they could be really dangerous), first in runs scored (128, four better than the Rockies), fourth in WHIP (1.25, just behind the Giants, Cards and Cubs), and third in batting average against (.236).

[WHIP (Walks plus hits by innings pitched): (BB + H) / IP = WHIP]

Look at this as a good building block for the future, or an example of what could have been … I too have noticed a significant decline in the activity on the Phils blogoverse these days. I’ve moved on to The Bird Blog a little more, but there isn’t the community out there of fellow bloggers like I’ve experienced this summer. I’ll keep A Citizen’s Blog rolling through the playoffs and I’ll comment a little on the post-season when events warrant (e.g., when the Phils can Bowa), but it won’t be the same …

And before I go, I know ball players are superstitious types, and based on the fact that the Phils went 14-7 while my wife & I were gone I would like to repeat that we’d be happy to spend next summer in Hawaii, so Ed Wade & Co. know where to find me if they want the Phils to win next year …

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