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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Thursday, April 14, 2005


A little potpurri for today ...

Nine games into the season, three series are down. The Phillies are 4-5 and aren't playing badly, aside from the bullpen foibles and their cronic inability to defeat the Marlins. Here is how the individual Phillies are playing:

By-the-Numbers: (OBP / SLG / Noteables)
Rollins: .368 OBP / .250 SLG / 6 BB's v. 4 K's
Lofton: .423 OBP / .625 SLG / 3 XBH's
Abreu: .385 OBP / .528 SLG / 4 2B's
Thome: .432 OBP / .414 SLG / 4 RBI's, 0 HR
Burrell: .447 OBP / .879 SLG / 17 RBI's, 4 HR
Utley: .263 OBP / .444 SLG / 0 BB's
Bell: .278 OBP / .242 SLG / 1 XBH
Lieberthal: .370 OBP / .360 SLG / 1 XBH

Polanco: .300 OBP / .222 SLG / 0 XBH
Michaels: .636 OBP / .500 SLG / 3 BB's, 0 K's
Offerman: .400 OBP / .000 SLG / 2 runs, 2 BB's, 0-for-3 AB's

What the stats mean:
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO. Measures a player’s raw power by subtracting singles from their slugging percentage.
OBP (On-Base Percentage): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
BB / PA (Walks per plate appearance): (BB / PA = .BB/PA Avg)

Obviously Pat Burrell's red-hot start is the story of the season. As for the rest, Abreu is hitting well and Thome is in his usual spring power slump. He's getting on base, but hasn't hit a home run yet. I wouldn't worry: Thome usually hits 4 or 5 homers in April, 6 or 7 in May, and then 15-to-20 in June.

I was casting my eye along the numbers and saw that Chase Utley is looking for his first walk, 18 AB's into the season. I'm disappointed to see that: I hoped that he'd work on getting on base a little and would be doing better.

How are the Phillies doing compared to other NL teams?

Batting Average: 4th (.296) (although that will probably decline with their 3-for-whatever against the Marlins yesterday)
OBP: 5th (.365) (though again, I suspect yesterday's horror show will hurt that)
SLG: 9th (.423)
Runs Scored: 2nd (49)

The Phillies ability to get hits consistently is the reason why they have played so well despite ranking 12th in ISO (.127) and 6th in BB/PA (.090), stats that the Phillies did well at in 2004 and should still do well at in 2005. Simply put, the Phillies are hitting well (Burrell in particular), but there is room to improve. Given that Burrell has 4 of the Phillies 7 home runs, we should hope so.

I'm mildly disappointed by how the team is hitting (good, but not great), but I take solace from the fact that they've played 6 of their 9 games on the road and 1/3 have been against the Florida Marlins, a team the Phillies simply cannot figure out. Wait until the Phillies get a crack at the Mets and Braves.

What else ...

A nice review at Baseball Think Factory about the movie Fever Pitch. I want to see this movie because I'm a fan of Jimmy Fallon and I love how the writers rewrote the movie to deal with the Red Sox run to the World Series last year. It looks like a funny movie about sports in the tradition of Bull Durham.

Informative article at ESPN.com from Peter Gammons defending the deals made by Paul DePodesta. I don't like his decision to throw cash at J.D. Drew, but Derek Lowe was a savvy move and his trade of Lo Duca was the right call (though maligned at the time by the pundits). I'll reserve judgment for now.

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