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Friday, June 03, 2005

.500 & Loving It! 

Nice to see the team at .500 and poised to move up in the standings in a big way. Next up, the D-backs, a team ripe for the plucking … I was mulling over the Phillies pitching situation last night when I came to a realization: the current staff of Lieber, Lidle, Wolf & Myers is probably the best the team has had in long while. Check out these numbers:

2005: Starters / Relievers
WHIP: 1.31 / 1.49
ERA: 4.16 / 5.74
FIP*: 4.45 / 4.77
K/9: 6.55 / 7.30

* I’m using 3.20 as the league factor here.

Mind you that the “starters” includes Vicente Padilla and Gavin Floyd. They’ve been pitching very, very well. Now compare that to last season …

2004: Starters / Relievers
WHIP: 1.40 / 1.29
ERA: 4.91 / 3.68
FIP: 4.95 / 4.19
K/9: 6.41 / 6.88

Not too shabby. Notice how favorably the numbers compare to 2003, when the Phillies played in the Vet (a pitcher-friendly park) with an Eric Milton-less rotation:

2003: Starters / Relievers
WHIP: 1.32 / 1.35
ERA: 4.20 / 3.72
FIP: 4.15 / 4.07
K/9: 6.75 / 6.31

I'll have more on this later, but these are some interesting numbers, aren't they?

So, what you're saying is better pitching stats leads to better baseball and a better record? Sounds Moneyballish to me, I prefer to go by my gut, and ignore all that fancy smanchy stathead garbage.
Big talk from a guy who never read the book ... ;-)
The NL East is pretty amazing right now. All the teams at .500 or above.

Also, only 2.5 games sepatate the leaders from the last place team. This is espicially amazing when you consider that this spread is lower than that between the first and second teams in all divisions but one, the AL West!

Also, the next lowest spread between the top team and the last team is in the AL West, at 10 games! The other spreads between the first and last teams are 16, 13.5, 13.5, and 19! Amazing.

Sizing up our competition, it looks like Florida has come crashing down to earth, not only in terms of wins and losses, but in runs allowed (which was unearthly early in the season). Could it be their starters are tiring after heavy work early in the season? Will thier pitching woes continue?

Atlanta has finally ended the great Mondosi experiment, and have promising youngsters, and heck, any team with Leo Mazzone as the pitching coach is going to play well. I'm still not sold on them as a team, but they have the second most runs scored in the division (after the Phils!), and the second fewest allowed, so I'm probably wrong.

What can I say about the Mets and Washington? All in all, I'm pretty amazed there still around 500, as I chose both of these teams to be the dogs of the division. I just can't see them keeping up this pace.

Bottom line, if the Phils play like they are capable of, and espicially if Thome comes back healthy, we will win this division going away. Have the last 2 weeks been a fluke?
To Joe Morgan: I don't get why you're so negative about better pitching stats - and baseball stats in general.

I'm just praying they keep it up and that everyone else on the team does their job too.
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