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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.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Anatomy of the Homestand... 

The Phillies homestand came to an end, having wildly exceeded my predictions. I had figured the team would go 9-5 and make up a little ground in the NL East race and instead it went 12-1 and vaulted into second place behind the equally hot Washington Nationals.

For the month of June (which basically covers the homestand), the Phillies hit .313, with a .375 OBP and a .575 SLG. Impressive totals for a team that ranked near-last in pretty much every major statistical category going into this. The Phillies vaulted from being one of the worst teams in slugging percentage to #5. Of particular interest to me is the fact that the team had a .228 ISO during the homestand, bringing their NL rank in ISO up to tenth. The rise in ISO was triggered by the Phillies big bats:

June ISO:
Burrell: .419
Abreu: .333
Utley: .300
Thome: .294

One of the Phillies credited good pitching for the Phillies resurgence, but that's hard to see how:

ERA: 4.58
HR/9: 1.67
WHIP: 1.31

There were some good individual pitching performances, but it is hard to see how anyone can really argue that the Phillies keyed off their pitching: simply put, the Phillies (largely Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu) slugged their way back into contention.

At the moment the Phillies are running three games ahead of their pythagorean win-loss record: not bad. The Nationals are +5 in that category. The race for the NL East is very even. Not much seperates these five teams now, and any one of them can still win the division. The 12-1 homestand got the Phillies to the front of the race. Now they need to stay there and that won't be easy.

This team needs to take what they did at Citizens and take it on the road. I think they can: they have road series against the Mariners & A's, two very beatable teams right now. Maybe, when the Phillies return to Citizens on June 21 to take on the Mets, they can be in first place. But they've still got a ways to go.

More tomorrow. This week we'll be taking a look at the Phillies defense.

Comments:
I dunno, Mike, I looked at the Pythagorean thing myself, and I didn't like the fact that if anything, the Braves are underperforming a lot - and totting up all our runs allowed did make for a cheerful half hour.

One thing I did put forward as a possible explanation is the number of runs the bullpen still seems to be giving up (didn't break it down in terms of numbers because it was way late over here and I had to get some kip). In strictly pythagorean terms, it's hurting where we stand, but in actuality, hasn't bitten us in the ass because we keep winning those games with slugging.
 
For sure, the big story are the bats, but you might be selling starting pitching a little short. In general, each starter gave the team a great chance to win, including that remarkable combo shutout in the game Tejeda started.
 
What do you guys think of the Wolf situation? Can Tejeda do the job (again) if he's out for a long time? I'm incredibly disappointed in Gavin Floyd right now.
 
Does that Pythagorean formula take into account garbage time runs, like yesterday's 9th inning solo shot-or Thursday's 4 runs...
 
So far so good with Tejeda, but over his long career in the minors, his command has been suspect, allowing homers by the bunches.

But ...

He pitches with confidence, and Gavin Floyd does not. After his meltdown in Philadelphia, his troubles have continued in Scranton. I met him once. He's no "jock." He's soft-spoken and frail. I wonder if he has what it takes to pitch in the big leagues. If they bring him back, I'd like to see Pratt catch him.
 
The Phillies are playing .592 ball so far this year, putting them on pace to win 92. To put that in perspective, if we win 92, that would be the second most since 1977. Hmmmmm, I wonder if Wade is still a poor homestead away from being fired? (I kid because I love)

Seriously, if this team plays just 2 games over .500 the rest of the season, it will tie last year's record. I believe we have a real chance of winning 97 or 98 this year (Thome is the key). Any takers on this bet?
 
FYI:

Jimmy Rollins agreed to a $40 million, five-year contract extension with the Phillies on Monday. The 26-year-old shortstop has spent his entire career with Philadelphia and was eligible for free agency after the 2006 season.
 
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Yahoo News - Oct. 13, 2005


Yahoo Japan steps up mobile content distribution (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Yahoo Japan Corp. said on Thursday it had launched a mobile content distribution service, in which cellphone users can buy games, ring tones, news and other entertainment and information from 59 content providers.


Microsoft, Yahoo to link instant messages (USATODAY.com via Yahoo! News)
Microsoft and Yahoo will make their instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could give the companies more power to compete against market leader America Online. The companies expect the service to start by June 2006.


Yahoo to Bar Minor-Adult Sex Chat Rooms (Washington Post)
NEW YORK -- Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will bar chat rooms that promote sex between minors and adults and restrict all chat rooms to users 18 and older.

Today's News From & About Yahoo


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