Coming out of spring training, everyone pondered how the Phils offense would do without Jayson Werth (now a member of the Nationals) and Chase Utley (knee problems). Well, after nine games, they seems to be doing pretty well.
After nine games, the Phils are among the National League leaders in several offensive categories. They lead the league in team batting average (.334), team slugging percentage (.484), team total bases (155), team hits (107), stolen base percentage (80%) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.865), while they are tied for first with the Reds for most RBIs (58). They are second in on-base percentage (.380), doubles (22), runs scored (59), and team extra-base hits (31). They are fourth in total at-bats (320). They also have the third fewest strike outs (56).
As is shown by the stats, although they are not hitting as many home runs (8) as they have in the past, they are still knocking in runs, as they are getting a lot of singles, with enough doubles added, and are using them to move men around the bases to score.
All but one of the regular eight are presently batting over .300, with Shane Victorino leading the team with a .417 batting average, which puts him in fifth place among batting leaders, thanks to his recent hot series against the Braves. Victorino is also batting .611/432, as he is batting 15 for 36 with 8 runs scored and with 8 RBIs. He has four extra-base hits (2 2BS, 1 3B, 1 HR), for 22 total bases, and has stolen 2 bases, being caught once.
Ryan Howard is next with a .361/.639/.390, as he has gone 13 for 36, scoring 7 runs, while knocking in 11 runs, leading the club, as he have has 6 extra-base hits (4 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 23 total bases.
Thanks to his hot series against the Braves, Carlos Ruiz is third with a .346/.538/.414, as he has gone 9 for 26, scoring 6 runs, as he knocked in 7, with 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for 14 total bases.
Fourth among the starting eight is Placido Polanco with a .342/.447/.390, as he has batted 13 for 38, scoring 6 runs, while he had knocked in 8, with a total of 4 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 17 total bases.
Fifth is Wilson Valdez, who is playing second base as Utley recovers from his injury. Valdez has gone .333/.444/.357, hitting 9 for 27, scoring 5 times, while knocking in 5. He has 3 extra-bases hits, all doubles, for 12 total bases. He also has a stolen base.
Jimmy Rollins, in a contract year, is doing well in the third spot in the line-up, although slowing down in the Braves series, being no. six. He is batting .324/.405/.390, going 12 for 37, crossing the plate 6 times, while still waiting for his first RBI. He has 3 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 15 total bases. He has 3 stolen bases, leading the team.
Seventh is Ben Francisco, who is doing rather well as he handle the right field duties. He has gone .306/.528./375, batting 11 for 36, scoring 7 times, while knocking in 7. He has 4 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 19 total bases. He also has a stolen base, and has been caught once.
Raul Ibanez is the last of the eight, as he has also cool down in the Braves series, after being hot against the Mets. He is presently hitting .257/.400/.350, as he has gone 9 for 35, with 9 runs scored, while he has knocked in 6. He has 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for a total of 14 total bases. He has also stolen 1 base.
The rest of the team, including pitchers, have gone a collective 16 for 49, collecting one extra-base hit (1 HR), for 19 total bases. They have scored 5 times, while knocking in 6 RBIs.
Finally, unlike last year, the team has done very effectively pinch hitting, having ten hits, with 5 RBIs, with 4 of them coming on Ruiz’s pinch hit grand-slam home run last saturday afternoon.
If the Phils can continue what they are doing right now, their starting pitching will be even more effective, since the offense will be handing them leads both at home and on the road.
So how did the Phillies do offensively both individually and as a team? First, let take a look at how the Phillies did as a team. (Comment: When I put down worst, flip it over as it really means that they were near the bottom in a particularly bad offensive category. So, for example, eighth worst in total strike outs means that they have as a team actually struck out fewer times then have the seven teams above them.)
In 162 games, the team had a team batting average of .255, 10th best in the NL, which puts them in the middle of the pack. Their team slugging percentage was .438, second best in the league, while their on-base percentage was .322, the league’s seventh best offensive team. The team’s OPS (On-base percentage plus Slugging Percentage) was .770, third best in the league. The team went to the plate officially a total of 5509 times, for 10th best in the NL, while they went to the plate (TPA) a total of 6273 (seventh) times. They crossed home plate a total of 799 times, tied for second best in the league with the New York Mets. They had 1407 hits, once again for 10th place in the NL. Of those hits, 291 of them were doubles (ninth), 36 were triples (fourth) and 214 were home runs (1st) for a total of 541 Extra-Base Hits (2nd) and 2412 total bases (third). They had 762 RBIs (second), of which only 40 came via a sacrifice fly (12th). They had 71 sacrifice hits, which tied them for fourth place with the St. Louis Cardinals. They walked a total of 586 times (fifth) of which 68 were intentional (second). They were also hit by the pitch 67 times (fourth). They would strike out a total of 1117 times, for eighth worst in the league. They stole 136 bases (third), while being caught only 25 times (13th worst), giving them a SB% (Stolen Base Percentage) of 84.5, the best in the NL. They would hit into 108 double plays, for 12th worst in the league. They saw 24,124 pitches (sixth). They made 1516 ground outs (fourth most) and the same number of fly outs (1516, also fourth) for a GO/AO (Ground Out to Fly Out ratio) of 1.14 (11th worst).
Put together, this means that during the regular season, the Phillies was an offensive machine who, although they didn’t get many hits, were very likely to kill you with extra-base hits, mainly home runs and triples, and would score a lot of runs off of their opponents’ pitching. They were also a team that could get on base via the walk, partly because the opposing team would rather not allow themselves to be beaten by their big men. They would also steal a lot of bases and knew when to pick their spots when they did so. Overall, they would strike out very little and would hit into very few double plays. If they had an achillies’ heel, the team did not hit too many sacrifice flies, meaning that they didn’t do much small ball, although they did know how to move the runners over when they needed to. Also, they were an about average team when it came to taking opposing teams’ pitchers deep into counts.
Now individually. Ryan Howard lead the NL in most Home Runs (48) and RBIs (146), while ninth in runs scored (105) and sixth in slugging percentage (.543). Chase Utley was tied for 19th in batting avg. (.292), tied for ninth in home runs (33), eleventh in RBIs (104), tied for fifth in runs scored (113), tenth in hits (177), tenth in doubles (41) and ninth in slugging percentage (.535). Shane Victorino was the Phillies regular with the highest batting avg. (.293) which was 18th in the NL. He was also 13th in runs scored (102), sixth in stolen bases (36), and 5th in triples (8). Pat Burrell was tied for ninth in home runs (33) and tied for 20th in slugging percentage (.507). Jimmy Rollins was third in stolen bases with 47, tied for 18th in doubles (38), and fourth in triples (9).
This means that this is a very dangerous hitting club that should not be taken lightly, while the team’s star players were all, in their own ways, able to did a lot of damage to opposing teams’ pitching when they were given the chance to do so.