Can the Phillies Win With This Offense?
We're pretty well-versed in Charlie Manuel's aversedness to advanced stats. So we highly doubt that what we've done here -- compile a list of the team's outcomes in recent games in which they've plated four or more runs -- is misappropriating his (or anybody's) work, which we’re about as sure he hasn’t done. Even if, after yesterday’s 6-4 win over the Cubs, he sounded awfully prepared at the podium.
Because when Manuel says this...
"Definitely our hitting. We've gotta get timely and we've gotta start hitting enough to supply our pitchers with some runs.
"I'd say anywhere from at least, like four runs -- if we can score three or four runs a night. Four runs will a lot of times can definitely win a game when we've got the pitching like we've got."
...he's got a point.
A year ago, posting at least four or more runs meant a 71-13 (84 games) mark, and 13 Roy Halladay wins, 11 for Cliff Lee and eight for Cole Hamels. And for all the talk about top-of-the-rotation records in games of 3 runs of support or fewer, it's worth noting that, in 2011, neither Halladay or Hamels lost a single game in which the Phillie offense actually showed up. Lee and Worley lost only two apiece when they were propped with four or more runs of support.
That said, given the way the slightest trickle of offense buoyed the back end of the Phils rotation -- Vance Worley had nine such wins, Roy Oswalt had eight, Kendrick had six -- and the comparable talent this time around (even if it's turned over from Oswalt, Worley and Kendrick to Worley, Kendrick and Blanton), if all things were equal, you figure you'd be able to expect a comparable benchmark this year.
Matter of fact, it has been. In 10 games this season in which the Phils have conjured 4 runs or more, the team is 8-2, with plenty of W's for Hamels (3-0), Halladay (2-0) and Worley (1-0) to go around.
Thing is, all things aren't equal. While the 2011 Phils only plated enough runs for a No. 13 MLB ranking in runs scored, they still mustered 4.4 runs per. This year, in 23 games, they've only ushered in 76. Yeah. That's good (or bad) for a 3.3 runs per game average. "Yikes!" is right.
Here's to hoping for equality for the rest of the way, for the season's sake.
(This article was written by Matt Hammond, Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org)