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Year In Review: Matt Stairs

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, November 16, 2009 08:07 AM | Comments: 10
2009 Year in Review, Posts

Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale. The players will be chosen in no particular order.

When Matt Stairs sent Jonathan Broxton’s pitch “deep into the night” during the 2008 National League Championship Series, he became a hero in Philadelphia.  When Stairs smashed a game winning home run off Huston Street on April 12, there was no doubt that he was the go-to guy for a pinch hit situation.  However, major league pitchers learned something: do not throw a fastball to Matt Stairs.

And that was the story for 2009. Stairs rarely saw a fastball that he could drive.  But if he got one, it left the yard for good.

It may be thought that most of his home runs were meaningless.  Afterall, he only had five.  There was a ninth inning home run against the Pirates that made it 7-4.  There was a ninth inning grand slam against the Nationals which made it 8-6.  He also broke up Dave Bush’s no-hitter in the eighth inning.  If anything, these were far from meaningless; it gave the Phillies hope and potentially started a rally.

The home runs and hits just didn’t come as often as he would have liked. Stairs  infamously went “0-for-the-summer,” going hit-less for 30 straight at-bats.

Stairs found another way to get the job done: he drew walks.  Stairs’ on-base percentage was .061 points higher than Jimmy Rollins’.  Consider the fact that Stairs’ batting average was also 0.56 points lower than Rollins.’

Stairs may not have gotten the clutch hit, but he drew key walks.  Many of the walks he drew started big innings for the Phillies.  A prime example is game four of the NLCS.  With one out in the ninth inning, Stairs drew a pinch hit walk against Broxton.  The walk started the rally, and the rest is history.

2009 numbers: 129 at-bats, .194 average, .357 on-base percentage, 5 HR, 17 RBI, .735 OPS

GRADE: 2.8/10 — Stairs didn’t get much playing time, but he didn’t do much when he was given the chance, whether it was a start or a pinch hit.

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Amanda Orr has written 713 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    The greatest pinch hit in Phils history; he should never pay for a beer in Philly. A memorable guy for being here for a short time, but it’s time to go younger and more athletic.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    This Bud’s for you Matt!

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Time for Matt to go. We need a better bench.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Paragraph three here isn’t very clear. Some scores are mentioned, but not which team was on top. I will assume that you mean the opposing team, because of the final sentence, but in the case of the Pirates game, a homerun could have been meaningless no matter which team was on top, and in the case of breaking up the no-hitter, a home run wouldn’t be meaningless even if the Phils were behind by twelve.

    Matt Stairs this year really didn’t get enough at-bats to say he can or cannot still hit. At least he had a good eye, and drew some important walks. But the man is old, can’t be relied on in the field, and so has very limited qualifications. If he doesn’t at least homer, he requires a pinch-runner, too,and that wastes another bench option.

    I like Stairs, but I don’t think it wise to re-sign him.

    So far, with all the low ratings (at least Howard got a decent one) I’m surprised the Phils finished higher than fourth.

     
  • Posts: 0 matt

    Stairs did hit the game winning homerun for HK’s last game. We didn’t know it at the time, but stairs allowed HK to call one last exciting game.

     
  • Posts: 0 DaveG

    I’ll tell you this much…I didn’t walk away to get something to eat when Matt Stairs was at the dish. And I loved watched him work the pitcher. For all of his swinging for the fences, he is a very cerebral hitter. And he is dangerous as hell when he gets his pitch. You can bank on the fact that the comeback inning that he started against Broxton this year, was a longer inning than we all thought…it started the year before. So…thank you Matt Stairs for two of the most exciting moments in recent Phillies memory. And of course, one of the greatest post game quotes ever (I’m sure I don’t need to detail that one :).

     
  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    He will be a Icon in Philies history, the blast in 08 was awesome. But I too agree it is time for him to bow out gracefully. He will always be remembered, and thanked for a doing the job he was hired for in 08. But yes the bench needs to get younger or at least able to play in the field a little more to get the at bats they need to stay sharp.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dan S

    higher on base percentage than jimmy? maybe he should have hit leadoff

     
  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Matt did a great job for the Phillies in 2008 but as this past season showed, his days as a Phillie are over. When he pinch hit this past season, generally he either struck out or walked with some of his walks starting some rallies. His age, physical condition and slowness of foot warrant that his spot on the bench needs to taken by a younger, more athletic and better hitting player.

     
  • Posts: 0 PhilsWin

    Maybe we can trade Stairs for Halladay, I’m sure the Jays would love to have their boy back. ;)

     
 
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