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LOB: The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 24, 2012 10:47 AM | Comments: 11
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How bad has it been for the Phillies in run-scoring situations?

Pence is struggling with RISP.

Only Ike Davis has more at-bats with runners in scoring position than Hunter Pence in the National League. Pence is getting his opportunities and doing nothing with them. Among batters with at least 25 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, Pence’s .714 OPS ranks 63rd in the NL. But it’s not just Pence failing. Jimmy Rollins has struggled his fair share as well, ranking 97th in the NL with a .576 OPS with RISP.

It’s really bad with a runner on third base and less than two outs, when the Phillies seem to have an uncanny ability to leave their guy on base. They’ve managed to plate only 42 runs in that situation, 13th out of 16 National League teams. Only Washington, San Diego, and Pittsburgh are worse. Is there a correlation between knocking in guys with runners on third and less than two outs? You might say so.

Three of the top six teams are the NL divisional leaders. Atlanta is hitting .370 in that situation, scoring 81 runs. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second in the NL, plating 65 runs. Colorado is third, with the St. Louis Cardinals sixth. The playoff contenders are getting the job done when they’re supposed to. Can Atlanta and Los Angeles sustain that level? Maybe not, but for now they are and it’s helping lead them to victories.

This failure to capitalize, of course, is a product of the lineup the Phillies are trotting out there. It features several slap-hitters on a daily basis. Not that you need to have light-tower power to succeed, however, it doesn’t hurt to have a hitter in that situation that can drive the ball.

Are they missing Ryan Howard? With RISP they are. In 2011, Howard had the third-most opportunities with runners in scoring position with 161 at-bats, just behind Carlos Lee and teammate Hunter Pence. Perhaps you think RBI’s are a useless barometer for a player. No matter, in this case, Howard did well, registering a .918 OPS, good for 29th in the NL, one spot behind Albert Pujols.

With a runner at third and less than two outs, Howard was quite good last season, as well. In 48 plate appearances, Howard compiled a .324 average and a .917 OPS.

Think the Phillies could use a little of that right now? I think so.

Leading the Phillies in hitting with RISP is, of course, Carlos Ruiz. He’s 30th in the NL with an .867 OPS and 17th with a .343 average. But Chooch can’t do it all himself. I’m sure the team is well aware of their failures in these spots, but it bears repeating; they must get better or they’ll be a .500 club all season.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Dave P

    The stat I’m most interested in is what percentage of batters the phils strand out on the bases, vs. MLB average, and where they rank.

     
  • Posts: 5070 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Okay, someone is going to have to explain to this simple mind how Juan Pierre can have a lower OBP than BA. I’m sure it’s something easy and obvious, and it’s just not registering right now. P/O’s maybe?

     
    • Posts: 828 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      You mean with RISP specifically.

      Pick-offs, steals, and CS are not included in OBP. The reason is the 1 sac fly he had.

      OBP is (hits + walks + HBP) / (ABs + walks + HBP + SF)

      Since Pierre hasn’t had any walks or HBP’s, but did have one SF, the numerator is the same as for calculating Batting Average, but the denominator is bigger by 1.

       
      • Posts: 5070 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        S.F.! I knew there was something I was leaving out. I’m suffering from old-timers disease.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Pretty silly, if you ask me. A sac fly is way more valuable than a base hit with two out already and nobody on. the fly ball is definitely a run, and that single might not turn into one.

        I hope the statheads are smart enough to see that, and aren’t just going by OBP when doing their evaluations.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Not sure what you’re saying George. A SF represents an opportunity to get on base, so it’s included in the denominator.

         
 
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