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The Phillies Bullpen is Really Good

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, September 11, 2014 10:00 AM Comments: 8

tabs-bullpenThe 2014 Phillies season is nearing its end, and barring a disastrous September, the Phils should end up with more wins than 2013. Part of the reason is due to the offense scoring slightly more runs per game–3.96 in 2014, 3.77 in 2013–but the pitching staff as a whole has done much better, as well. They are allowing 4.34 runs per game, compared to 4.62 in 2013, and their ERA is 48 points lower than last year (3.84 in 2014, 4.32 in 2013).

The starters, as a whole, have a lower ERA than 2013–3.96 to 4.41–but their other stats don’t much support that. They are walking more hitters and notching less strikeouts, both which support the fact that their FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) is actually slightly higher than last year’s.

The bullpen, however, is a different story. They surrender less walks and strike out more batters, and both their ERA and FIP are lower than last year’s. Still, the bullpen’s ERA is only 11th in the NL, and their FIP is 7th. So what makes them good, exactly?

The answer is in their top four guys: Jonathan Papelbon, Ken Giles, Jake Diekman, and Justin De Fratus.

Giles and Papelbon are especially good. They both have outstanding ERA’s, and rarely allow baserunners. But they are also really good at avoiding the home run. They are the only two reliever teammates in NL history (min 39 IP each) to have an ERA below 1.61, a WHIP below 0.87, and a HR/9 below 0.30. And there are only 12 such player seasons that meet that criteria. The Phillies have two of them in the same season.

Giles has a 1.13 ERA with a 0.81 WHIP, and Papelbon has a 1.61 ERA with a 0.86 WHIP. If we bump those numbers up to a 3.74 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP, the Phillies would be tied for third in the NL with four such players.

The problem is that three out of seven players with at least 23 innings pitched for the Phillies in relief have ERA’s above four. And then there’s guys like Phillippe Aumont and Luis Garcia, who’ve thrown only a handful of innings, but have given up a bunch of earned runs.

The top six relievers in innings pitched for the Phillies (Diekman, Papelbon, Bastardo, De Fratus, Hollands, and Giles) have a combined 3.45 ERA. The rest? 6.46–a steep dropoff.

So while the team stats may lead you to believe that the bullpen is near the bottom of the NL, that isn’t the case. The top four guys in the ‘pen are right up there with the NL leaders, and the top two are having a historical season together. The 2015 bullpen is looking mighty strong.

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Gameday 145: Phillies vs. Pirates

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, September 10, 2014 06:15 PM Comments: 27

Pirates 1960 logo

Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates (75-69) at Philadelphia Phillies (67-77)

Starting Pitchers:
PIT: Vance Worley (6-4, 3.05 ERA)
vs.
PHI: Jerome Williams (3-0, 2.84 ERA)

Time: 7:05 , Citizens Bank Park
TV: CSN
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 79
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Note for tonight:   Well, look who it is – our old friend Vance Worley!  The Vanimal returns to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since 2012 when he was traded to Minnesota for Ben Revere.  Although Vance hasn’t enjoyed the same success he saw in 2011 (11-3, 3.01 ERA), he’s been serviceable for the Pirates this season, sporting a 1.24 WHIP with a complete game shutout back on July 28th.

Lineup: Revere CF / Sizemore RF / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Brown LF / Asche 3B / Nieves C /Galvis SS / Williams P

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Crawford, Garcia Named Paul Owens Award Winners

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 10, 2014 03:25 PM Comments: 0

The Paul Owens award is bestowed upon the best of the best in the Phillies organization. It was a rough year for all levels, yet a few names stood out.

J.P. Crawford, named by several publications to be the Phillies new top prospect, won the award for best position player. He becomes the youngest to do so since an 18-year-old Jimmy Rollins won in 1997.

Crawford, 19, hit .285 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 69 runs scored and 24 stolen bases in 123 games this season with low-A Lakewood and single-A Clearwater. Crawford is one of the youngest players in the Florida State League.

Luis Garcia is a bit of a surprise, winning the award for best minor league pitcher at age 27. The righty went 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in 39 games for triple-A Lehigh Valley.  He converted 22 of his 25 save opportunities and tied for the International League lead in saves.

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Phillies Nation: Episode 22 – Phillies Hot Streak and Jayson Stark

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, September 10, 2014 01:01 PM Comments: 0

This week on Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey discuss the Phillies recent hot streak, in particular their success against team in playoff contention.

ESPN columnist and stats guru Jayson Stark returns to the show to evaluate Jimmy Rollins as well as offer some interesting anecdotes from his new book “Wild Pitches”.

Plus we have not one, but two, legendary Phillies pitches – Curt Simmons and Tommy Greene – offering insights on their days in a Phillies uniform.

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Gameday 143: Phillies vs. Pirates

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, September 08, 2014 06:37 PM Comments: 26

Pirates 1960 logo

Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates (74-68) at Philadelphia Phillies (66-76)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Kyle Kendrick (8-11, 4.77 ERA)
vs.
PIT: Jeff Locke (6-4, 3.75 ERA)

Time: 7:05 , Citizens Bank Park
TV: CSN
Weather: Cloudy, 74
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Note for tonight:   The Phillies open a 4-game series tonight with their cross-state rivals as the Pirates will look to extend their lead for the second Wild Card spot.  Fortunately for the Phillies, the Buccos will be without Josh Harrison and Pedro Alvarez in the lineup as they are nursing ankle and foot injuries respectfully.  Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke is coming off one of his worst starts of the season; however, he is 3-0 versus the Phillies with a 1.37 ERA and .176 batting average against.  Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick is coming off an excellent start last week against the Braves and is 5-1 in his last 6 appearances.

Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd RF / Ruf LF / Ruiz C / Franco 3B / Kendrick P

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Phillies 2015 Schedule Released

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, September 08, 2014 04:32 PM Comments: 2

Today the Phillies and all of Major League Baseball released the 2015 schedule.  Some times are still to be determined but all the dates are  set, including the All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati.

Here are some highlights that should help you start planning your trips.  Be sure to check back with us and our partners at Major League Vacations for packages to Spring Training in Clearwater and trips to away games.  Also, check TiqIQ for the best prices for secondary market tickets.  Email trips@philliesnation.com with any questions!

* The Phils open the season at home against the Red Sox on Monday, April 6 at 3pm.

* There are 3 weekend series in Washington, DC - April 16-19; May 22-23; Sept 25-27.

* The team travels to Pittsburgh the weekend of June 12-14.

* This year’s interleague division matchup is against the American League East and the Phils play the Yankees in New York on June 22-24 (midweek).

* There is another interleague home and home series, this season against the Orioles – June 15-16 in Baltimore and June 17-18 in Philly.

* The Phillies travel to Wrigley Field to face the Cubs the weekend of July 24-26.

* The Phillies travel to Fenway Park to face the Red Sox the weekend of September 4-6.

* The season ends at home against the Miami Marlins October 2-4.

* And finally, the Phillies play the Giants at home on my birthday (always the first thing I look for).

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Gameday 142: Phillies at Nationals

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, September 07, 2014 12:35 PM Comments: 47

phillies

other

Philadelphia Phillies (66-75) at Washington Nationals (79-61)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Cole Hamels (8-6)
vs.
WSH: Gio Gonzalez (7-9)

Time: 1:35 , Nationals Park
TV: CSN
Weather: Sunny, 92
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd RF / Brown LF / Ruiz C / Asche 3B / Hamels P

  • 47 Comments
 

Gameday 140: Phillies at Nationals

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, September 05, 2014 06:25 PM Comments: 100

STK-MLB-PHP-P1992-01 Washington NationalsPhiladelphia Phillies (64-75) vs. Washington Nationals (79-59)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Jerome Williams (3-0, 2.03 ERA)
vs.
WAS: Stephen Strasburg (11-10, 3.49 ERA)

Time: 7:05 ET, Nationals Park
TV: CSN
Weather: 86, partly cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:   Tonight the Phillies will battle with Stephen Strasburg who recently has living up to his hype (unlike the struggling Bryce Harper).  The righty is coming off one of his best performances of the season against Seattle and has won his last 4 starts.  Meanwhile the Nationals as a team have won 12 of their last 13 home games.  This does not bode well for the Phillies who, despite sweeping the Nats last week in Philly, have struggled against Strasburg.  Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are a combined 10 for 68 with 22 strikeouts against him.  The Fightins counter with their surprise starting stud, Jerome Williams who is 3-0 since joining the club last month.

Lineup: Revere CF / Rolins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B /Byrd RF / Brown LF / Ruiz C / Franco 3B / Williams P

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Interview with the President of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia

Posted by Johnny Goodtimes, Fri, September 05, 2014 12:30 PM Comments: 0

Scott AlbertsWith the 2014 Base-ball Exhibition and Fair taking place at the Naval Yard this weekend, I thought I’d chat with the President of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia (4701 South Broad Street) Scott Alberts. For the uninitiated, the Athletic Club is a group of local guys who get together to play old-fashioned baseball. And these dudes take it seriously. They have uniforms that match the ones the Philadelphia team wore when they played in the 1860s and 70s and they play by the exact rules laid down in 1864. It bears a close relation to the game we’ve come to know and love, but with some very interesting variations.

JGT: How was baseball different in 1864 than it is today?

SCOTT: Baseball has evolved in many ways in the past 150 years, but the most significant differences are that, in 1864, players did not wear gloves while playing in the field, pitches were required to be delivered in an underhand fashion, and a batter can be put out when a fielder catches a struck ball in the air OR after a single bounce. There are a number of other minor rule differences as well.

JGT: Why are grown men such as yourself deciding to dress up in wool jerseys to play baseball by rules that were in place 150 years ago? Why not just join a softball league instead and wear shorts and gloves on your hands?  Continue reading Interview with the President of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia

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Phillies Striking Out More Than Ever

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, September 04, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 4

The Phillies offensive struggles this year don’t seem all that bad. They are near, but not at, the bottom in several categories. As a team, they are 8th in the NL in runs (548) and runs per game (3.94), 10th in average (.245), and 12th in OPS (.676). Their walk rate (7.4%) and strikeout rate (20.8%) are both 9th, and have an ISO (SLG minus AVG) of .125–11th in the NL. Those numbers just reek of mediocrity.

But nothing there really suggests that they are completely inept, offensively. At least in comparison to the other NL teams. In fact, they are 3rd in the NL in stolen bases–thanks in large part to 42 from Ben Revere and 28 from Jimmy Rollins–and hit line drives at a rate that is good for 5th in the NL.

Continue reading Phillies Striking Out More Than Ever

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