April 24, 2005

Outmatched or outmatching selves?

Offensive struggles or good pitching? After a hot-hitting first week of the season, the Phillies bats have gone cold and opposing pitching, lead by Mike Hampton, has been red hot.

So far this series, Atlanta pitching has stifled the Phillies, including an ugly 11-1 loss to Tim Hudson yesterday. The slumping offense hasn’t scored more than six runs since April 10 against St. Louis, and are averaging a measly three runs a game over the last two weeks.

To their defense, they've faced some tough pitching along the way, including Dontrelle Willis and A.J. Burnett of Florida, and the trio of John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Mike Hampton of Atlanta.

NL rankings based on ERA
3. Hudson: 0.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .216 BAA
5. Hampton: 1.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .224 BAA
8. Willis: 1.50 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, .194 BAA
13. Burnett: 2.40 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .219 BAA
34. Smoltz: 4.30 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .270 BAA

NL rankings based on *VORP
1. Hampton: 14.9
3. Willis: 11.8
4. Hudson: 11.5
12. Burnett: 8.5
49. Smoltz: 2.2

So far this series, Hampton solidified his reputation for being tough on Phillies left-handed hitters, not allowing a hit in his two starts and nearly going the distance in both games. However, the right-handed platoon of Jason Michaels and Placido Polanco, along with David Bell, have been very successful.

2005 OPS vs. Hampton
Bell: 1.429
Michaels: 1.171
Polanco: 1.143

Yesterday, the Braves handed the ball to Tim Hudson, who held the Phillies to one run and five hits in six innings. The big problem was their inability to deliver with men in scoring position, going 1-8.

Surprisingly, the team still leads the league in runs with men in scoring position and two outs with 35. The problem is, they’ve only scored 10 runs in that situation since the St. Louis series, with Burrell accounting for the lion’s share of the 35 the first week of the season.

Floyd experiment blown up
Gavin Floyd's second meltdown out of the bullpen resulted in a demotion to Triple-A, something that should have happened when Vicente Padilla came off the DL. His ghastly lack of control, walking four in two-thirds of an inning yesterday, indicate a pitcher that's lost his head.

An unpopular move among writers in the Phlogosphere, Floyd's insertion into the bullpen turned into a disaster for the deliberate youngster, who scouts have pegged as a pure starter. The promising rookie slumps back to Scranton with the second-lowest pitching VORP in all of baseball, an embarrassing -8.8.

Hopefully, he can get back on track with regular work in a rotation. With doubts about Padilla’s arm, Floyd’s return appears likely at some point this season.

No relief
Floyd’s replacement is reliever Geoff Geary, who did not have a good spring. Geary pitched eight innings, allowing 13 hits and six walks in Clearwater. Geary is among the worst pitchers I’ve ever seen in a Phillies uniform.

In any event, hold on to your hats Phans. Things are getting a little hairy in that bullpen.
*VORP: Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense.


At 3:11 PM, Blogger OleyRagtopguy said...

They look to me like last year's team. The pitchers are nothing special and the same hitters that lesft guys on in key slots are doing it again. When will they trade Lieberthal?

Nice blog by the way!

Disgusted Fan in Oley


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