NLDS Preview: Pitching - Where Frank Azar isn't the only Strong Arm

Are you all ready to have a little Phun? Or are we all set for a massive PhailPhest?

Starting September, the Phillies were sitting at 76-53, comfortably in charge of the NL East, watching the Braves and Marlins scuffle against each other to try and catch up to the Rockies. Since that point, they went 17-16 to finish the season with a final tally of 93-69, 6.0 games up on Florida and 7.0 up on Atlanta. During that stretch, the Phillies outscored their opponents by a tally of 155 to 146, giving them a Pythagorean W-L of 18-16, or essentially they underplayed their own performance by 1 game.

But seeing how we're here to talk about pitching, let's look at the Phillies' staff down the stretch. During the stretch, opponents batted a collective .271/.330/.414 against Phillies pitching, or about league average in terms of OPS+. The collective pitching staff allowed 4 or fewer runs 19 times and 5 or more 13 times.

Incidentally, the Rockies' Runs per Game is a scratch below 5, at 4.96.

But the staff has sprung a few leaks, which we'll touch on in just a second.

The Phillies plan on throwing 3 tough lefties at the Rockies in an effort to take the NLDS. Everybody is terrified and upset and "oh woe is us, left handed pitching it is our weakest of weaknesses!" Well, I'm not so sold on that concept. We certainly hit RHP better than LHP, and much of that is thanks to the strong lefties in the lineup, but what DO we actually do against LHP vs RHP?

Split

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

vs RHP as RH

.250

.318

.406

.724

99

vs RHP as LH

.276

.371

.479

.849

118

vs LHP as RH

.254

.337

.447

.784

103

vs LHP as LH

.252

.331

.402

.733

109

vs RHP

.264

.346

.445

.791

110

vs LHP

.253

.335

.430

.765

103

Now, the number I'd like to direct your attention to is the one in the bottom-right-hand-corner. That 103. It may seem somewhat insignificant, and definitely smaller than the 110 right above it, but that 103 means that we hit left handers better than the league average against left handers. Relative to us, we hit them worse, obviously, but we are an above-average offense facing RHP or LHP. Let that be a nugget of faith and hope for you all.

Join after the jump and we'll start grading the Phillies.

 

The Arms:  B

Rotation: B

In the months of September/October, the Phillies rotation has posted an ERA of 4.39 and a FIP of 3.92. That's good for 9th in the Majors in FIP and 14th in ERA.

Name

K/9

BB/9

K/BB

HR/9

WHIP

ERA

FIP

Cole Hamels

8.16

1.94

4.20

0.39

1.12

3.69

2.56

Cliff Lee

7.79

1.04

7.50

1.04

1.44

5.45

3.30

Kyle Kendrick

5.56

2.38

2.33

0.79

1.41

3.18

4.07

Pedro Martinez

7.22

1.57

4.60

1.26

1.26

3.14

4.25

J.A. Happ

8.87

2.01

4.40

2.01

1.66

4.84

4.71

Joe Blanton

8.15

4.33

1.88

1.27

1.50

5.35

4.74

Jamie Moyer

4.05

0.90

4.50

1.80

1.05

4.50

5.25

Now, the rotation still gets the higher grade because they've been pretty awesome for the majority of the season. Even though the ERAs of a couple of key pitchers may be a bit high, the FIPs, for the most part, are still in the range of "pretty good", but what's huge still are the K/BB ratios for all of the starters not named Joe Blanton. What that tells us is that while runs are crossing, the pitchers are still doing a lot of their job the right way still.

 

Bullpen: B-

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Brad Lidge 0-8 67 0 0 0 31 11 58.2 72 51 47 11 34 61 7.21 1.81

Woooo hoo hoo, that's a fun line to look at there. This is the guy Charlie Manuel will be handing the ball to in the 9th inning. Knowing the Rockies' propensity to stage massive heroic comebacks, it could make for an incredibly interesting series.

Even accounting for Lidge, the Phills' bullpen has posted a 3.79 ERA and a 3.80 FIP, essentially showing us that they've earned every run they've given up. Amusingly enough, if you pull outBrad Lidge's failmotronic performance during that time, the bullpen's ERA drops from 3.79 to 3.31, FIP from 3.80 to 3.76. Lidge's FIP was actually decent, if you look at it, but that just kind of reinforces how FIP doesn't really tell the whole story. What we should remember is that underneath Lidge's terrible performances this season, his peripheral numbers are still pretty decent, so taking him lightly will not be a wise decision. In the meantime, Ryan Madson has been pretty decent as well, so we should definitely be prepared to face either of these fellers.


Ryan Madson

#46 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies

6-6

200

L

R

Aug 28, 1980

 

 

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Madson 5-5 79 0 0 0 10 6 77.1 73 29 28 7 22 78 3.26 1.23

 

GAME 1

Wednesday, October 7, 12:37 MDT

Ubaldo Jimenez

#38 / Pitcher / Colorado Rockies

6-4

200

R

R

Jan 22, 1984

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez 15-12 33 33 1 0 0 0 218.0 183 87 84 13 85 198 3.47 1.23

vs.

Cliff Lee

#34 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies

6-3

190

L

L

Aug 30, 1978

 

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Cliff Lee 7-4 12 12 3 1 0 0 79.2 80 35 30 7 10 74 3.39 1.13

Despite getting a bit wild over the final month of the season, Ubaldo Jimenez turned in his 6 starts for a 3-2 record with a 4.17 ERA and 3.37 FIP, while striking out 40 and walking 16 (2.50 K/BB). During those 6 starts, Jimenez whipped up 4 QS (2 of which had 7.0+ IP and <3 ER. The other two starts at least featured a combined K/BB of 13/5., or 2.60.

Lee, however, has proven to be somewhat mortal. Over his past 6 starts, he's only recorded 1 quality start (a 6-hit complete game shutout against the Nats), 2 starts allowing 6 or more runs, and 2 starts of 4.0 innings or less. That all said, he has also a 7.50 K/BB during that time....so he's still pretty lethal. Attacks of opportunity will be critical, converting any baserunners we can get, and at the very least, working his pitch count.

Favors: Phillies, slightly.


GAME 2

Thursday, October 8, 12:37 MDT

Aaron Cook

#28 / Pitcher / Colorado Rockies

6-3

215

R

R

Feb 08, 1979

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Aaron Cook 11-6 28 27 1 1 0 0 158.0 175 76 73 19 47 78 4.16 1.41

vs.

Cole Hamels

#35 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies

6-3

190

L

L

Dec 27, 1983

 

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Cole Hamels 10-11 32 32 2 2 0 0 193.2 206 95 93 24 43 168 4.32 1.29

Aaron Cook is getting his first taste of the NLDS in his career. Sidelined for awhile with a shoulder injury, Aaron Cook has bounced back very strongly, tossing 5 scoreless against the Cardinals and 8 innings of 1-run, 4-hit ball against the Brewers.

Meanwhile Hamels had 7 starts between the first of September and now, putting up 4 QS, and his 3 most recent starts all featured 3 or more runs. During the final month and change, Hamels posted a 3.69 ERA and a 2.56 FIP to complement a 4.20 K/BB ratio.

Favors: Phillies, moderately

 

So finally, let's take a quick check and see who's on a streak.

Hot Blooded, Check 'em and see

33_15_10---fire-flame-texture_web_medium

Ryan Howard (Howard? Hot in September? Never!) - .395/.458/.744/1.203, 4HR, 48PA

Jimmy Rollins - .318/.375/.591/.966, 2HR, 48PA

 

They're as cold as ice

Ice

 

Chase Utley - .083/.171/.139, 3-for-36.

 

They will let you down, They will make you hurt

Bandaid_medium

See Below


Philadelphia Phillies Injuries

15-DAY

PLAYER INJURY TYPE INJURY DATE
John Ennis elbow 08/31/2009

60 DAY DL / OUT FOR THE SEASON

PLAYER INJURY TYPE INJURY DATE
Jamie Moyer abdomen 09/30/2009
J.C. Romero forearm 09/29/2009
Chan Ho Park hamstring 09/17/2009

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