To save my sanity as well as to provide a more compelling set of information through larger sample sizes, I’m going to move this piece to bi-weekly. I mean, how often do I really need to remind myself that my hometown team is in its worst position in a decade? Well, let’s trudge through this.
Record: 0-6 (36-46 overall)
Division: Lost 4 games, 12 GB
Avg Opponents' Record*: 41-39
* Weighted average of current records of opponents during the week
The wheels are coming off the wagon. The Phillies scored a paltry 3 runs per game during this losing streak (scoring 2 or fewer in each of the last 4), while allowing just under 7 runs per game. People thought that the return of Chase Utley would jumpstart the team’s morale and offense, but the opposite has occurred, with the team winless since his return. Ryan Howard is coming up through the minor league ranks in his rehab stint, but let’s be real here, it’s not the offense that’s the big problem with this team. We’ll revisit that later.
Most Outstanding Hitters
Hunter Pence-- 26 PA, .417 AVG, .462 OBP, .833 SLG, 3 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB
Pence hasn’t been very good in the field this year, but his offensive numbers are just fine. He hit over 40 percent line drives this week, resulting in a silly high .438 Batting Average on Balls in Play. He still doesn’t have the patience at the plate that Ruben Amaro wanted in the offseason, but he’s playing his game and that’s probably enough for the Phils for the time being.
Chase Utley-- 18 PA, .294 AVG, .333 OBP, .471 SLG, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB
OK, he wasn’t any great shakes in his first week back, but consider that his average is 70 points higher than Freddy Galvis and his slugging percentage is 40 points better than anyone else who has played 2B for the Phillies this year. He didn’t really do much in terms of run production (just a solo home run and one extra run scored), but his presence balances out the lineup more and we should see some impact going forward.
Placido Polanco-- 21 PA, .111 AVG, .238 OBP, .111 SLG, 0 HR, 0 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB
Yes, his on-base percentage was markedly better than his average due to him doubling his season walk rate this week, but getting just two hits in the week is pitiful. Polly has never had much power, so we don’t expect much in the slugging department, but he needs to hit on or around .300 in order to have any value because of the on-base and slugging deficiencies. That being said, God knows what the team does at third after this season.
Most Outstanding Pitchers
Michael Schwimer—3.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 4 K, 0 BB
It really is saying something that this guy is tied for the lead among Phils pitchers in Wins Above Replacement this week. He experienced some batted-ball misfortune, allowing almost two baserunners per inning, but striking out more than a batter per inning while bearing down enough to not allow a run makes him the star of the week. Sigh.
Cliff Lee—4.2 IP, 11.57 ERA, 2.57 WHIP, 3 K, 2 BB
Perhaps the team’s Least Valuable Player in the past few weeks when you consider expectations, Lee continued to struggle against the Pirates, allowing a bunch of runs and hits to a team that, while it’s been hot lately, was the worst offense in the league for the first month or so of the season. Fans might be able to take solace in the fact that his BABIP allowed was extraordinarily high (.476) and he didn’t allow a home run, which is the usual cause for his struggles.
Chad Qualls—1.0 IP, 27.00 ERA, 4.00 WHIP, 0 K, 1 BB
Yes, he only pitched one inning, but allowing four baserunners and three runs in that one inning, causing in your release from the team, makes it one bad trip. The ‘ole reliable’ for years for the Astros was anything but this season for the Phillies, posting a 4.54 ERA (which was actually much better than his FIP, indicating that there was room for doing even worse) while allowing a home run every five innings. Peace out, Chadwick.