Top Phillies Moments of 2008

I got around to reminiscing about the Phillies’ offense — it’s been so long — and I started wondering what the top ten Phillies moments of 2008 were. Luckily, FanGraphs exists and has a statistic known as Leverage Index. You can read about it here, but the gist of it is:

A measure of how important a particular situation is in a baseball game depending on the inning, score, outs, and number of players on base, created by Tom Tango.

I went through each game log and logged each event with an LI of 5.00 or higher (there’s no significance to 5.00, it’s just a clean cutoff point). If you’d like to look at the box scores, you can click here; if you’d like to peruse the LI and other stats, click here; if you’d like to toy around with my Excel spreadsheet, click here (since I’m linking, I also have a spreadsheet of the Phillies’ BABIP by game, I’ll try to update them weekly).

Without any further ado, the top ten (actually thirteen) Phillies moments of 2008, according to LI.

  1. August 3 at STL: Brad Lidge strikes out Joe Mather with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning to save a 5-4 game. (LI: 10.86)
  2. August 3 at STL: Brad Lidge strikes out Nick Stavinoha with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning of a 5-4 game(LI: 8.78).
  3. July 6 vs NYM: Aaron Heilman gets Pedro Feliz to ground out with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning of a 1-0 game (LI: 7.80).
  4. April 22 at COL: Pat Burrell hits a three-run double off of Manny Corpas with one out in the ninth inning to put the Phillies ahead 8-6 (LI: 7.48).
  5. May 24 at HOU: Doug Brocail gets Shane Victorino to fly out to left field with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning of a 4-3 game. Pedro Feliz is thrown out attempting to score from third base by left fielder Darin Erstad (LI: 7.48).
  6. May 20 at WAS: Brad Lidge gets Felipe Lopez to ground out to Chase Utley with runners on the corners and to outs in the ninth inning to save a 1-0 game (LI: 7.30).
  7. August 3 at STL: With runners on the corners and one out in the ninth inning of a 5-4 game, Brad Lidge hits Cesar Izturis (LI: 7.19).
  8. April 3 vs WAS: With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a 7-7 game, Tom Gordon gets Willie Harris to ground out to first baseman Ryan Howard (LI: 6.88).
  9. April 21 at COL: Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run double off of Brian Fuentes with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the eighth inning of a 6-5 game (LI: 6.88).
  10. June 11 at FLA: Kevin Gregg gets Jayson Werth to ground out to first base with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a 2-2 game (LI: 6.88).
  11. June 15 at STL: With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a 6-6 game, Ryan Franklin gets Chase Utley to fly out to left field (LI: 6.88).
  12. June 15 at STL: With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning of a 6-6 game, Russ Springer walks Pat Burrell to force in a run (LI: 6.88).
  13. August 8 vs PIT: Brad Lidge gets Jason Michaels to fly out to the catcher in the tenth inning with two outs and the bases loaded in a 0-0 game (LI: 6.88).

Only four of the thirteen events involve a positive event for a hitter (two doubles, a walk, and a HBP). Five are negative events for the Phillies (four by hitters). Brad Lidge is involved in four of them (three positive), including the top two, which have, by far, the highest LI, and this is a big reason why Lidge is the MLB leader in WPA for relievers.

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