Julio Lugo had a .726 career OPS heading into tonight’s game against the Phillies. He’s never finished a season with a slugging percentage higher than .431 and only once has he had an above-average OPS+ (2005 with Tampa Bay). Calling Lugo with his career .391 SLG light-hitting is an insult to light-hitting hitters everywhere.
But don’t let Lugo hear this when he’s playing the Phillies. The Phillies are to Lugo as steroids allegedly were to Barry Bonds; as mushrooms are to Mario; as prescription drugs are to Rush Limbaugh. When Julio is facing the Phillies, he goes from a David Eckstein impersonator to Frank Robinson.
Against starter Rodrigo Lopez and the Phillies’ bullpen yesterday afternoon, Lugo went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple, an RBI, and a stolen base. That brought Lugo’s OPS against the Phillies in nearly 100 plate appearances to 1.225. Teammate Albert Pujols had a 1.155 OPS on the season heading into the game. That’s how good Lugo is, apparently. Check out the chart (click to enlarge, enhance quality).
Despite that only 2% of Lugo’s career PA have come against the Phillies, he’s had:
- 3% of his runs;
- 3% of his hits;
- 4% of his doubles;
- 7% of his triples;
- 4% of his home runs;
- 3% of his RBI;
- 4% of his walks; and
- 2% of his stolen bases
…against the Phillies. This is a guy who only saw the Phillies in interleague play, really, since he was essentially an AL East player with the Rays and Red Sox.
During the off-season, the New York Mets signed starter Tim Redding essentially because he had a track record of Cy Young-caliber performances against the Phillies. Well, New York, you should be taking a good, long look at Julio Lugo.