Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

On Twitter (and at The Good Phight), I have been making plenty of jokes at the Phillies’ expense. For example, I have claimed, jokingly, that the offense of the 2000 Phillies squad — which finished 65-97 and dead-last in the National League in average runs per game at 4.37 — is better than the current amalgamation of hitters. The 2010 Phillies are 32-29 and rank eighth in the NL in average RPG at 4.46. I decided to investigate further and it turns out that I’m on to something. Really.

My offensive metric of choice was weighted on-base average (wOBA). If you’re unfamiliar with wOBA and would like to learn more, click this link or this link.

Numbers were compiled before Saturday’s 10-2 shellacking and Sunday’s 5-3 victory in Boston.

The 2010 offense, through 59 games, is only .004 better than the ’00 offense, hardly a difference. The only positions at which the ’10 team has a noticeable advantage are second base (Chase Utley vs. Mickey Morandini, Marlon Anderson, and Kevin Jordan) and center field (Shane Victorino vs. Doug Glanville). The notable advantages of the ’00 team are shortstop (Desi Relaford, Tomas Perez, and Alex Arias vs. Wilson Valdez, Juan Castro, and Jimmy Rollins), left field (Ron Gant and Pat Burrell vs. Raul Ibanez), and right field (Bobby Abreu vs. Jayson Werth). Additionally, the pinch-hitters on the ’00 team are significantly better than those of the present group.

The following graph depicts the Phillies’ year-to-year wOBA.

Of course, the ’00 Phillies were not only hurt by their league-worst offense, but also by their league-worst bullpen (5.72 ERA) and average starting rotation (4.39 ERA). The ’10 starting rotation has a 3.94 ERA and the bullpen 3.61. As such, the ’00 team’s Pythagorean winning percentage was .426 whereas the ’10 team’s is .542.

While the offenses are eerily impotent, the ’10 Phillies will not experience the same level of failure as the ’00 team simply due to pitching despite the recent efforts of Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer.

At Baseball Daily Digest, I analyze the anatomy of a losing streak.

Contest: Win A Copy of “Beyond Batting Average”!

Lee Panas, author of the blog Tiger Tales, has been kind enough to pass along a paperback copy of his book Beyond Batting Average. The book will be awarded to the winner of this contest.

The contest: Predict the performance of the Philadelphia Phillies’ hitters in the next week (six games).

  • How many runs will the Phillies score between Tuesday, June 15 on the road against the New York Yankees through Sunday, June 20 at home against the Minnesota Twins?

There may be a tie, so the following predictions will be tie-breakers, in order.

  • Ryan Howard home runs:
  • Ground ball double-plays hit into by Wilson Valdez:
  • Raul Ibanez’s slugging percentage on June 21:
  • Hits by Greg Dobbs as a pinch-hitter (hits as a designated hitter will not count):
  • Extra-base hits (doubles, triples, and home runs) by Chase Utley:

Simply copy and paste all six predictions (the contest question along with the five tie-breakers) with your answers in the comments below. Provide an e-mail address that you check often that way there are no problems should you win.

In the event that two or more entrants leave identical predictions (very unlikely), the oldest entry wins. Entries are valid up until the first pitch of the Phillies-Yankees game on Tuesday, June 15.

The winner will be announced on Monday, June 21. If I do not hear back from you within 48 hours from the time of my e-mail, I will award the book to the runner-up. In order for the book to be shipped to you, I will need a valid shipping address. If you do not feel comfortable sharing this information with me, I can put you in direct contact with Mr. Panas.

If you do not win but are still interested in purchasing the book, click this link. There, you can preview the first 30 pages of Beyond Batting Average and purchase it either as a downloadable file or as a real book.