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.
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.
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