Phillies fans have been wondering why the team has been struggling to score runs this season. Cole Hamels, for the second straight game, received no run support as his offense left nine men on base and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position going into the ninth inning of Saturday’s game in Chicago. Making a losing stretch even more unbearable, the Phils managed only one run in each of their last two games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Their run-scoring woes are well-documented as our heroes have been shut out on eight different occasions this year, matching in 94 games what the 2008 squad achieved over 162 games. Prorated, the Phillies are on pace to be shut out 14 times in 162 games in 2010.
Overall, this is what the Phillies’ distribution of runs has looked like since 2008:
The raw data: frequency of X runs scored in a game.
The 2010 Phillies more adept than their ’09 and ’08 counterparts at scoring 0-to-3 runs while they are by far the worst at scoring 4-to-6 runs.
WARNING: DEPRESSING CHART IS DEPRESSING!
(I has a sad.)
The Phillies’ starting pitchers’ collective ERA is better this year than in 2009 and ’08. If you want to know why the 48-46 Phillies have slightly under-performed their Pythagorean record, you can look no further than the offense; the starting pitching is not to blame, even as the back end is in upheaval. Scoring zero to three runs per game once every two games is not a great recipe for success.