Phillies’ Power Hitting Made A Rare Appearance on Sunday

Entering Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, the Phillies were on an historically-rare offensive drought as it pertains to extra-base hits. The Phillies as a team hadn’t had an extra-base hit since Domonic Brown hit a go-ahead three-run home run off of Braves reliever Luis Avilan last Monday. The four-game absence of an extra-base hit was the longest since the Marlins went as long without one in 1993, and the longest for the Phillies since 1968. All four such streaks in club history:

Streak Start Streak End Games W L AB R Opp
1927-09-07 1927-09-12 5 1 4 150 8 BRO,PIT
2014-04-16 2014-04-19 4 1 3 119 3 ATL,COL
1968-05-10 1968-05-14 4 0 4 121 5 PIT,ATL
1948-07-05 1948-07-07 4 0 4 127 4 BRO,NYG
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/20/2014.

Thankfully, the Phillies’ bats came alive on Sunday. Ryan Howard was a scorer’s decision away from hitting for the cycle, and seven of their 15 hits overall went for extra bases as they eked out a 10-9 victory. The Phillies had been held to four or fewer runs in three of their previous 13 games, and still have scored only 75 runs on the season, the sixth-fewest runs in the National League.

It isn’t for a lack of hitting for average or drawing walks. At the completion of Sunday’s game, the Phillies ranked fifth in the NL in batting average at .256 and fifth in on-base percentage at .320. Scoring so few runs while doing so well in the on-base department is uncommon, as you can see from this chart:

Only the Reds have been less efficient with runners on base than the Phillies have. The lack of power is the direct culprit. The Phillies ranked 12th in slugging percentage entering Sunday’s game at .364 and had a .117 isolated power to go along with it. Singles and walks are great, but you have to bunch them together to score runs, and the Phillies weren’t doing that.

Among Phillies to have amassed 20 or more plate appearances, only Chase Utley, Howard, and Jimmy Rollins had an ISO over .135. How much power does a .135 ISO represent? The NL average for non-pitchers last season was .137, and Brandon Phillips, Gerardo Parra, and Martin Prado tied at .135. In other words, half of the Phillies’ lineup has been producing below-average power. That includes Marlon Byrd (.127), Carlos Ruiz (.082), and Domonic Brown (.079). Additionally, neither Cody Asche (.109) nor Ben Revere (.031) have hit for pop either, but that was expected.

As obvious as it sounds, if the Phillies want to avoid being held to one run or fewer as they were between Tuesday and Saturday, they’ll need to bring the lumber on a nightly basis.

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  1. crow

    April 21, 2014 08:28 AM

    Brown’s lack of power is disappointing and has to be concerning. His groundball rate is 53.8% (and that’s actually improving recently), and his low LD and FB rates are well off anything he’s previously put up. His spray chart to date is beyond weird. On infield balls he looks like a left-hander and on outfield balls he looks like a right-hander. He’s seeing remarkably little on the inner half of the plate and isn’t effectively pulling what he does get. The whole league clearly has a book on him.

  2. phil

    April 21, 2014 09:05 AM

    production of 3rd base, catcher is lacking. Ruiz did nicely higher up in order… and Bryd hasn’t hit any stride. sorely lacking punch in these 3 positions hurts.

    • mark66

      April 21, 2014 11:12 AM

      When LA gets through with the Phils the season will be effectively over. I’m sorry but for a veteran team I see no chemistry. There is no pride. It’s a job with no fun. Bring in players that want to win and care about the team

      • Dan R

        April 21, 2014 01:33 PM

        I don’t think any amount of pride and chemistry can fix the fact that 5 of the 8 regulars are performing well below league average offensively.

      • Hampton

        April 22, 2014 12:18 PM

        I think the Phils will take 3 of 4, or sweep the Dodgers. Puig is not the player he was last year, Kemp is a real problem in the outfield, we miss Kershaw, Juan Uribe is going to stop playing like Willie Mays eventually, and most of all we’re due to get a few more runs for the offensive effort we’re producing.

    • phil

      April 22, 2014 09:19 AM

      someone listened. Ruiz up in order last nite. homer and double. yeahhhh

  3. mark66

    April 21, 2014 10:54 AM

    Hooray, we finally put together a game where we hit. Too bad it does not happen very often. Could it be worse–yes–our pitching staff is just about dead last in all the important categories. Changes, we need changes. Attendance is falling. Changes need to come at the front office level . Until we make changes there we can’t make changes on the field. We need people who care and understand the game.

  4. Mark66

    April 22, 2014 03:05 PM

    There is way too much inconsistency with this team being as veteran as it is. This translate into too much me and not enough of the WE thing. Not enough leaders, and that shouldn’t happen when you have mostly older players.

Next ArticleTwo Weeks Later, No Progress for Domonic Brown