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|
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.