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Saturday, September 27, 2008

MLB.com: Phillies repeat as NL East champions

When Pat Burrell lofted a sacrifice fly own the right-field line in the fourth inning, scoring Chase Utley with run No. 1, the crowd stirred.

When Carlos Ruiz sent another sacrifice fly to right three batters later, the buzz grew louder. Jayson Werth’s homer in the fifth produced a crescendo.

But when closer Brad Lidge sealed Saturday’s 4-3 Phillies win over the Nationals and capture a second straight National League East title—Philadelphia’s first back-to-back division championships since taking three in a row in 1976-78—it was downright euphoric at Citizens Bank Park.

NTNgod Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:18 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: game recaps, phillies

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:21 PM (#2958901)
Jamie Moyer is going to finish the season with a 121 ERA+ in 196 innings. That just might be the best season by a 45 year old pitcher ever.

I thought the Mets were the significantly better team before the season. I think the Phillies were a little more lucky than the Mets but they were also better than I thought they were.
   2. Padraic Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:27 PM (#2958907)
What an amazing final play. Rollins is a clutch player.
   3. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:28 PM (#2958909)
The Mets are in line with their Pythagorean record; the Phillies under-performed theirs.

Phillies: 19.3 LD%, .282 BABIP/.313 xBABIP (.031 difference)
Mets: 21.4 LD%, .297 BABIP/.334 xBABIP (.037 difference)

I don't know what other methods you'd use to judge a team's luck (maybe use park factor?), but it looks like the Phillies weren't beneficiaries of luck.
   4. David Cameron Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2958910)
Jamie Moyer is going to finish the season with a 121 ERA+ in 196 innings. That just might be the best season by a 45 year old pitcher ever.

Second best, probably. Niekro's 1984 season is a smidge better, and Satchel Paige was pretty excellent at 45 as well, even though he mostly pitched out of the bullpen.
   5. greenback slays lewks Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:32 PM (#2958915)
I don't know what other methods you'd use to judge a team's luck (maybe use park factor?), but it looks like the Phillies weren't beneficiaries of luck.

You could start by comparing players who over- and underachieved versus prior years. Granting it's more difficult to do that, even with ZiPS spreadsheets, but that's probably as large a component of luck as BABIPs or Pythag deltas.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:40 PM (#2958926)
Congratulations to everyone associated with the Phillies. Repeating as any type of champ in any sport ain't easy....
   7. Padraic Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:43 PM (#2958929)
Repeating as any type of champ in any sport ain't easy....

Yeah, the Phillies know this. Outside of the 76-81 Schmidt/Carlton run, this is the first back-to-back playoff appearances in the 126 year history of the franchise.
   8. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#2958933)
Yeah, the Phillies know this. Outside of the 76-81 Schmidt/Carlton run, this is the first back-to-back playoff appearances in the 126 year history of the franchise.


Even sadder is, if you take out 1976-1983 (6 playoff appearances in 8 years), the Phillies have only made the playoffs five other times, two of which were this year and last.
   9. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: September 27, 2008 at 11:57 PM (#2958943)
Other Moyer tidbits:

Since the season in which he turned 40: 1224 IP, 82-60, 4.29 ERA.

With three innings in 2009, he will tie Cy Young for most fifth place in innings pitched and with 122.3 innings next season will be third in baseball history in that category for pitchers 40+.

He is third in wins, fourth in winning percentage in modern history for 40+.

He is 10th in ERA during the expansion era but has more innings pitched than any among the top 10 except for Phil Niekro, Hoyt Wilhelm and Nolan Ryan (and will pass Ryan with 47.2 IP next season).

Since he was traded to the Phillies in August 2006 (pitching in CBP): 35-21, 4.31 ERA in 447 innings. From July 1-end of the season he averaged six innings per start and was 9-1, 3.28 ERA.

Not too shabby.

Best Regards

John
   10. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:01 AM (#2958945)
I don't know what other methods you'd use to judge a team's luck (maybe use park factor?), but it looks like the Phillies weren't beneficiaries of luck.

I don't mean lucky in their performance, they just had more gambles go their way. The Phillies bullpen vastly outperformed the Met bullpen despite the fact they looked to be roughly equal in talent. There's some luck involved in that respect. I think they had more player at the high end of their talent level, if that makes sense.

I don't want to make it sound like I think the Mets were the better team. They weren't.
   11. AndrewJ Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#2958946)
If Werth and Burrell can get out of their September slumps (Werth showed life this afternoon), the Phillies will be very formidable in the postseason.
   12. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#2958947)
I hope he wins his 300th game on his 50th birthday...and I'm still alive at that time.
   13. Adam B. Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2958951)
What Brad Lidge did has to have some element of luck to it ... I was so thinking today was the day the streak was ending. Phew. And thank goodness Victorino's okay after that crash.
   14. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#2958953)
If Werth and Burrell can get out of their September slumps (Werth showed life this afternoon), the Phillies will be very formidable in the postseason.


Yeah, that's actually a big problem: because those two are slumping, they're very susceptible to left-handed pitching, especially LOOGYs. However, Ryan Howard has been killing LHP lately, so it's not all that bad.

What Brad Lidge did has to have some element of luck to it


No argument here.
   15. jacjacatk Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:12 AM (#2958955)
I realize this is ludicrous, but Moyer has won 54 games in the last 4 season and is 54 wins short of 300. I assume no one's ever considered him a HOFer, but how close does he get on longevity, and what happens if he defies the odds and actually pitches until he's 50? It's not like he's really got any stuff to lose at this stage.

Jamie Moyer, age 23-28:

34-54, 4.56 (lgERA 3.92), 5.59 K/9, 3.63 BB/9, 1.54 K/BB, 1.02 HR/9, WHIP 1.52

Jamie Moyer, age 30-45 (ignoring today, no age 29 season at MLB level)

211-131, 4.11 (lgERA 4.56), 5.36 K/9, 2.34 BB/9, 2.29 K/BB, 1.14 HR/9, WHIP 1.32

So, how does he do it? The walk rate is substantially lower, but the WHIP isn't that much better. Has he really been that much better with runners on since '93? Have his defenses been that good?

Anyway, he's also currently:

49th in wins
55th in IP
46th in Ks
24th in GS
5th in HR allowed
81st in BB allowed
46th in H allowed
16th in ER allowed
46th in BFP
   16. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:19 AM (#2958958)
I'm not a genius analyst by any means, but I tried to identify the keys to his success a few weeks ago.

* More groundballs, less HR
* Fortunate BABIP
* Good defense behind him
* Modified pitch selection
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:27 AM (#2958964)
Niekro has an argument (sparing #1 the obligatory snarky post), but Moyer is pretty ageless. And note that his K rate is still at an adequate level (tho below average-the league is up to almost 7/9, something which amazed me).
   18. jacjacatk Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:29 AM (#2958965)
Also, just for fun, Moyer went 6-20 in 32 total starts from age 26-29. If he averages just 10 wins a year for those 4 years (he averaged 12W/32GS his first 2.5 seasons), today's win would have been #288.
   19. tfbg9 Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:30 AM (#2958966)
And the Red Sox traded him for the great Darren Bragg, IIRC.
   20. AndrewJ Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:32 AM (#2958967)
Rollins to Utley to Howard.

In other words, the Phillies' all-time shortstop to the Phillies' all-time second baseman to the Phillies' (very probably) all-time first baseman.

Not a bad way to wrap up a pennant race.

Congratulations.
   21. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 28, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#2958978)
Rollins to Utley to Howard.

In other words, the Phillies' all-time shortstop to the Phillies' all-time second baseman to the Phillies' (very probably) all-time first baseman.


I was hearkening back to when it was Desi Relaford to Mark Lewis to Rico Brogna. How far they've come.
   22. Adam B. Posted: September 28, 2008 at 01:31 AM (#2958991)
By the end of that 1998 season, rookie Marlon Anderson was giving us hope ... only, not.
   23. Harris Posted: September 28, 2008 at 02:33 AM (#2959013)
i was trying to find a worse 6-4-3 than relaford-lewis-brogna, and alas, I was unsuccessful. I figured some combo involving Steve Jeltz had to be in there, but he had Juan Samuel and Ricky Jordan, both of whom I really liked.
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 28, 2008 at 04:03 AM (#2959049)
Hard to believe that the first time I'd ever even heard of Jamie Moyer was when he was a 30 year old veteran with the Orioles, who'd already been kicking around the Majors for seven years. And that was fifteen years ago! What a fabulous pitcher, and I'd love to see him finally get into a World Series, preferably by beating the Cubs in a seventh game in Wrigley.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2008 at 06:12 AM (#2959090)
So, how does he do it? <i>

Gotta be the roids!

<i>The walk rate is substantially lower, but the WHIP isn't that much better.


A .2 difference in WHIP is substantial. 1.8 fewer runners per 9 IP and you're talking somewhere around .5-.75 fewer runs per 9. The change in K/BB is also pretty big.

Back to WHIP and related ... small differences in baseball are big. Jose Lima's career WHIP was 1.39 and he had only 3 seasons worse than Moyer's early 1.52 (and one of those was just 68 IP). Brian Moehler (career 95 ERA+) is 1.44. Adam Eaton is 1.42 as is Jason Marquis. 1.52 is really, really bad. Not as bad as the 2008 Pirates (my god that pitching coach should be canned) but really bad.

1.32 meanwhile is Tom Glavine, David Wells, Derek Lowe kinda territory (they're all better actually). Ted Lilly, there ya go.

My eyeballing over the years puts a 1.30-ish WHIP as a good starter (105-110 ERA+ maybe). 1.20 is real good -- Mussina and Oswalt are around there. 1.10 is godlike -- Santana is here, Pedro's at 1.05, but even Maddux, Clemens, Johnson finished between 1.1 and 1.2. 1.40 is 4th/5th starter territory and starting to get scary.

Not that WHIP is the be-all/end-all of pitching stats. But it's pretty handy in a quick-and-dirty fashion.
   26. Padraic Posted: September 28, 2008 at 09:31 AM (#2959112)
the Phillies' (very probably) all-time first baseman.

Neyer had Kruk #1 on his list, and I have to think Howard has already surpassed him.
   27. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 29, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2959370)
the Phillies' (very probably) all-time first baseman.

Neyer had Kruk #1 on his list, and I have to think Howard has already surpassed him.


Fred Luderus has the longevity argument (10 years) at 114 OPS+, albeit a tad on the weak side.

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