Thursday, April 30, 2009

First 10 days of May should be a test for Phillies

Tomorrow is May...



The merry, merry, month of May is almost here. The Phillies have an important test before them for the first ten days of this month. The Phils start out playing the arch rival NY Mets at home for three games, then go on the road for two very short series of just two games each at St. Louis and then back to New York for two at the Mets, then are home for three games against the Atlanta Braves.

These 10 games will be an important test for the team. They have the month of April behind them now, and now with their 5 game win streak just broken the Phils will face some of the best pitching they've seen all year. The concern is that 9 of the Phillies 11 wins have been come-from-behind wins. The Phillies had to dazzle us with late innings heroics. I would hope this starts to change as last year the Phillies put up 39 'come-from-behind' wins and in 2007, the Phils led all MLB clubs with 48 wins that they had to win in the come-from-behind fashion.

The pitching on the team is the most concerning point so far. Jamie Moyer is 3-1 and leads the club in wins. The lowest era on the team belongs to Brett Myers at 4.83, Myers also leads the team in strikeouts with 26. With all starters the lowest era is Myers at almost 5, this tells you a little something about the rest of the team starters. The Phils are ranking almost near the bottom in important stats for pitching in several catagories. This is alarming. The team only has 6 'quality starts' . What is a quality start you ask? Here's a definition of this from Wikipedia:

In baseball statistics, a quality start is awarded to a starting pitcher who completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs.

The quality start was developed by sportswriter John Lowe in 1985 while writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer.[1] The statistic is preferred by sabermetricians to that of winning percentage (the number of wins garnered by a pitcher as a fraction of his total decisions) insofar as it acts independently of some factors beyond a pitcher's control such as fielding errors, blown saves, and poor run support. ESPN.com terms a loss suffered by a pitcher in a quality start as a tough loss and a win earned by a pitcher in a non-quality start a cheap win.[2]



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