Arguably the most disappointing first half of Phillies baseball in franchise history as mercifully come to an end. The team that won a record 102 games last season is on pace to finish 69-93 this season.
Two staples of this historic Phillies' five-year run, center fielder Shane Victorino and starting pitcher Cole Hamels, more than likely will be in different uniforms this time next month—with possibly a few others joining them.
Incredibly, the Phillies of 2012 are actually scoring more runs per game than last year's team after 87 games. This year's team is averaging 4.23 runs per game while, at the 87 game mark last season, the Phils were averaging 4.14 runs per game.
Yes, it's close, but why the huge disparity in games won?
The Phils were 55-32 after 87 games last season and 18 games worse than that this season. With more runs scored. Unreal.
That brings us to the runs allowed department. This time last season, the Phils had allowed just 3.23 runs per game. This season? 4.55.
It's been a combination of injuries to Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Vance Worley, Michael Stutes, David Herndon, and Jose Contreras, in addition to an awful bullpen. Chad Qualls has already pitched his way out of town while Antonio Bastardo is making 2011 look like a fluke.
I mean, it's gotten so bad that retreads like Brian Sanches have had to pitch in big situations this season.
For fun, Let's cut the 87 games into thirds: 2011 versus 2012.
2011 record 20-9, 4.45 runs for and 3.28 runs against.
2012 record 14-15, 3.79 runs for and 3.76 runs against.
Minus sluggers Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the 2012 squad got off to a slow start at the plate while the pitching was decent enough to keep them afloat. Cliff Lee only made three starts due to an oblique injury, but was sensational.
However, the Phillies went 0-3 in those starts scoring a total of three runs combined. In 2011, they were 3-3 in Cliff's starts in the first 29 games. The offense hit only 24 home runs in the first 29 games while they hit just 21 in 2012.
2011 record 14-15, 3.45 runs for and 3.69 runs against.
2012 record 14-15, 4.52 runs for and 4.41 runs against.
An identical record for 2011 and 2012 for games 30-58 while the 2012 team started hitting the long ball better with an average of one home run per game with 29.
The 2012 team went 7-9 in games started by Halladay, Lee and Hamels. The 2011 club hit just 23 home runs in the 29 games while they went 12-7 in games started by Halladay, Lee and Hamels.
2011 record 21-8, 4.41 runs for and 2.72 runs against
2012 record 9-20, 4.38 runs for and 5.48 runs against
Huge disparity year over year on the mound. The 2012 staff gave up twice as many runs per game while the offense was basically the same.
The 2012 bats slugged 34 home runs in the 29 games while the 2011 team could hit just 24.
The big difference? In 19 of the 29 games, the 2011 team allowed the opposition three runs or less.
This year? That only happened seven times, and the Phillies won just four of those games. The 2011 team went 18-1 in the 19 games they allowed three runs or less.
Through 87 Games:
2008 48-39, 5.08 runs per game 4.10 allowed. Top HR hitters—Utley (24), Howard (22), Burrell (21)
Interesting stat: the Phils were 13-4 in games started by Kyle Kendrick at the 87 game mark.
2009 49-38, 5.33 runs per game 4.74 allowed. Top HR hitters—Ibanez (24), Howard (23), Utley (21)
Interesting stat: 13 times the Phils had scored in double digits, this season three times.
2010 47-40, 4.71 runs per game 4.16 allowed. Top HR hitters—Howard (17), Victorino (14), Werth (13)
Interesting stat: on his way to the Cy Young award, the Phils were just 11-8 when Halladay started.
2011 55-32, 4.14 runs per game 3.23 allowed. Top HR hitters—Howard (18), Ibanez (10), Victorino (9)
Interesting stat: the Phillies had won 38 games started by Halladay/Lee/Hamels, more than the entire total of the '12 team.
2012 37-50, 4.23 runs per game 4.55 allowed. Top HR hitters—Pence (16), Ruiz (13), Wigginton (9)
Interesting stat: the Phils are 4-9 in games started by Kyle Kendrick and 4-10 in games started by Cliff Lee.
So, Ruben Amaro Jr.'s philosophy was to win with pitching. He went out and signed Cliff Lee to the megadeal prior to last season when he already had "three aces" in Halladay, Hamels and Roy Oswalt.
However, it appears the Phillies won a World Series because they could mash the ball out of the ballpark and had a bullpen to slam the door. Amaro went away from that.
Why? Was he wanting to distinguish his legacy from Pat Gillicks? Could be.
But, the Phils no longer hit home runs while other teams come into Citizens Bank Park and light the place up. No team in baseball has lost more home games than the Phillies.
Also, they can no longer hold leads, for their bullpen is full of inexperience and marginal prospects.
When they won it all it was with one ace in Hamels. For his career, the Phillies have won nine of the 13 games Hamels has started in the postseason.
Hamels has a great shot to pitch in the postseason again this season but, unfortunately, it won't be with the Phillies.
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