There is a commotion on the field. The manager and the coaches are coming out of the dugout. Everyone is gathered around one single player who is lying on the ground. Not again...
For Phillies fans, it seems like every game creates a feeling of déjà vu. It seems as if every time you open the newspaper you see that another Phillies player is injured, another star has gone down. After all, it has happened over 20 times this year, and there is a good chance that it will happen again.
There have been many players that are important to the team that have been placed on the disabled list. Those players are especially needed in a time like this, when the division races are getting close.But the Phillies have still held out through all their injuries. When an important player got injured, other players stepped up and carried the team.
The players realized that they were in a hole, and that their season was in jeopardy. So they stepped up and carried the team. The two main players who deserve recognition are Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.
There is proof that those two players have played better after injuries in their statistics. For example, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco got injured a few weeks before the all-star break. Before the all-star break, Jayson Werth was hitting .282 with a .367 On-base percentage. Since the all-star break he has been hitting .356 with an on-base percentage that is the second best of any position player for the Phillies at .472.
Before the All-Star break Raul Ibanez was hitting .243 with a .326 On-base percentage. Since then he has a .359 batting average and an On-base percentage of .470, which is right behind Werth.
Another player that has stepped up is Carlos Ruiz. In the month of August, he has a .325 batting average. In the ten games he has played in August he has thirteen hits, five runs, two home runs, four doubles, ten RBI, and a .900 ops. He leads the Phillies in total bases in August with 23.
But hitting isn’t the only thing that has improved. Pitching has too.
Jamie Moyer had been having a good season before he got injured a couple weeks after the All-Star break. After his injury, some other pitchers began to pitch better than before, and their good pitching has made up for the wins the Phillies would have gotten with Jamie Moyer. The good pitching has also made up for the runs that the Phillies lost with their injured hitters.
One of the pitchers who did good is Cole Hamels, who looks like his old dominant self. In his past two starts he has pitched 15 innings and given up only two runs. Before the All-Star break, his ERA was 3.78. Since the All-Star break it has been 2.14, the best of any starting pitcher for the Phillies.
Another pitcher who has done better is Ryan Madson. Although he is a relief pitcher and not a starter like Moyer, he has still helped the team to many victories. He had a 6.55 ERA and a batting average against of .313, the worst of any Phillies pitcher. Since then he has an ERA of 1.84 and a .170 batting average against, the best of any current Phillies relief pitcher in both categories.
Another pitcher who has helped, also a reliever, is Brad Lidge. He had a 4.60 era and a .250 batting average against before the All-Star break, and after he has had a 4.22 ERA and a .205 batting average against.
After all those injuries, you would expect the Phillies to be in last place. But these are the Phillies. They fight to the end, no matter what obstacles are put in their way.
They are not in last place, they are in second place in their division and first place in the wild card, and they are close to the Atlanta Braves, the leaders of the National League East. They are still doing great although their players have had a total of 20 trips to the disabled list. They are still going strong through all of those injuries.
That’s what I call Fightin Phillies.
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