MLB Rankings: 10 Best-Hitting Pitching Staffs in the National League

Michael MagoulisCorrespondent IJune 9, 2011

MLB Rankings: 10 Best-Hitting Pitching Staffs in the National League

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    Who can resist the awkwardness of a pitcher at the plate?
    Who can resist the awkwardness of a pitcher at the plate?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Without a designated hitter, baseball is played much differently in the National League. Managers often need to consider pulling pitchers in important offensive situations, rather than when they are failing on the mound. Pitchers will work around batters in order to face the opposing pitcher because they are often an easy out.

    With the average pitcher hitting just .091 in baseball, it easy to see why getting to the No. 9 hitter is a big relief for most pitchers.

    Still, there are a few pitching staffs in the National League that have proved to be dangerous both on the mound and at the plate. 

10. Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 02:  Starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa #29 of the Colorado Rockies follows through on an RBI single that scored Chris Iannetta to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning at Coors Field on April 2,
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Despite their .138 batting average, Colorado Rockies pitchers have managed to gather 22 total bases—seventh in baseball—in addition to 7 RBI and 6 runs.

    Their two most impressive hitting pitchers have been Jorge De La Rosa with his five hits and three RBI and Jason Hammel who has four hits, including one home run, with three RBI of his own. 

9. Chicago Cubs

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    CHICAGO - JUNE 20: Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs hits a single in the 7th inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Wrigley Field on June 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Angels 12-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    There is one reason and one reason only that the Chicago Cubs are on this list and that is Carlos Zambrano, who is one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball. He is in first amongst all pitchers this season in hits with nine and total bases with 14. He also has all four of the staff's RBI with an astounding .321 average.

    Despite his presence, the combined team average is just .138. 

8. Washington Nationals

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 31: Starting pitcher Jason Marquis #21 of the Washington Nationals tips his hat to the crowd after being removed during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on May 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Nati
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Although the Washington Nationals have just a .138 batting average and only 17 total bases amongst their pitchers, they've managed to accumulate 11 RBI—the second most in baseball.

    Their best hitting pitcher is easily Jason Marquis, whose 8 hits lead the staff. He also has 3 RBI and a .267 average. 

7. Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 6: Mike Leake #44 of the Cincinnati Reds singles in a run in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on June 6, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    There's not much that's spectacular about the hitting of the Cincinatti Reds' pitchers, but as a staff, they are above what's expected. Their pitchers' .143 average is eight points above the National League average, and their 24 total bases is currently sixth in baseball.

    Although Travis Wood has their only home run, the best hitting pitchers this season on the Reds are Mike Leake (five hits, .238 average) and Bronson Arroyo (four hits, two doubles, and a .174 average).

6. Florida Marlins

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 30:  Javier Vazquez #23 of the Florida Marlins bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 15-4.  (Photo by Christi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Florida Marlins' pitchers haven't had a single extra base hit this season, but they have accumulated 10 RBI and their .220 OBP is the second best in the National League.

    The Marlins don't have any stellar hitting pitchers, but Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad have each picked up four hits a piece.

5. San Francisco Giants

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  Jonathan Sanchez #57 of the San Francisco Giants follows through on his fifth inning RBI single against the New York Mets on May 5, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    While the San Francisco Giants only have a .151 average and 4 RBI amongst their pitchers, their 27 total bases is tied for second in the National League.

    This is because they've have more extra-base hits than any other team due to their eight doubles. They're also tied for the league lead in runs scored with 10.

    Jonathan Sanchez is clearly their best hitting pitcher with six hits—four of them doubles—and an RBI. Madison Bumgarner is a close second with four hits—two of them doubles—and three walks.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 01:  Daniel Hudson #41 of the Arizona Diamondbacks lays down a RBI bunt against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 1, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Although the .150 average amongst their pitching staff is sixth in the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks have accumulated a league leading 13 RBI. They're also second in the league in slugging percentage with .230 due to their two home runs and three doubles.

    Daniel Hudson's .259 average leads the way for Arizona's pitchers. He has seven hits this season and his five RBI are the most of any pitcher in baseball. 

3. Milwaukee Brewers

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    SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 08:  Yovani Gallardo #49 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a three run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning during a Major League Baseball game on April 8, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Although the Milwaukee Brewers only have a .159 average amongst their pitching staff, their 29 total bases is the most in Major League Baseball.

    Lead by Yovani Gallardo's six hits, including a home run and three RBI, Milwaukee's pitchers have a combined .415 OPS and have scored 10 runs, which is tied for the most in the league.  

2. Philadelphia Phillies

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 18:  Game three starter Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadephia Philles takes batting practice during a workout session for the NLCS at AT&T Park on October 18, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Phillies' pitching staff touts a .176 batting average—second best in the National League. Their 22 total hits are also the most in baseball.

    Cole Hamels has shown an impressive bat with eight hits and is the only pitcher in baseball with a triple in 2011. Despite striking out 11 times in 30 at-bats, Hamels has a .267 average with one RBI and one walk.

    Cliff Lee has also been able to help himself on the mound by doing well at the plate, adding five hits and three RBI of his own. 

1. Houston Astros

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    HOUSTON - MAY 29:  Pitcher J.A. Happ #30 of the Houston Astros hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against Arizona Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park on May 29, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    With a league leading .473 OPS, the Houston Astros' pitching staff also touts 8 RBI and 21 total hits.

    Their .194 average is also the best in the National League. Although there isn't much power behind their bats—only two doubles and one home run—they have a knack for getting on base.

    Clearly, the most dangerous bat in their pitching staff is J.A. Happ, who accounts for a third of their hits, including a double and a home run. He's even walked twice, accounting for his impressive .409 OBP. He also has an unbelievable .350 batting average and 4 RBI.