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The Winning Side of Low-Scoring Games

In a game obsessed with averages, the Phillies offense is averaging 3.97 runs per game through their first 62 games.  Yes, they’ve scored 3 or less, X amount of times, and that’s a problem… but when you score 4 runs a game, and your pitching staff allows less than 4 runs per game, you should win more than you lose.  And that is exactly what the Phillies have done thus far in 2011 (a team ERA of 3.17 combined with an offense that averages 3.97 runs per game).  Maybe that gap between ERA and Runs is too close… and maybe we are getting away with wins… but maybe that was the Front Office’s plan all along?

I also noticed that the Phillies trail only the St. Louis Cardinals for fewest strikeouts in the National League with 394, to the Cardinals’ 387 K’s.  When you look at our team batting average, it is… well, average… ranked 10 -of-16 in the National League at .247.   So we’re not making our outs via the Strikeout, which has been the impression of our offense in year’s past -I wonder what our “team batting average for ball in play” is?  My guess is that it would have to be low… or as some would say, “Unlucky.”  (*I checked Fangraphs.com and found that its 3rd lowest in the NL at .281, ahead of only the Braves .279, and the Nationals .275)

How much does that have to contribute to our runs scored?  If the luck turns around a little, would we start to see a direct correlation to runs on the board?

Don’t get me wrong, we ALL want the Phillies offense to start clicking, and resemble the lineup that used to frighten teams and pitchers, but it seems they made a calculated risk to spend a large portion of payroll on starting pitchers instead of keeping Jayson Werth.  Neither Werth nor Cliff Lee is having great starts to 2011, but I would still imagine the majority of Phillies fans would rather have #34 than our old #28 come playoff time?  I know that I’m more than comfortable with that decision.

This is basically another one of my pleas to the Phillies phaithful to be happy with what you’ve got, a first place team, and realize that it’s still a long season.  We’ll have our ups and down, but the way this team is constructed, we were pegged as the National League favorites by most baseball executives, experts, and fans for a reason, and people shouldn’t forget that this early in June.  I would still pick us to win a 7-game series against any team in baseball that doesn’t play their home games in Fenway Park.

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