Phillies Nation


The Weekend Edition

Last night, in the Phillies extended rain-delayed extra-inning game against the Nationals, Brett Myers experienced his worst outing of the season.  Things went pear-shaped in the second inning after consecutive fielding miscues by Bobby Abreu and David Bell.  At this point Myers lost his composure and his command.  After giving up three more runs in the third, he was pulled for his shortest start of the year.  His line:  3.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP.  But the Phils lineup was determined not to let down the one guy on the pitching staff who has been a consistent force all season.  In the seventh, they rallied to support the ace behind huge home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell.  Ryan Howard also smacked his 22nd in the third (which put him in a category with the elite home runs hitters of our generation).  The score was tied 8-8 and went into extra innings where the Phils eventually let it slip away in the 12th despite holding Alfonso Soriano to a 0-for-6 night with three strikeouts and nine men left on base.  The Phillies record in extra-inning contests fell to 2-3.

Prior to the game Eude Brito was sent down to Scranton and Chris Roberson joined the club in his place.  He batted for Cormier in the eighth inning last night and grounded out.  Brito was scheduled to start in Wednesday’s nationally televised game against the Mets, but it looks as if Ryan Franklin may now get a chance.  As mentioned earlier, Tom Glavine will be on the hill for the Mets.  There is a chance that since the Phils have an off day Monday, Brett Myers could get the nod after a full rest period.  Another possibilty would be to give a new minor leagure a chance, perhaps Brian Mazone?  It is likely another roster spot will open for one as the optimism surrounding Mike Lieberthal’s hit injury has gradually turned into a stint on the 15-day DL

Finally, the I’ve found myself asking the question, does Bobby Abreu walk to much?  This of course is a natural progression after the ‘does Jon Lieber throw too many strikes?’ post a few weeks ago in our too-much-of-a-good-thing theme.  We all know walks are great – our Moneyball lessons have taught us anything that offense is avoiding an out.  Yet, one of the main criticisms of Abreu (besides defensive apathy) is his lack of clutch hitting.  I don’t think that is entirely true, but I have noticed him walking a lot in key situations and thus putting the pressure on Pat Burrell.  It’s one thing if the pitches are not there to hit – and Bobby would know because he sees the most in the NL – but it’s often said Bobby isn’t getting paid $13.5 million for his ability to not hit a ball.  I figured a good way to determine if Bobby is walking too much in key situations would be to compare his numbers with runners in scoring position against some other league leaders.   Have a look:


Bobby Abreu

54 19 5 37 21 7 .352 .506 0.759

Albert Pulojs

44 23 7 30 22 5 .523 .662 1.045

Andruw Jones

74 19 4 37 11 18 .257 .333 0.446

Carlos Lee

58 16 4 27 15 3 .276 .410 0.552

Jason Bay

63 17 5 35 16 20 .270 .398 0.571

What we see here is that while Bobby does walk more than most comparable hitters with RISP it doesn’t have an adverse effect on his other stats.  However before we completely let Bobby off the hook, one should keep in mind that the walks negate 21 ABs, so Abreu’s number numbers could be higher.  Thus in a relative sense, Abreu’s walks are not much of a concern, but in absolute terms he could be producing more in these key situations.  Still though, he has a .352 AVG which is excellent and up .032 points since we reported it last week.  Therefore for the time being, I can be satisfied that the answer to the question ‘does Bobby Abreu walk too much?’ is no.

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