The Phillies have once again climbed above the Nationals and sit just 6.5 games back of the Braves for first place in the NL East.
The situation has become critical.
If the Phillies should somehow go on a winning streak now, during the most important time of the season (the July trade deadline), they may dupe themselves into actually thinking they are a contender. This would prevent the team from selling away all of their assets and plummeting in the standings to below the Mets. Tragedy. We wouldn't get to see all of our favorite players including Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins, and Cliff Lee succeed with their new exciting teams. We would miss out on the most exciting baseball of the year- watching our shiny new prospects flounder at the major league level while they are interchanged with replacement level journeymen such as Michael Martinez and John McDonald.
Heaven forbid the Phillies should then somehow manage to chase down the Braves in the final months of the season. If they were to be competitive for the last few months then Amaro may try to keep players like Utley and Halladay around for the next season and we'd be forced to watch that drivel.
And if they somehow made the playoffs?!? NO! That would just encourage the "normals" and "fans" into thinking they'd watched a quality product on the field. We owe it to them to explain why they're all wrong about watching the game and how they enjoying it incorrectly as we wave contract numbers in their face whenever Ryan Howard hits an upper deck home run. Someone must be there to remind them that while he just demolished a baseball further than you've ever seen one hit before-- it wasn't really cool because he's overpaid.
So let's all sit back and hope that the Phillies lose their next 15 games in a row and trade away all of their key players and then we can say "This is what I love about baseball."
|Skywalker's in trouble!|
You may have heard that Blanton's against the ropes lately. In the months between our farewell to 56 and now, Joe has finished a season with the Dodgers and then started this season with the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County 92806. This year, he's back in the saddle again, but it's not all little dogies and rock candy mountains (The Angels' stadium is on Gene Autry way). Joe has gone 1-8 and allowed 100 hits, and is in danger of losing a spot in the rotation. How can this be happening?? We turn to Joe for answers, and he responds:
"I feel like I've pretty much thrown the ball the way I want to throw. Stuff's been fine, and they've just hit balls where people aren't"
Now, we don't know what legendary fake cowboy Orvon G. Autry, former owner of the Angels, would say about advanced metrics, but his Cowboy Code does state in rule #3 that one must always tell the truth. We at Blangraphs take that to mean that we should share as much information as possible, so we took a look at Blanton's comment in light of the stats. It turns out that Joe's BABIP was .386, the highest of all qualified starters in the MLB. BABIP measures how likely a ball in play is to be a hit, and if it's above a player's career average, stat enthusiasts call the resulting performance "unlucky" instead of calling the pitcher "bad." The extreme difference between Joe's career BABIP (.307) and this year suggests that Joe has simply been extremely unlucky. Hang in there, Joe, the second worst BABIP of the season belongs to Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, so it can happen to anyone.