Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Phun Phillie PhactsPosted by Chris Jaffe
Actually, this should probably be called "Random Phillie Phacts," but then I couldn't get the stupid "Ph" thing in the front of all three words. . . .
Well, the Phillies are not only defending World Series champs, but doing pretty good for themselves so far this postseason. I found out some interesting (to me anyway) facts about the 2009 Phils. If you're curious:
The team's starting eight position players accounted for 79.7% of the franchise's plate appearances in 2009. That is the most by any team in the 21st century. It's the most by any club since the 1989 Cardinals, who had 80.5% go to their main eight.
The last time Philadelphia's starting eight accounted for such a large percentage of the team's PA was in 1950 (when they won the pennant - make of that what you will). Before that, you have to go back to 1932. Before then, 1908.
They're up-the-middle starters accounted for 2,485 PA, third most in franchise history, behind 1974 and 2007.
Most impressive of all is their starting infielders, who accumulated 2,740 PA - the second most in National League history. First place was the 1963 Cards at 2,777. Actually, St. Louis's rank is exceptional. Current teams have an advantage because high offense eras allow for more PA overall, and we currently are in a high offense era. Along those lines, the most PA by an infield in MLB history happened just a few years ago: the 2005 Rangers. Conversely, 1963 was a pretty dang low scoring era in MLB, yet the St. Louis Cards still top them all. Combined, Bill White, Ken Boyer, Dick Groat, and Julian Javier started 636 games in a 162-game schedule. Not bad.
(Annoying note/nitpick: I figured all this out for 1876-2008 teams before B-ref updated to its current look/format. With the current look player and team PA is listed on the team main page, but it wasn't like that before. Thus while I'm using the actual PA for the 2009 Phillies, I'm using AB+BB+HB+SF+SH for all previous years. It works out about the same, but since it's a little off, I thought I should mention it).
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.