Monday, October 5, 2009

NLDS Matchup: Phillies vs. Rockies

The NLDS and ALDS are all setup. The Phillies will be taking on the wild-card Colorado Rockies. The series will start Wednesday at 2:37pm in Philadelphia (thanks...I'll be at work). Below are important numbers to compare before the series begins. Better numbers for each category will be highlighted in RED for Phillies and PURPLE for Colorado. GREY for a tie.

Phillies - 93-69
Rockies - 92-70

Probable Pitcher Matchups: (Based on
Hamels (10-11, 4.32 era) vs. Jimenez (15-12, 3.47 era)
Lee (14-13, 3.22 era) vs. Cook (11-6, 4.16 era)
Blanton (12-8, 4.05 era) vs. Hammel (10-8, 4.33 era)
Martinez (5-1, 3.62 era)/Happ (12-4, 2.93 era) vs. De La Rosa (16-9, 4.38 era)

-Obviously, these are complete season totals in both records and ERA. I would say that the most important pitching stats for playoff predictions are numbers in the second half of the season and the last 7-8 games. Therefore, I compiled the stats for these pitchers over their last 7 games to be a better judge of how they may pitch in this series.

Last 7 Games:
Hamels (3-3, 3.78 era) vs. Jimenez (3-3, 3.95 era)
Lee (2-4, 6.20 era) vs. Cook (2-3, 4.86 era)
Blanton (4-2, 4.92 era) vs. Hammel (2-1, 3.67 era)
Martinez (4-1, 3.48 era) /Happ (3-2, 3.88 era) vs. De La Rosa (4-0, 2.99 era)

Observations - With the exception of De La Rosa (much better numbers the last 7), the Rockies pitching has been consistent throughout the season. I would think that this will benefit the Phillies because you would rather know exactly what you are getting, instead of trying to plan for a streaky or hot pitching staff. The Phillies will most likely get what they saw from the Rockies during the season, where the Phillies won 4/6 games. For the Phillies, the numbers over the past 7 games for each pitcher are close to the same for the season except for Cliff Lee. His numbers have been much worse over the last 7 games. This is a concern because Lee is struggling, especially with leaving the ball up in the zone, and is unfamiliar to pitching in the postseason. The home field advantage may play a huge part in the success of the Phillies in the NLDS because the pitching match ups, especially lately, are surprisingly similar.

Offensive Comparisons: (top 3, Total Team)
Hits: Phillies - Victorino (182), Howard (172), Rollins (168), Total -1439
Colorado - Helton (177), Tulowitzki (161), Hawpe (143), Total - 1408
RBI: Phillies - Howard (141), Werth (99), Utley/Ibanez (93), Total - 788
Colorado - Tulowitzki (92), Helton/Hawpe (86), Barmes (76), Total - 760
HR: Phillies - Howard (45), Werth (36), Ibanez (34), Total - 224
Colorado - Tulowitzki (32), Stewart (25), Hawpe (23), Total - 190
R: Phillies - Utley (112), Howard (105), Victorino (102), Total - 820
Colorado - Tulowitzki (102), Hawpe (82), Helton (79), Total - 804
2B: Phillies - Rollins (43), Victorino (39), Howard (37), Total - 312
Colorado - Hawpe (42), Helton (38), Barnes (32), Total - 300
3B: Phillies - Victorino (13), Rollins (50, Utley/Howard (4), Total - 35
Colorado - Fowler (10), Tulowitzki (9), Gonzalez (7), Total - 50

Hmm...this is encouraging! As shown above, the Phillies lead offensive categories over the Rockies in everything except triples. This may come as no surprise - anyone who watches baseball knows the potent offense that the Phillies have. With the make up of both fields (Coors & CBP) the offense has the potential to become a huge advantage (look back 2 years when the Phillies offense disappeared in the NLDS vs. Colorado). Worth noting is that the Phillies offense has been struggling over the last few weeks - we'll see if this rest helps them come out of their funk.

Bullpen: Listed All Pitchers
Bastardo (2-3, 6.46 era)
Condrey (6-2, 3.00 era)
Durbin (2-2, 4.39)
Escalona (1-0, 4.61 era)
Eyre (2-1, 1.50 era)
Kendrick (3-1, 3.42 era)
Lidge (0-8, 7.21 era)
Madson (5-5, 3.26 era)
Myers (4-3, 4.84 era)
Park (3-3, 4.43 era)
Romero (0-0, 2.70 era)
Taschner (1-1, 4.91 era)
Walker (2-1, 3.06 era)
Total - (30-30, 4.14 era)

Beimel (1-6, 3.58 era)
Belisle (3-1, 5.52 era)
Betancourt (4-3, 2.73 era)
Chacin (0-1, 4.91 era)
Daley (1-1, 4.24 era)
Flores (0-1, 5.25 era)
Flogg (0-2, 3.74 era)
Herges (3-1, 3.38 era)
Morales (3-2, 4.50 era)
Peralta (0-3, 6.20 era)
Rincon (4-2, 6.87 era)
Street (4-1, 3.06 era)
Total - (23-24, 4.50 era)

Statistically both teams have about the same numbers representing their bullpen - they win just about as many games as they lose and have around a 4.25 era. With this in mind, I have to say that the Rockies have a considerably higher advantage in their bullpen simply because the Phillies do not have a true closer. The Rockies have Huston Street who has only blown 2 saves all year. This makes me incredibly scared and shows how important our offense will become.


The Phillies are a better team than the Rockies and have a lot to live up to from last year. This is an interesting match up because statistically, aside from offensive stats, the teams match up very well. Additionally, these two teams have been the NL representative in the World Series the last two years - experience is not a factor for either team. I see this series really hinging on the offense that is I have said over and over again above. If the Phils play to their offensive potential this could be a quick sweep...if they are not firing on offense we will have to rely on our bullpen and the "closer" which is something that will not favor the Phillies. The offense must produce.

Prediction: Phillies win in 4.

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