NL East Report – Phillies Back In First Edition

Philadelphia Phillies: (14-10; Leader)

The Philadelphia Phillies took…well, you know what happened. The Phillies are set to open a three game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Tuesday’s pitching matchup will be Adam Wainwright vs. Cole Hamels. Also, Joe Blanton may come back of the DL this week.

Florida Marlins: (13-12; -1.5)

The Marlins took two of three from the Washington Nationals on the strength of Hanley Ramirez’s two HR’s in the rubber game on Sunday. The Marlins open a three game series against the San Francisco Giants. It’s not going to be easy, as the Giants have Lincecum, Zito, and Cain going in the series. In case you did not know, Barry Zito, after struggling his first four years since signing that massive contract, has turned it around and is 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA this season.

Washington Nationals: (13-12; -1.5)

The Nationals entered Friday in 3rd place. They entered Saturday in 2nd place. They enter Sunday again in 3rd place. Now they enter Monday in 4th. They lost two of three and will now play Atlanta. Livan Hernandez continues his hot start Monday against Kenshin Kawakami. Also, the magnificent Strasburg finally had a bad start in AA, going 4.2 IP with 6 hits, 3 BB’s, and 4 Runs (3 Earned). Again, he going to AAA soon anyway.

Atlanta Braves: (11-14; -3.5)

When you’ve got a nine game losing streak, who do you want to see? The Houston Astros. The Braves completed a sweep of the lowly Astros, to now start their three game winning streak. Too bad they have to run into Livan tonight. Also, in Sunday’s game there was a nifty play completed by the Astros defense. Braves pitcher Derek Lowe was up to bunt with no outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. He pops the bunt up and Lance Berkman lets it drop. Bunts are not protected by the infield-fly rule, so you’re allowed to do that. The runners could not run, because they had to assume Berkman was going to catch it, so when Berkman caught it, he threw to 2nd for one force-out, and caught the other runner between 2nd and 3rd in a rundown. Double play.

Weekly Stat: Which division strikes out the most? Obviously the answer for the 2009 season would be the NL Central, because they have more teams than anyone else. So we have to equalize that number by looking at the average of team K’s in each division.

The batters in the NL East in 2009 struck out a combined 5,581 times, or an average of 1,116 whiffs per team. The Mets had the fewest team K’s in the division with 928, while the Marlins led the way with 1,226. In fact, the Mets low K total was best in the entire league.

The NL Central batters struck out at an average of 1,120 K’s per team. The West led the way with an average of 1,197 K’s per team.

So what does this mean for this season?

The NL East has struck out the fewest times this season with 845 total K’s, and an average per team of 169. The Marlins lead the way again, of course, with 187 team K’s. The West has struck out the most times, with a per team average of 181.

The Braves, Mets, Nationals, and Phillies have 170, 168, 164, and 156 team K’s respectively. With each team having completed 15% of their schedule, we can extrapolate these rates to project how many K’s each team is on pace for in 2010.

Alright, If you’ve followed along this far, here’s the projected K totals for each NL East team, if the rates hold up.

Marlins – 1,262 team K’s

Braves – 1,148 K’s

Mets – 1,134 K’s

Nationals – 1,107 K’s

Phillies – 1,053 K’s