Opposing homers analyzed

Thus far, the Phillies have allowed a ridiculous 23 opposing homers in nine games. This is about half a home run more per game than the average in the N.L., and that average is probably inflated by the Phils’ outlier number.

It’s been frustrating to watch for the first two weeks. True, the Phillies haven’t exactly played in pitcher-friendly parks to this date. Citizens Bank, Nationals, and Coors are known – or becoming known – for giving a little extra edge to fly balls.

You can keep track of data on the Phils’ opposing dingers here at HitTracker Online. For now, using this data, let’s take a look at just what the Phillies have been serving up to their hungry opponents.

Atlanta Braves (@CBP): April 5, 6, 8

  • Homers allowed: 8
  • Average standard distance: 388 ft.
  • No doubt/Plenty/Just Enough/Lucky: 2/3/3/(1)
  • Percent of opp. runs via HR: 11 of 19 (57.9%)
  • Biggest blast: Brian McCann, 4/5/09 (436 ft.)

Standard distance, for clarification, is the figure HitTracker uses to project the distance a home run ball would travel if unobstructed, unhindered by wind, at sea level and traveling in 70-degree weather. For further term clarification, go here.

It’s sort of disconcerting when the majority of homers hit had more than enough distance underneath them. The only one considered to have a bit of luck associated with it was Jordan Schafer’s second dinger of the series, hit off of J.A. Happ in game three.

(McCann) Blue: End of flight; Green: True distance

Colorado Rockies (@Coors): April 10-12

  • Homers allowed: 5
  • Average std. distance: 394.4
  • No doubt/Plenty/Just Enough/Lucky: 1/2/2/(0)
  • Percent of opp. runs via HR: 7 of 19 (36.8%)
  • Biggest blast: Troy Tulowitzki (433 ft.)

Yes, it’s Coors, but the standardized average distance of the homers hit in this series was actually longer, Coors effects disregarded.

Colorado just generally hit the ball better in this series, relying a little less on the long ball to get runs across. Brett Myers, for the second straight start, gave up three homers.

Blue: End of flight

(Tulowitzki) Blue: End of flight

Washington Nationals (@Nationals): April 13, 16

  • Homers allowed: 7
  • Average std. distance: 393.7
  • No doubt/Plenty/Just Enough/Lucky: 0/3/4/(1)
  • Percent of opp. runs via HR: 11 of 16 (68.8%)
  • Biggest blast: Adam Dunn (429 ft.)

This is kind of unfortunate to see. In two games, the Nationals absolutely decimated the Phillies with homers. Philly managing to win the first game was fortunate, but the loss in number two was really no surprise at all.

There were no homers that were “no doubters,” and more than half just made it out of the park. What hurts most is that fourth figure: nearly 70 percent of Washington’s runs came from home runs, and most of those barely left the park.

Blue: End of flight; Green: Standard distance

Blue: End of flight; Green: True distance

San Diego Padres (@CBP): April 17

  • Homers allowed: 3
  • Average std. distance: 369.3
  • No doubt/Plenty/Just Enough/Lucky: 0/3/0/(0)
  • Percent of opp. runs via HR: 5 of 8 (62.5%)
  • Biggest blast: Nick Hundley (381 ft.)

Well, it’s only one game, but I think you can see where this one is going, too.

Basically, the death of the Phillies this season has been the home run. Of the 23 homers, 16 have been allowed by starters, and a surprising seven from then bullpen. The only ‘pen pitchers who have not yet allowed a homer are Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre, but they have combined for just 7.1 innings of pitching.

Had the Phillies not allowed any home runs – unlikely, but nice food for thought – they would have allowed 34 fewer runs, lowering their season total from 62 to 28. Taking into account the fact that they have scored 49 runs (decent, but only seventh of 16 N.L. teams), their pythagorean record  without homers would be 7-2.

Long story short, the dingers are deadly. This can’t, and likely won’t continue all year if the Phillies are to succeed.

Blue: End of flight; Green: Standard distance

Blue: End of flight; Green: True distance

Right now, we’re considerably far behind the hot Marlins, but that won’t last. Florida will not win 90 percent of their games; they just won’t! Everyone knew this division would be incredibly tough, and the Phillies are having a typically slow April.

For my heart’s sake, keep the ball in the yard!

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