Philadelphia's defensive weakness
Phillies would have an even bigger pitching advantage if their fielding were better
- Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireRoy Halladay's Cy Young case would be even stronger if he had a better defense behind him.
The Phillies have a good pitching staff. Few would argue that point. Not only is their staff ERA (3.00) the best in the majors, but it's also the lowest mark a team has posted since the 1989 Dodgers. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels have had fantastic seasons for the National League's best team. The scary thing is that they're actually better than you think.
Halladay leads the Phillies' staff with 18 wins (against just five losses), 211 strikeouts and a 2.34 ERA. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has an edge in all three categories with 19 wins, 236 strikeouts and a 2.30 ERA. If he holds his National League lead in all three categories, Kershaw's pitching triple crown would seem hard to vote against for the NL Cy Young Award. However, these numbers overlook the respective defenses behind each ace.
Many Philadelphians will cite the team's league-low 65 errors this season and conclude that the team has a strong defensive alignment. The team certainly is good at avoiding mistakes in the official scorer's judgment. However, there is much more to playing defense than simply avoiding mistakes -- and the truth is that the 2011 Phillies' defense rates among the worst in baseball.
For the full take here, become an ESPN Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Cards 3B Carpenter signs 6-year extension
- Royals' Hochevar needs Tommy John surgery
- Report: D-backs, Perez agree to $4.25M deal
- Nats' Fister held out with elbow inflammation
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider MLB Content
- The Highland Mint Philadelphia Phillies Game-Used-Dirt Coin Photo
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog