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Here We Go Again
2006-04-07 17:50
by Mike Carminati

Lieber and Lidle, and Pray That They're Idle

It's tough starting the season 0-2 and then have to hand the ball to the estimable Corel Lidle. The Phils lost 4-2 yesterday to complete a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals and to fall to 0-3 to start the season for the 15th time since 1901. It's the seventh time in the last 30 years that started the season 0-3. Oopha!

Although two of those teams made the playoffs (1977 and 1983), on average those teams ended up at 72-90 at season's end.

YrWLRFRAFinal WFinal LPCTPOSPostseason
1983034119072.5561NL Pennant
197703131910161.6231Division Champ

You might say that those 15 teams are too small a group to draw any conclusions for this season. So let's look at all teams.

Since 1901, 287 teams have started the season at 0-3. Of those teams, 27 made the playoffs (or about 7.32%). However, since 1995 six clubs have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start including the 1998 Yankees who would up 114-48 and won the Series while Wade Boggs round a horse (the rest are the 2003 Braves, 2001 Cards, 1999 D-Backs, 1996 Indians, and 1995 Reds, none of which won the Series). The other world champs who started 0-3 are the 1911 A's, 1914 Miracle Braves, and 1973 A's.

Here are all the teams, in descending order by winning percentage, to start the season 0-3 and finish the season with at least a .600 winning percentage:

NYY19980362111448.7041WS Champ
PHA19110361210150.6691WS Champ
PHA1914032139953.6511AL Pennant
BRO194103101610054.6491NL Pennant
OAK19710392610160.6271Division Champ
STL198503101410161.6231NL Pennant
ATL20030321710161.6231Division Champ
PHI197703131910161.6231Division Champ
ARI199903121710062.6171Division Champ
CLE1996033199962.6151Division Champ
BSN1914035189459.6141WS Champ
CHW1983035139963.6111Division Champ
NYY1964037109963.6111AL Pennant

However, as you would expect, there are a lot of awful teams that started 0-3.

On average these teams ended up with a .469 winning percentage, which translates to a 76-86 record over a 162-game season. They also ended up in fifth place (or 4.84 to be precise).

So are the Phils in for their first season with less than 80 wins since the waning days of the Terry Francona regime (65-97 in 2000)?

What if we take into account the run differential over the last three games? The Phils were outscored 10-21 by the Cards.

I looked at the clubs that were outscored by about the same amount (by 1.67 to 2.5 times). They ended the season with a slightly worse record 75- 87, .463 and were also in fifth place on average (4.94 actually). However, a much lower percentage made the playoffs, just 4.55%.

So if history means anything, the Phils have a 1-in-20 shot at making the playoffs this year. One in twenty!

Boy, I'm excited. I thought they had no shot at all.

The real Phils future starts tonight with Gavin Floyd facing Brett Tomko and the Dodgers tonight. If there is any life left in this team, Floyd and Madson will be the ones to jumpstart them to life.

If the rotation is Floyd, Madson, Myers, Lieber, and a replacement for Lidle by the season's end, maybe they can defy those one-in-twenty odds. Otherwise, the Phils might be battling the Nats and Marlins for seeding in the second division of the NL East.

2006-04-07 23:20:57
1.   das411
You may appreciate this Mike, from DRaysBay blogger Patrick Kennedy:

The Rays also plucked former Blue Jays and Phillies middle infielder Tomas Perez from the free agent bin after he was cut by Philadelphia on the 2nd. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Expos in 1991, Perez, 33, played four years with Toronto in the mid-90s before spending the last six years with the Phillies. Now, personally, I don't like this move. Perez has never been a regular, and has one season with an OPS over .711, and that was in a 135 AB 2001 season. I'd rather have him on the roster than Ordaz, but that is like saying you'd rather have a free dinner at Bern's than getting kicked in the crotch.

Oh, and you hafta love how our Phils are ALREADY 0-4, three games behind the Mets, looking up at the rest of the could well be a long, long season.

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