This is Part I of a NLDS preview for the offense. The full article can be viewed on Phillies Nation.
October baseball has arrived! The Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies square off in the National League Division Series on Wednesday. With the 2007 NLDS fresh in mind, the Phillies hope for a better outcome this time around.
The last time the Rockies entered the postseason, they were the hottest team in baseball, winning 21 out of their last 22 games. This year, they closed the season 18-9 in September. They haven’t been as impressive as they were in their pennant year, although they had an impressive turnaround. The Rockies opened April with a record of 8-12 before firing manager Clint Hurdle. Jim Tracy took over as skipper, leading the Rockies to a Wild Card berth.
Charlie Manuel’s crew will try to defend their 2008 World Championship. The Phillies finished the year with a record of 93-69, one more win than the Rockies. The Phillies won the season series, 4-2, and outscored the Rockies, 31-28.
This Division Series may be loaded with offense. Both Citizens Bank Park and Coors Field are extremely hitter friendly. In addition, these two teams are power houses that rank first and second atop many offensive categories. The Phillies 820 runs scored rank first in the National League. The Rockies are right behind with 804 runs. The Phillies led the National League with 224 home runs and a .447 slugging percentage. The Rockies finished second with 190 home runs and a .441 slugging percentage. The Rockies have a .343 on-base percentage, which is higher than the Phillies’.
The Phillies struggled with runners in scoring position, batting .255 in that situation. The Rockies were slightly better, hitting .259, just below the league’s average.