Pence's 2011 Contribution to the Phillies
by Nick Mandarano - April 9, 2012
Playing around with sabermetrics and some formulas instituted by Bill James, I realized just how critical Hunter Pence is to the Phillies. Using a lot of math and equations that I will spare you from, this is what I discovered:
With Pence for 54 games, the Phillies were 102-60.
If the Phillies never traded for Pence, they would have been 101-61.
If the Phillies had Pence all 162 games and he played the way he did for the Phillies year round, they would be 106-56.
Basically, Pence gave them an extra win in 2011 to reach that franchise record, but he also allowed the Cardinals to make the playoffs, so Pujols and crew can thank Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Pence. Also, he would be worth about 5 wins to a team like the Phillies. Therefore, instead of clinching on September 17, they would have clinched the NL East on September 12. Only six other teams have clinched the division that early since baseball adopted divisional play in 1969. Of these six teams, two won the World Series, two lost, and two did not get out of the first round. They were:
- Sept. 7, 1975: Reds (won World Series)
- Sept. 8, 1995: Indians (lost World Series)
- Sept. 8, 1999: Indians (lost in first round)
- Sept. 9, 1998: Yankees (won World Series)
- Sept. 9, 2002: Braves (lost in first round)
- Sept. 12, 1998: Padres (lost World Series)