The Phillies are dead last in baseball with a 38 percent success rate when batting with runners on third and less than two outs. They have batted 117 times with that situation, and only 45 have yielded a run in some way, whether it be via a hit, groundout or sacrifice fly.
That is the worst rate for any team since at least 1948.
Baseball Reference keeps play-by-play data from 1948 on, and few teams have even come close to the Phillies' futility. Only the 1965 Mets had a rate below 40 percent; they scored 39 percent from third with fewer than two outs. That team finished 50-112 and 47 games back.
What does this mean? Of course, the sample size is small. The Phillies have played 62 games. Ultimately, their success rate in those situations should normalize and at least approach the league average. Such a miserable rate through 62 games could implicate bad luck as a factor.
But there is no disputing the Phillies have mostly been terrible in these situations. Think about how many times a runner has stood on third and when all it takes is a medium-sized fly ball or groundout to score him, a Phillies hitter pops out or whiffs.
Consider if the Phillies had simply equaled the major-league average (51 percent) in those 117 situations, it would have resulted in 15 additional runs scored over the season's first 62 games.
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