Phillies April in review

Posted: May 03, 2014

PERFECTLY AVERAGE

The Phillies finished April at 13-13, one game better than last year's 12-14. The 2012 Phillies were 13-13 after 26 games, too. But these Phillies were outscored by 15 runs, their worst run differential through 26 games since 2006. They outperformed their expected record (based on runs scored and allowed) by two games.

OFF THE ROAD

The Phillies played fewer April games at home (10) than any other team in baseball. They will spend most of May at Citizens Bank Park. Just eight of the Phillies' 27 scheduled May games are away from home. Seventeen of the Phillies first 26 games were against teams that finished April with a winning record. Many of those teams (Mets, Dodgers, Rockies) also will be opponents in May.

NO OUTFIELD POP

The Phillies ranked dead last in baseball with 15 extra-base hits from their outfielders. That number was four fewer than the next closest teams, Pittsburgh and Houston. Slap-hitting Ben Revere had a higher slugging percentage (.320) than Domonic Brown (.316). The outfield's .276 batting average ranked eighth in the majors. Those hits, though, were mostly singles.

HOWARD'S START

April is traditionally Ryan Howard's worst month; his .807 career OPS is the lowest for any time. The first baseman just about equaled that career rate with an .803 OPS last month. He hit five home runs in 26 games. That was bested only in 2011, when he hit six homers in his first 26 games. His 11 April walks were the most since 2008.

EMPTY SEATS

The Phillies drew 91,286 fewer fans at Citizens Bank Park for their first 10 games than they did a season ago. That average decline of 9,129 fans per game is the worst in baseball; Detroit is the next closest with an average drop of 5,493. Bad April weather did not help matters. Neither did a loss of about 6,000 season-ticket holders during the winter. The team offered a buy-one-get-one promotion for some select seats via e-mail for Friday night's game against Washington.

MINOR-LEAGUE WOES

The Phillies' four full-season, minor-league affiliates - Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, and Lakewood - went a combined 36-62 in April. That was the worst record for any organization in baseball. Phillies minor-league pitchers have a 4.60 ERA, and hitters have a .650 OPS. Both of those marks were the worst among all franchises. The system withstood a spate of injuries in April, which only added to the many ailments suffered in the winter.

GALVIS' SWOON

Infielder Freddy Galvis, 1 for 30 to start the season, became the third player since at least 1969 with 30 or more at-bats in April and one or fewer hits. Bob Kearney, a catcher with Seattle, went 1 for 34 in 1985. Richie Scheinblum started 0 for 30 with Cleveland in 1969.

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