Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Chachi #60 Stolen Base Leaders - Jimmy Rollins & Shane Victorino

One of the biggest criticisms* of the 2011 Phillies was their inability to steal a base when the situation called for a manufactured run.  Charlie Manuel is more likely to wait for one big swing than to hit and run or to send a runner when conditions are favorable.  With Juan Samuel as the team's third base coach, you'd think there would be more aggressiveness on the base paths, given Sammy's success as a base stealer during his playing days.  I hope this is a facet of the game the 2012 Phillies are focused on improving.

*It's tough to criticize a team that won 102 games, but I'm still a little bitter about the whole N.L.D.S. thing.

Here are the Phillies top ten base stealers in 2011:

1.  Jimmy Rollins - 30
2.  Shane Victorino - 19
3.  Chase Utley - 14
4.  John Mayberry, Jr. - 8
5.  Ben Francisco - 4
6.  Placido Polanco - 3
6.  Wilson Valdez - 3
6.  Michael Martinez - 3
6.  Domonic Brown - 3
6.  Pete Orr - 3

Rollins' team-leading 30 stolen bases is the lowest stolen base total to lead the Phillies since Bobby Abreu stole 22 bases in 2003.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

I'm really sorry about your father. I'm a regular follower of your blog and I was very saddened to hear that.

As far as the Phillies go, I'm devastated (again, as far as sports go). The season was a complete failure. It was WS or bust and they completely failed. You and I are about the same age, and as a fellow diehard, we know how bad times were, and can be again; so that's all the more reason to have a sense of urgency to win during this golden era.

I thought they would do it this year; the pitching was great, the bullpen was solid and the hitting seemed stable after acquiring Pence. But then the wheels came off, again, in the playoffs. The offense was horrendous, but I blame Lee mostly for Game 2. 4-0 lead, at home, you have to win that game. I'd expect Kendrick to win that game; and Lee was brought back specifically for games like that and he failed. And it cost them the series.

Who knows what would have happened from there, but I don't think STL comes back from down 0-2. Maybe the bats awaken, and don't feel as much pressure; maybe they still don't hit and lose in the NLCS. We'll never know, but that Game 2 was critical.

Now I don't know what to expect in 2012. I feel there is more uncertainty than ever (in this recent golden era). Can they hit when it matters? Can they pitch? Frankly, the aces weren't good enough. Who will be playing SS, LF?

This era is a great one but I expected at least one more title; but with each failed season, it's looking more like the '76-'83 era, which while great, is also defined by a lot of what-ifs and woulda, coulda, shouldas. I feel that generation underachieved by only winning once and I'm not concerned this group could tarnish it's legacy by following in those footsteps. I hope I'm wrong.

Section 36 said...

There's a difference between stealing bases, and stealing a base when everyone knows you're stealing a base. Classic example is the '04 Sox. They had, like, one guy who could run. They certainly waited for the three run homer that usually came. But, they would have been sunk without Dave Roberts stealing when everyone in the world knew he was stealing. This year, the Phillies did win those 102 games. Hard to really say a lack of a running game hurt them. But, if they couldn't steal when the really needed it in the playoffs...that's another story.

Jim said...

Thanks Christopher. I'm with you. The '11 Phillies were supposed to win the World Series - it was destined since the day Cliff Lee signed. The elimination from the '11 NLDS hurts way, way more than the elimination from the '10 NLCS for that very reason. I'll watch the games next season with a much more trepidation.

Section 36 - Charlie Manuel has never been a big fan of small ball. If the Phillies are going to go further in 2012, it's time he learned to use the stolen base and the sac bunt.