Phillies live off quick-strike offense
Amongst the few dozen questions thrown his way was whether he had drawn on his own postseason experience to give advice to his new teammates. His answer was classic Pedro, said with a little defiance, meant to elicit a laugh and buried within it was an insightful point.
"This team doesn't need to be told [what to do]," he said, noting the obvious, that the Phillies are already defending World Series champions. "If we were a car, we'd probably be in trouble with the law. This team really speeds up and never lets down. We're a NASCAR type of team."
He's right, that the Phillies certainly go from 0 to 60 awfully quickly, though that offense does slam on the breaks at times.
They were the National League's top-scoring offense this year -- 820 runs, 5.1 per game -- and led the league in home runs (224), slugging percentage (.447) and stolen-base percentage (81.0). Their batting average was only ninth (.258), their on-base percentage was eighth (.334) and their use of the sacrifice bunt was nearly non-existent (55, 15th in the NL and just one more than last-place Arizona).
In other words, they are a quick-strike, burn-rubber offense. Of the Phillies' 788 RBIs this season, nearly half scored on home runs: 370, which is 47.0 percent of the total and the highest rate in the majors. The other 29 teams only plated 36.9 percent of their runs on four-baggers. Though the Yankees hit 20 more homers, they scored a smaller percentage of their runs (41.0) that way. Similarly, Philadelphia drove in 65.0 percent of its runs (512) on extra-base hits, while the rest of baseball scored only 56.7 percent on multiple-base hits.
Like a NASCAR wreck, Phillies' hits often have collateral damage.
Their NLCS matchup with the Dodgers, which the Phillies somewhat amazingly lead 3 games to 1, is an exaggerated version of their score-in-bunches tactics. The Phillies are batting just .224 this series -- and if it weren't for the 11-0 Game 3 drubbing of the Dodgers, that average falls to .185. (It, of course, should be noted that Philly's pitching has been sensational, with a 2.83 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.)
For Dodgers starter
• On the off-day, the Dodgers announced an extension for general manager
• Colletti did say his hiring was a "symbolic statement" of the solidity of the ownership group (mired in reports that owner
• A video posted on Halos Heaven -- an Angels fan site -- in which Yankees closer
• Phillies pinch-hitter
• Other highlights of Pedro Martinez's clubhouse chat today:
Asked further about his NASCAR analogy, Martinez admitted he's a mild auto-racing fan, though he's never attended a race. He also has a few favorite drivers, but, playing the part of diplomat, declined to name any of them.
Martinez played diplomat again when he declined to answer any question about the possibility of facing the Yankees in the World Series. All he said on the subject was his reaffirmation that the Red Sox' performance in the 2004 ALCS constituted "the greatest comeback ever in the history of the game" -- not that there should be any doubts about that.
• Speaking of the '04 ALCS, Torre reminded the media that he's now managing both Ramirez and