From Brett Myers’ walk against C.C. Sabathia in Game 2 of the 2008 division series to Matt Stairs’ free pass to start last night’s rally, bases on balls have had a heightened importance for the Phillies.
As we continue to extol the virtues of patience this fine Philadelphia afternoon, we revisit last night’s ninth inning to find another example of how good things happen to Phillies who wait. Once again, the Phils can file another major postseason highlight under “B,” for “walk.” Actually, if you want to get to the bottom of why they’ve had so much success offensively through the first two rounds, start with all the free passes, with many of them (it seems like all of them) coming back to bite the opposition. Equal parts ineffective pitching and patience, the Phillies have taken a robust 38 walks this postseason, an average of 4.75 per game. Chase Utley leads with seven, contributing to a base-hogging .472 on-base percentage batting one spot ahead of dialed-in slugger Ryan Howard. Chase’s .472 actually leads Howard by a few percentage points, but is well off the pace set by Carlos Ruiz (.533). Chooch has turned the lineup over six times on walks, seven if you include getting clipped by Broxton’s heater.