Sometimes, it’s not so easy to describe a series of events in numbers, or in words. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said after his team was shut out three consecutive games by the Mets, “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.”
On the surface, it’s easy to see that the Mets outscored the Phillies 16-0 in the three games (8-0, 5-0 and 3-0) and outhit them 29-20.
But here are some other measures of how the bear chomped on logic and expectations the past three nights:
0: Times in baseball history before this week that a defending league champion failed to score a run in a three-game series.
27 years, 3 days: Since the Phillies had been shut out three times in a row, May 20-24, 1983 (by the Padres and Dodgers)
35 years, 9 months: Since the Phillies had been shut out four times in five games, as they have been this week by the Red Sox and Mets (August 23-27, 1974, by the Astros and Phillies)
40 years, 8 months: Since the Mets have pitched four consecutive shutouts, which they have a chance to match in Milwaukee tonight with Johan Santana starting (Sept. 24-28, 1969; Gary Gentry, Jerry Koosman, Tom Seaver, Gentry again against the Cardinals and Phillies)
2 hours, 9 minutes: Average time of those four shutouts in 1969.
2 hours, 52 minutes: Average time of the three shutouts this week.
2: Former star pitchers in Japan’s professional leagues, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hisanori Takahashi, who have contributed to the Phillies streak of 35 scoreless innings by opposing starters.
2: Knuckleball pitchers, Tim Wakefield and R. A. Dickey, who contributed to the same streak.
8-1: Margin by which Jose Reyes outhit Phillies shortstops during the series, which Jimmy Rollins missed.
1-0: Margin by which Mets pitchers outscored the Phillies team this week.
23-15: Margin by which the Flyers have outscored the Phillies over their respective past seven games (courtesy of the Phillies press corps).