Sunday, August 2, 2015

The 1972 Lefty Effect

One last look at Steve Carlton on the 40th anniversary of his off-the-charts 1972 season.

The 1972 Lefty Effect


There were a great many amazing things to behold in Steve Carlton’s fabulous 1972 season (which we have been celebrating all summer in SportsWeek and on BoopStats — see them here, here and here), but this one is our favorite.

Not only did Carlton excel every time he took the mound that year, but the Phillies’ offense managed to put together better numbers behind him.

For instance, the club averaged more than a half-run more a game and hit 22 points higher when Lefty strode to the hill. They even managed to strike out less frequently in his starts than they did the rest of the season.

Here are the 1972 Phillies team offensive numbers in games Carlton started and games he didn’t:

 Runs/Game  3.76  3.03
 Batting Avg.
 .253  .231
 Hits/Game  8.37  7.80
 On-Base Pct.
 .315  .293
 Walks/Game  3.22  3.09
 5.59  6.10
 Slugging Pct.
 .376  .333
 HR/Game  0.73  0.59
More coverage
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Gallery: Cole Hamels through the years
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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Bob Vetrone Jr.
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