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