Comparing the corners through 15 games

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Placido Polanco and the Phillies' third basemen have struggled to produce at the plate this season. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

A couple of interesting numbers on this dreary Sunday afternoon, which sees the 7-8 Phillies sitting at fourth place in the NL East, having failed to score more than two runs in 9 of 15 games (the first-place Nationals had their game against the Marlins rained out today).

1) The Phillies have benefited from very little production out of the third base position, where veteran Placido Polanco continues to struggle in the early going. Phillies third basemen enter today hitting .180 with a .215 on base percentage and a .197 slugging percentage (.412 OPS) with one extra base hit in 65 plate appearances. Even the team's pitchers are giving them more production: a batting line of .212/.212/.242 (.455 OPS) and one extra base hit in 37 plate appearances.

2) The Phillies clearly miss Ryan Howard's power bat in the middle of their line-up. Below are the numbers that Phillies first basemen have posted through 15 games, compared with Howard's numbers through the first 15 games of 2011:

Phillies 1B, 2012: .259 BA, .333 OBP, .389 SLG, 5 XBH (1 HR), 8 RBI, 4 RS, 15 SO, 60 PA

Phillies 1B, 2011: .293 BA, .343 OBP, .517 SLG, 7 XBH (4 HR), 15 RBI, 10 RS, 14 SO, 67 PA

3) Let's do another comparison to the pitchers. Turns out, they are out-hitting Phillies pinch-hitters too. Through 15 games, Phillies pinch-hitters are 1-for-18 with no extra base hits, no RBI, no runs, no walks, and nine strikeouts.

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