During the organization’s 127-year existence as a member of the National League, seven starters who had wore the Phillies’ uniform has won the most games in seventeen seasons.
The first Phil to lead the league in wins would be Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander, who would do so in his rookie season of 1911, winning 28 games. The next Phil to lead the NL in wins would be Tom Seaton, who, in 1913, would lead the league with 27 wins. Alexander would then become the leader in wins for the next four seasons with 27 wins in 1914, 31 wins in 1915, as he help lead the Phils to their first National League pennant, as he performed the first of his two straight triple crown (Wins/ERA/Ks) pitching season as a Phil, 33 wins in 1916, as he performed his second triple crown season, while setting the Phils record for most wins in a season, and 30 wins in 1917. The third Phil to lead the league in victories would be Jumbo Elliott, who did so in a tie for first with Bill Hallahan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Heinie Meine of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who all had 19 wins in 1931. The fourth Phil pitcher to lead the NL in wins would be Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, who would lead the league with 28 victories in 1952, then would be tied for the lead in 1953 with fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves with 23 wins, then lead the league by himself in both 1954 and 1955 with 23 wins in both years. The fifth Phil starter to lead the NL would be Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who first lead the NL in his pitching triple crown season of 1972, as he lead the NL with 27 wins, followed by 1977 with 23 victories, then 24 in 1980, as he helped lead the Phils to their first World Series Championship, and finally 1982, when he won 23 starts. The sixth Phil pitcher to lead the league would follow in 1983, as John Denny would lead the league with 19 wins, as he help lead the Phils to their fourth NL pennant. It would be twenty-seven years before the seventh, and presently last, Phil starter would lead the NL in wins, when Roy Halladay led the National League in wins with 21 in 2010.
Of the seven Phils to lead the National League in victories, three of them were Hall of Famers (Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton), with all three of them doing it multiple times. Alexander did it the most, as he won the title five times, with two of them as he won the pitching equivalent of the triple crown, followed by Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton, who have both won the title four times, with Carlton also performing the pitching triple crown. The other four have won it only once. Two of the Phils were tied for the lead in wins when they won the title, Jumbo Elliott in a three-way tie in 1931, and Roberts, when he was tied with Warren Spahn in 1953. Alexander had the most wins, when he won the title with 33 wins in 1916, which is still a team record, while Elliott and John Denny won the title with the least wins as the two recorded only 19 wins in 1931 and 1983, respectively. Phils’ pitchers have led the NL sixteen times in the 20th Century and have, so far, only done it once in the 21st Century.
Who might be the next Phil starter to lead the NL in victories? It could be any of their four major starters, as three of them (Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee) have all already lead either league in wins.
During the 54-year existence of the Cy Young Award, created a year after the death of the man it was named after, Hall of Famer Cy Young, four Phils have won the award, after it had been spilt in 1967 into separate awards for the NL and AL, for a total of seven times.
The first Phil to win the award was Hall of Famer Steve Cartlon, who won the first of four awards in 1972, when he went 27-10, including 15 wins in a row, as he won around half the games for a last place Phillies team, with an ERA of 1.98. He won his second award in 1977, as he helped lead the Phils to their second of three straight Eastern Division titles, as he went 23-10 with an ERA of 2.64. He won his third Cy Young in 1980, as he lead the Phils to their first World Series crown, with a record of 24-9 and an ERA of 2.34. Carlton would win his fourth and last Cy Young in 1982, as the Phils finished in second place behind the World Champions St. Louis Cardinals, as he went 23-11 with a high ERA (for him) of 3.11. The second Phil to win the award would by John Denny in 1983, as he help lead the ‘Wheeze Kids’ to their fourth NL flag, with a record of 19-6 and an ERA of 2.37. The third Phil to win the team’s sixth Cy Young Award was relief pitcher Steve Bedrosian, who in 1987, would lead the league in saves with 40 of them, while recording a win-lost record of 5-3 with an ERA of 2.83. The seventh, and most recent Cy Young Award was just won this season (2010) by Roy Halladay, who had a win-lost record of 21-10 with an ERA of 2.44.
Among the seven awards, six were won in the 20th Century and one in the 21st century, as six of the awards were won by a starter, while one was won by a relief pitcher. Steve Carlton has won the most awards with four, while the other three winners have so far won one award each. Steve Cartlon had the most wins (27 in 1972) and had the lowest ERA (1.98, also in ’72) as well as won it with the highest ERA (3.11 in 1982) among the four Phils who had won the award, while Steve Bedrosian had the lowest number of wins (5 in 1987) while winning the award, since he won it based on the number of saves that he had recorded that season (40).
Who will win it next? If he continues to pitch well, Halladay should have another Cy Young Award by the time his present contract runs out, unless either Cole Hamels or Roy Oswalt are able to pitch better than him within the next two-three years.
In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.
The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.
Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.
The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.
The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.
The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.
Behind the two-hit complete game shut out pitching of their ace Roy Halladay, the Phils have clinched their fourth straight National League Eastern Division title as they defeat the Nats, 8-0.
The Phils took the lead in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to second base when Chase Utley was hit by the pitch, and Utley, who had just been hit by the pitch, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Phils then made it a 4-0 lead two batters latter as, with runners on the corners, as Raul Ibanez got on base with an infield single, sending Werth to third, and still with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Werth, while sending Ibanez over to third. The Phils then busted the game wide open in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Wilson Valdez, who had reached first earlier on a strikeout that got away from Wilson Ramos before he threw to third base to nail Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, and then tried to move up to third on the play, who then stole second as Halladay struck out, then stole third base, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead, while sending Shane Victorino, who had just walked, on to third base. The Phils then took a 7-0 lead as Utley hits a two-run double, scoring both Victorino and Polanco. The Phils then made it an 8-0 lead as, after Ryan Howard had walked, Werth hits an RBI infield single to the first baseman, as Utley ran all the way from second base to score, while Howard would move up to second base. That would be more than enough for Halladay as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only two hits, a lead-off single to Ramos in the third, before he was wiped out in a 4-6-3 double play by Alberto Gonzalez, and then a lead-off single in the eighth by Adam Dunn, who was then stranded at first, before he ended the game by getting Danny Espinosa to strike out, swinging, his sixth strike out victim.
Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches a complete game shut out, giving up only two hits, while striking out six. His record is now 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA. John Lannan took the lost as he pitches only five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out three. His record is now 8-8 with a 4.65 ERA. Craig Stammen and Collin Balester combine for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Stammen) and a walk (Stammen), while striking out two (Balester) between them. Joe Bisenius pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two. Miguel Batista pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz all leading the team with three hits each, with Polanco’s hits being all singles, knocking in a run, Werth’s three hits being a single, a double and a solo home run, knocking in four runs and Ruiz’s hits being a single, and two doubles, knocking in a run. Raul Ibanez followed with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley had the final Phil hit, a double, knocking in two runs. The Phils’ offense exploded late in the game, after being kept quiet for the early part of the evening.
The Phils (94-63, 1st) continues their three-game series with the Nationals (67-90, 5th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Roy Oswalt (13-13 (7-1), 2.80 (1.76)), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 22, when he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only a hit and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Phils 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twenty-two innings, giving up just a run on eleven hits and three walks, while striking out twenty-one. He will be going for his eighth win since joining the Phils, and his third straight win against the Nats. The Nats will counter with Jason Marquis (2-9, 7.18), who is coming off a no-decision against the Astros, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Nats’ 4-3 win. In his last three starts, his record is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twelve and one-third innings, giving up ten runs on eighteen hits and three walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying to not be rough up again by the Phils. The Phils will be trying to make sure that they’ll have the best record in the National League no matter what happens during the rest of the season.