Remember in spring training when everybody was wondering if the Phillies’ rotation could be one of the best of all time? I blogged some statistics yesterday that showed they’ve been arguably the most dominating single-season rotation over the past 40 seasons. Here’s more to consider:
Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35 ERA, 220 strikeouts), Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40 ERA, 238 strikeouts) and Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79, 194 strikeouts) combined to go 50-23 with a 2.51 ERA and 652 strikeouts in 682.1 innings.
They also compiled an arrangement of numbers no starting trio had assembled in the modern era of baseball.
Entering this season, five teams since 1901 had two of its starting pitchers throw 200 innings, average at least eight strikeouts per nine innings and finish the season with an ERA+ of at least 130. Halladay, Lee and Hamels all surpassed these thresholds in 2011. The six teams to feature two (or three) pitchers with 200-plus innings, a strikeout rate of at least eight batters per nine innings and an ERA+ of at least 130 are:
- 1968 Indians: Sam McDowell and Luis Tiant
- 2000 Dodgers: Kevin Brown and Chan Ho Park
- 2001 Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling
- 2002 Diamondbacks: Johnson and Schilling
- 2003 Cubs: Mark Prior and Kerry Wood
- 2011 Phillies: Halladay, Hamels and Lee
For those folks unaware, ERA+ is ERA measured against the league average and adjusted for ballpark factors, according to Hardball Times. An ERA+ over 100 is better than average, an ERA+ less than 100 is below average. An ERA+ of 125, for example, means the league ERA was 25% higher than the pitcher’s ERA (which means that the pitcher’s ERA was 80% of the league ERA).
Just know Halladay, Lee and Hamels lived up to the hype.