Where Does Velasquez’s Start Rank?

Phillies fans are still talking about Vince Velasquez‘s historic shutout yesterday. It got me thinking: where does Velasquez’s start rank among the Phillies’ starts I’ve personally seen since I started covering the Phillies in 2003?

Because I have a bad memory, I used Baseball Reference’s play index to find the top 25 regular season starts and top 10 postseason starts based on Game Score. Game Score is not perfect, but I figure it found most of the best starts over the past 14 seasons. I highlighted in bold the names of the pitchers of the 10 most memorable starts I’ve seen. So you will notice that Roy Halladay‘s perfect game and Kevin Millwood‘s no-hitter are not highlighted.

Yes, I missed Halladay’s perfect game. Yes, I also missed Millwood’s no-hitter. It actually was the first game I missed on my first year on the Phillies’ beat in 2003.

These are my personal top 10. There might have been better pitching performances, but these are the starts I’ve seen and these are the ones that stuck with me the most.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR UER Pit Str GSc
1 Cole Hamels 2015-07-25 PHI CHC W 5-0 SHO, W 9.0 0 0 0 2 13 0 0 129 83 98
2 Roy Halladay 2010-05-29 PHI FLA W 1-0 SHO, W 9.0 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 115 72 98
3 Vincent Velasquez 2016-04-14 PHI SDP W 3-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 0 16 0 0 113 83 97
4 Kevin Millwood 2003-04-27 PHI SFG W 1-0 SHO, W 9.0 0 0 0 3 10 0 0 108 72 94
5 Cliff Lee 2011-04-14 PHI WSN W 4-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 1 12 0 0 99 74 92
6 Cliff Lee 2009-08-19 PHI ARI W 8-1 CG, W 9.0 2 1 0 0 11 0 1 106 81 92
7 Jon Lieber 2007-06-09 PHI KCR W 4-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 0 11 0 0 106 78 92
8 Cole Hamels 2009-09-01 PHI SFG W 1-0 SHO, W 9.0 2 0 0 1 9 0 0 118 80 91
9 Roy Halladay 2010-09-27 PHI WSN W 8-0 SHO, W 9.0 2 0 0 0 6 0 0 97 65 89
10 Jamie Moyer 2010-05-07 PHI ATL W 7-0 SHO, W 9.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0 105 71 88
11 Kevin Millwood 2003-08-01 PHI SDP W 6-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 1 8 0 0 106 63 88
12 Joe Blanton 2012-05-03 PHI ATL W 4-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 0 6 0 0 88 67 87
13 J.A. Happ 2009-08-05 PHI COL W 7-0 SHO, W 9.0 4 0 0 2 10 0 0 127 84 87
14 Cory Lidle 2004-08-29 PHI MIL W 10-0 SHO, W 9.0 4 0 0 1 9 0 0 124 84 87
15 Cliff Lee 2013-04-04 PHI ATL W 2-0 GS-8, W 8.0 2 0 0 0 8 0 0 106 78 86
16 Cliff Lee 2011-06-28 PHI BOS W 5-0 SHO, W 9.0 2 0 0 2 5 0 0 112 71 86
17 Cole Hamels 2010-07-22 PHI STL W 2-0 GS-8 8.0 1 0 0 1 7 0 0 97 68 86
18 Roy Halladay 2010-05-01 PHI NYM W 10-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 1 6 0 0 118 88 86
19 Cole Hamels 2007-04-21 PHI CIN W 4-1 CG, W 9.0 5 1 1 2 15 1 0 115 82 86
20 Jon Lieber 2006-05-13 PHI CIN W 2-0 GS-9, W 8.2 2 0 0 0 6 0 0 110 83 86
21 Cliff Lee 2013-09-27 PHI ATL L 0-1 CG(8), L 8.0 3 1 1 0 13 1 0 111 80 85
22 Kyle Kendrick 2013-04-26 PHI NYM W 4-0 SHO, W 9.0 3 0 0 1 5 0 0 107 73 85
23 Cliff Lee 2012-04-18 PHI SFG L 0-1 GS-10 10.0 7 0 0 0 7 0 0 102 81 85
24 Cliff Lee 2011-09-15 (2) PHI FLA W 2-1 GS-9 9.0 5 1 1 0 12 1 0 117 88 85
25 Cliff Lee 2011-06-16 PHI FLA W 3-0 SHO, W 9.0 2 0 0 2 4 0 0 117 74 85
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/15/2016.

Postseason

Rk Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
1 Roy Halladay 2010-10-06 NLDS 1 PHI CIN W 4-0 SHO, W 9.0 0 0 0 1 8 0 94
2 Cole Hamels 2010-10-10 NLDS 3 PHI CIN W 2-0 SHO, W 9.0 5 0 0 0 9 0 86
3 Cliff Lee 2009-10-18 NLCS 3 PHI LAD W 11-0 GS-8, W 8.0 3 0 0 0 10 0 86
4 Cole Hamels 2008-10-01 NLDS 1 PHI MIL W 3-1 GS-8, W 8.0 2 0 0 1 9 0 86
5 Cliff Lee 2009-10-28 WS 1 PHI NYY W 6-1 CG, W 9.0 6 1 0 0 10 0 83
6 Roy Oswalt 2010-10-17 NLCS 2 PHI SFG W 6-1 GS-8, W 8.0 3 1 1 3 9 1 78
7 Pedro Martinez 2009-10-16 NLCS 2 PHI LAD L 1-2 GS-7 7.0 2 0 0 0 3 0 76
8 Cliff Lee 2009-10-07 NLDS 1 PHI COL W 5-1 CG, W 9.0 6 1 1 0 5 0 76
9 Roy Halladay 2011-10-07 NLDS 5 PHI STL L 0-1 GS-8, L 8.0 6 1 1 1 7 0 72
10 Roy Halladay 2011-10-01 NLDS 1 PHI STL W 11-6 GS-8, W 8.0 3 3 3 1 8 1 71
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/15/2016.
In no particular oder:
  1. Hamels’ no-hitter in 2015. Total drama. Last start in a Phillies’ uniform. At Wrigley. Herrera’s circus catch to end it. Couldn’t have been scripted any better.
  2. Velasquez. Never saw a starter pumping 97 mph fastballs in the ninth inning like that.
  3. Lee in April 2011. He had trouble getting to the ballpark that day because of DC traffic. Showed up later to the ballpark than hoped, but he kept his cool and dominated.
  4. Halladay in Sept. 2010. Phillies clinch the NL East with a dominant performance from Halladay, who had never been to the postseason before. It seemed perfect.
  5. Lee in April 2012. Lee pitched 10 scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park. I remember thinking to myself, “Holy cow, how far can this guy go?”
  6. Hamels in April 2007. Phillies were 4-11 and held a team meeting before the game in Cincinnati. Hamels went out, dominated and changed the tone of the season.
  7. Halladay in Game 1 2010 NLDS. No-hitter, obviously. One of the best games I’ve ever seen. Will never forget Chooch making that final playing, falling over and throwing up the first-base line.
  8. Hamels in Game 3 2010 NLDS. Might have had better stuff than Halladay in Game 1. Hamels was that good.
  9. Hamels in Game 1 2008 NLDS. Hamels set the tone for the entire 2008 postseason. It was on.
  10. Lee in Game 1 of 2009 World Series. Will never forget that performance or that nonchalant catch he made on the mound.

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