Results tagged ‘ Robin Roberts ’

Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt: Best Phillies Trio Ever?

hamels 0504 2010.jpgInterest in this week’s Braves series turned from 10 to 11 after the Phillies shuffled their rotation to have Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt face Atlanta.

They’re the Big Three.

They might be the Biggest Three in Phillies history.

Has there been a better trio of starting pitchers on any team since the Phillies joined the NL in 1883? I explored that in a story for, which can be found here.

I could not find one, and I asked around. There were great duos. Robin Roberts had Curt Simmons. Jim Bunning had Chris Short. Grover Cleveland Alexander had Eppa Rixey. Steve Carlton had Jim Lonborg, Larry Christenson, Dick Ruthven and John Denny in different seasons. But none of them had what the 2010 Phillies have:

– Three pitchers with incredible resumes and reputations. Halladay is a former Cy Young winner, who dominated the American League East for years before he joined the Phillies. He is a good candidate for the Hall of Fame, according to Baseball Reference’s Hall of Fame tests. Oswalt has been one of the top pitchers in the National League for years. He is a two-time, 20-game winner who earned 2005 NLCS MVP honors. Hamels is the youngest pitcher of the bunch, but he earned 2008 World Series and MVP honors.
– Three pitchers pitching at their peaks.
– Three pitchers who could be aces anywhere else.

For example: Alexander pitched with Rixey for a few seasons. Both are Hall of Famers, but it was early in Rixey’s career. He broke out in 1916, when he went 22-10 with a 1.85 ERA. But the third starter that season was Al Demaree, who was not considered anything special. He certainly couldn’t lead a pitching staff, like Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels. I found similar situations with other Phillies aces like Roberts, Bunning, Carlton and Curt Schilling.

There have been seasons where the Phillies have had good years from three starters, but the third starter (and sometimes even the second starter) was a one-year wonder, before his prime or after his prime. Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels are not that.

Agree? Disagree? Be curious to see which trio you would take over the Big Three.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Moyer Hits 262 and 500

moyer 0514 2010.jpg

Jamie Moyer picked up his 262nd career win last night in a 9-5 victory over the Brewers, which is 40th all-time.

He also allowed his 500th career homer, which is second all-time.

Moyer sits at 501 after he allowed three solo homers in the second inning to the Brewers, which has him four behind Robin Roberts, who allowed 505 for the all-time record. Moyer has thrown 3,947 2/3 innings in his career, which ranks 43rd. Roberts threw 4,688 2/3, which ranks 21st.

Rounding out the top 10 in career homers allowed are Ferguson Jenkins (483), Phil Niekro (482), Don Sutton (472), Frank Tanana (448), Warren Spahn (434), Bert Blyleven (430), Steve Carlton (414) and Randy Johnson (411). That’s not bad company.

“There’s a lot of chances out there,” Moyer said. “You can’t give up 500 in 600 at-bats, can you? I’ve thrown a few innings in my career. You’re going to give up hits, home runs, walks, strikeouts, errors. I don’t really keep track of it all.”

A couple Moyer homer notes:

  • Manny Ramirez has homered off of Moyer the most – 10 times.
  • Moyer has surrendered home runs in 41 different ballparks (89 in Safeco – the most for any one park).
  • He has allowed 292 solo home runs and seven grand slams.
  • He has served up 377 homers to righties and 124 to lefties.
  • Jim Edmonds, the man who touches Moyer up for the 500th, had never homered against Moyer before the milestone.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Robin Roberts Dies at 83


Robin Roberts died today at 83.

I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times over the years. I remember last seeing him this spring, sitting in the Phillies’ clubhouse at Bright House Field in Clearwater and chatting with Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and others. Everything you heard about Roberts is a true. He was a Hall of Fame pitcher, but a very, very kind guy, too. No ego at all. He provided me a tremendous amount of his time as I wrote my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” two summers ago. I thought I’d share you an excerpt from the book, which I hope gives people a sense of how truly special he was on the field.

The excerpt comes from a chapter where I write about the five greatest pitchers in Phillies history. Roberts certainly is one of them.


The best pitcher in baseball in the 1950s was…

Warren Spahn? Whitey Ford?

Early Wynn? Don Newcombe?

How about Robin Roberts?

“He was the top pitcher at that time,” Willie Mays said.

“It’s a compliment,” Roberts said. “I certainly enjoyed it. I just showed up and pitched.”

Roberts dominated the ’50s. He won 199 games, more than anybody except Spahn, who won 202. Roberts, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976, won 20 or more games each season from 1950 through 1955. He won 19 games in 1956. He led the National League in strikeouts (1,516), complete games (237), and innings pitched (3,012) in the ’50s. He finished second behind Spahn with 30 shutouts. He finished fourth behind Spahn, Johnny Altonelli, and Sal Maglie with a 3.32 ERA. He threw an astounding 28 straight complete games from 1952 to 1953. He also started for the National League in the 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, and 1955 All-Star Games.

“First of all, he had control,” Mays said. “He didn’t have a good curveball. He had a good fastball that he controlled in and out. He’d never knock you down, but he was quick. He knew what he was doing. I could hit him pretty good, but I never hit home runs against him. I think I hit one home run off him in the last game of a series in ’56. I just scraped the scoreboard in the Polo Grounds. He threw a curveball to me. He never did throw that curveball to me again.”

But Mays had his hands full without the breaking ball.

“He was a hard pitcher,” he said.


Going to New York

Here are a few things from today’s workout at the Bank:

  • Charlie Manuel expects to see CC Sabathia three times if the World Series goes seven games.
  • Raul Ibanez is going to DH Game 1, which would allow Ben Francisco to play left field. Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs could DH Game 2 against A.J. Burnett.
  • Robin Roberts spoke about the 1950 World Series. He said back then he hated four things: Notre Dame, Michigan, the Yankees and Russia. That might be one of my top five answers to a question all year.
  • Manuel would not say who will pitch Game 2, but he sounds more and more like it’s going to be Pedro Martinez. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. But Martinez has experience. He won’t be intimidated. “We weigh all that,” Manuel said. “We try to weigh everything possible. I guess that’s the good part about my job. I’ve got quite a few people around and we discuss everything about the game. We discuss everything that you’re supposed to cover. There’s not a whole lot that we’re going to miss as far as what we want to do. But when I look at Pedro, Pedro has been in the big environment. He’s pitched about everywhere you can pitch. I don’t think nothing is going to really bother him or get him upset. I think we can pitch him in either ballpark, really. I don’t think it matters at all.”


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.