Results tagged ‘ Steve Carlton ’

Lee’s August (Kind of Like Lee’s June)

What an August for Cliff Lee:

  • He became just the third pitcher in baseball history to go 5-0 with an ERA under 1.00 in two separate months in the same season. He went 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in June and 5-0 with a 0.45 ERA in August. He joined Bob Gibson in 1968, who went 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA in June and 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA in July, and Walter Johnson in 1913, who went 5-0 with a 0.24 ERA in April and 6-0 with a 0.81 ERA in July.
  • Lee also became the first pitcher to throw at least seven scoreless innings in at least 10 starts in the same season since Dwight Gooden and John Tudor in 1985. Gooden and Tudor accomplished the feat 11 times.
  • He was one out from throwing his sixth shutout of the season, which would have been the most in the National League since Tim Belcher threw eight in 1989 and the most for the Phillies since Steve Carlton threw six in 1982.
  • Told about Lee’s connection to Gibson and Johnson, Charlie Manuel said, “I would have liked to hit off Walter. I never saw him, but I’d like to swing at him.”
  • Lee said he didn’t realize he waved toward first base when he grounded out in the fourth inning. But he said he should have ran.

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Lee’s Night: KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Cliff Lee struck out 16 batters tonight in a 5-0 loss to the Braves.

A few things about his night:

  • He set a career-high in strikeouts. He had a career-high 13 strikeouts July 27 last season against Oakland.
  • They are the most strikeouts by a Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling struck out 16 Yankees on Sept. 1, 1997.
  • They tied Steve Carlton for the most strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher in a nine-inning game in Phillies history. (Left-hander Chris Short struck out 18 Mets in 15 innings Oct. 2, 1965.)
  • Lee’s 16 strikeouts are the most by a pitcher in a big-league game this season. (Jared Weaver had 15 against the Blue Jays on April 10.)
  • It was Lee’s 13th double-digit strikeout game, and his fifth with the Phillies.
  • It was the 12th time he has struck out 10 or more batters with one or fewer walks. (Lee walked one tonight.)
  • He has 10 double-digit strikeout games since the beginning of the 2010 season, which ties him with Tim Lincecum for the most in the big leagues in that span.

The bad news for Lee? The Phillies have scored one run in his last three starts.

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Halladay Wins Cy Young

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Roy Halladay is the unanimous 2010 National League Cy Young Award winner.

There were 32 votes cast (two votes in each NL city), and Halladay received all 32 first-place votes. He is the 13th unanimous NL winner, receiving a perfect 224 points (seven points for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth). The BBWAA expanded the Cy Young Award ballot from three to five pitchers this year.

Halladay is the fifth pitcher in baseball history to win Cy Young awards in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. Halladay previously won the 2003 American League Cy Young with the Toronto Blue Jays.

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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 MLB.com, 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.

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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!

Headed Home

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Headed back to Philly in a bit, but I wanted to pass along a few things before I board my flight:

Roy Halladay improved to 19-10 with a 2.49 ERA after last night’s victory over Florida, but he has a 4.41 ERA (17 earned runs in 34 2/3 innings) in his last five starts. He has thrown 234 2/3 innings this season and is scheduled to make three more starts, which likely would push him to 250-plus innings. That would be his heaviest workload since he threw a career-high 266 innings in 2003.

“I feel good,” Halladay said. “Stamina-wise I’ve felt real good. I haven’t felt like I’ve gotten tired at the end of games. I think definitely there’s times where you realize it’s not April. You don’t have that little bit of extra giddy-up sometimes, but that’s where those extra days can come in. But I feel good. I feel just as good now as I have any other year at this point.”

Halladay allowed 10 hits, three runs and one home run in six innings. He also struck out nine to set a career-high 210 strikeouts. They are the most strikeouts for a Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling had 300 in 1998.

Halladay, 33, will get an extra day of rest before his next two starts, which could help him. His next start comes Tuesday against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, which figures to be one of the biggest starts of his career with playoff implications on the line. He will have a chance to pick up his 20th win. He would be the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Steve Carlton went 23-11 in 1982.

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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!

Game 3, and Its Magic Numbers

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A few things about last night’s 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS:

  • Ryan Howard has a hit and RBI in every playoff game this year (seven games, 10 hits and 12 RBIs). He is the Phillies’ all-time RBI leader in the postseason (22 RBIs in 24 games) and has reached base safely in 16 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 10 walks).
  • Howard’s seven consecutive playoff games with an RBI established a MLB single-season playoff record. Lou Gehrig had eight consecutive games with an RBI from 1928-32.
  • Chase Utley singled in the first inning to reach base safely in 23 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 21 walks), which dates to Game 2 of the 2007 NLDS. Utley’s streak is tied for second all-time in playoff history with Gehrig. Boog Powell holds the all-time record with 25 consecutive playoff games reaching base safely.
  • Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters, tying a Phillies postseason record for strikeouts in a game with Steve Carlton (Game 1 of the 1980 World Series) and Curt Schilling (Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS).
  • Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his third homer of the 2009 postseason and seventh of his postseason career. It was his fifth postseason homer with the Phillies, tying him for second on the all-time franchise list with Howard, Greg Luzinski and Gary Matthews. Lenny Dykstra holds the franchise record with six. Werth also became the Phillies’ all-time leader in postseason extra-base hits (14 in 82 at-bats), passing Mike Schmidt who had 13 in 140 at bats.
  • Shane Victorino moved passed Schmidt on the team’s all-time postseason RBI list, when he hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Victorino has 18 RBIs and trails only Howard.
  • Carlos Ruiz has reached base safely in 12 straight playoff games (15 hits and nine walks). He is hitting .625 (5-for-8 with one homer and three RBIs) this series.
  • Last night’s victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Phillies in a playoff game.
  • In NLCS history, 20 of 29 teams who led the series 2-1 went on to win the series

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