Closing is one of the most difficult jobs in sports.
They come into a tight game and try to end it to get the victory.
It’s usually only for one inning, but that inning could make or break a team.
Every since the save was introduced, baseball has changed. Ninth-inning specialists, or closers, were created to go in and get the win.
The Phillies have some good closers during their existence. Here are the top ten:
10. Brad Lidge (2008-present)
Brad Lidge had an incredible season last year. He was a perfect 41 for 41 in save opportunities. He had a microscopic ERA of 1.96, and batters couldn’t touch him.
He’s struggled so far this year, which affected his placement on this list. As a Phillie, he is 2-4 with 61 saves and an ERA of 3.77.
9. Turk Farrell (1956-1961, 1967-1969)
Turk Farrell had a good career with the Phillies. He had a record of 47-41 with 65 saves and an ERA of 3.25.
He was selected in the 1961 MLB expansion draft by the Houston Colt .45s. He died in an automobile accident in 1977. He was 43 years old.
8. Billy Wagner (2004-2005)
Though many Phillies fans dislike Billy Wagner because he left us for the Mets, we have to admit he did well for us.
Over the course of two seasons, he had a record of 8-3 with an ERA of 1.86. He saved 59 games as a Phillie.
7. Ricky Bottalico (1994-1998, 2001-2002)
Ricky Bottalico was the Phillies closer during their bleak years in the 90s. He did well despite being on a bad team.
He had a record of 15-25 with 78 saves and an ERA of 3.70 as a Phillie.
6. Steve Bedrosian (1986-1989)
Steve Bedrosian was also a closer during a bleak time in Philadelphia baseball. He was also successful, having a record of 21-18 with 103 saves and an ERA of 3.29 as a Phillie.
5. Mitch Williams (1991-1993)
A good pitcher ruined by one pitch, Mitch Williams had a good career in Philadelphia. As a Phillie, he won 20 games and lost 20 games. He saved 102 games for the Phillies and had an ERA of 3.11.
His career as a Phillie ended after he surrendered the walk-off home run by Joe Carter that won the 1993 World Series for the Blue Jays.
4. Jose Mesa (2001-2003, 2007)
Jose Mesa is the Phillies all-time saves leader, despite being their closer for only three years. He was lights out in his first two years as a Phillie but struggled in his third. He came back to the Phillies in 2007 as a middle reliever.
He had a record of 13-18 with 112 saves and an ERA of 4.05 as a Phillie.
3. Jim Konstanty (1948-1954)
The term “closer” hadn’t really been introduced yet, but Konstanty was lights out in relief for the Phillies. He had his best season in 1950 when he won the National League MVP Award. He helped lead the Phillies to the World Series that year.
As a Phillie, Konstanty had a record of 51-39 with 54 saves and an ERA of 3.64.
2. Ron Reed (1976-1983)
Ron Reed played both baseball and basketball professionally. He was mainly a starter before coming to the Phillies, but they switched him to the bullpen. He was one of the key players during their postseason pushes.
As a Phillie, he had a record of 57-38 with 90 saves and an ERA of 3.06.
1. Tug McGraw (1975-1984)
Tug McGraw is the obvious choice for number one on this list. He is the greatest relief pitcher in Phillies history. He’s most known for his leap after striking out Willie Wilson to win the 1980 World Series.
He had a record of 49-37 with 94 saves and an ERA of 3.10 as a Phillie.