The Philadelphia Phillies’ dream rotation has been the main reason why the Phillies have had so much success in the 2011 MLB season, but can this dream rotation help Philadelphia win another World Series?
Even with this potent dream rotation, Phillies fans continue to worry about the current injuries to Hunter Pence and Ryan Howard, the team’s apparent decline in play and some are even asking if it is time to hit the panic button.
Don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned topics are a nice way to pass the time as we await the postseason, but they can be easily fielded:
- Injuries: The Phillies' injury concerns are not as as bad as some may think with Pence and Howard being dealt with on a precautionary measure. Hunter Pence says he feels fine, and Ryan Howard is simply being held out because the Phillies can afford to do so.
- Declined Play? The past three seasons combined, the Phillies closed September with a team batting average of .267 with 5.2 runs per game. Thus far, the Phillies are a little off that average (.241 BA, with 3.7 runs per game) but a lot of that can certainly be attributed to Howard and Pence not being in the mix—keep in mind that the Phillies still have six games to go in September.
- Time To Panic? Not even a measurable question to ask, rather a simple knee-jerk reaction to what is happening now.
So that leaves us with answering if this rotation can in fact win a World Series.
The Phillies will inevitably be fine-tuning their lineup situation as time goes on, as they’ll be deciding whether or not to feature 10 pitchers in the postseason—in favor of an extra positional player—or 11 arms in the dugout.
But what is for certain is this dream rotation that has helped catapult this team to greater heights will be paving the way.
The Phillies could not be in a better spot with this starting staff. The front four have already turned in an outstanding season led by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee who have a combined record of 34-14 with a combined 2.40 ERA.
Moreover, since the beginning of August, the gruesome twosome have combined for 11 wins, three losses and a combined ERA of 1.55.
Add in playoff whiz kid Cole Hamels and veteran Roy Oswalt (22-18, 3.23 ERA combined), and suddenly we begin to remember just what makes this a true dream rotation.
But again, can they win a World Series?
What has really defined this rotation throughout the season as a unit, are the very qualities that are required for any rotation to survive the postseason, let alone the rigors of trying to win the World Series.
Lee has battled through some very inconsistent portions of the year only to finally solidify and settle down, and Hamels is currently going through the same motion.
Oswalt has suffered through injuries, and failed comebacks from some of those injuries, only to rebound pretty nicely as of late.
Roy Halladay—well, Halladay is really just Halladay.
And those are just a few issues that the Phillies rotation have faced this season.
Look, the point to all of this is the rotation alone is more than talented enough and strong enough as a unit to definitely win a World Series no matter who they face.
However, in addition to the aforementioned, if you add in the Phillies’ ability to support their starting rotation with a solid core of hitters and mix in the over-the-top ability of Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick as added bullpen pitchers, we suddenly begin to see that this is a very real possibility.
Over-the-top talent, the ability to rise above adversity, a solid supporting cast and being able to play as a complete unit are the absolute necessary keys to winning a World Series—keys that the Phillies certainly have proven they possess.
Can the dream rotation win a World Series? I say yes. Without a doubt.