Pitching wins championships. That's how the old baseball axiom goes, right? The 2011 version of the Philadelphia Phillies would certainly disagree. After all, they assembled one of the greatest starting rotations of all time and took not one, not two, but four "aces" into postseason play, but even four of the game's top pitchers could push an anemic offense over the hump.
What would the 1980 version of the Phillies say about that old axiom? They won the World Series in large part thanks to the contributions of their ace, Steve Carlton, who won 24 games in the regular season before going 3-and-0 in postseason play and their closer, Tug McGraw, who posted an ERA of 1.46 in the regular season and delivered the final pitch of the World Series.
What about the 2008 team? After all, that pitching staff was led by unproven but emerging "ace", Cole Hamels, who after a solid regular season went on a tear in the playoffs, posting a record of 4-and-0 and leading the Phillies to a win in each of his five starts, after which he would be named both the NLCS and World Series MVP. What more can be said about Brad Lidge, who after coming to Philadelphia in a trade in the off-season, delivered a perfect season?
Would it be a cop-out to say that the old baseball axiom that "pitching wins championships" is inconclusive? After all, teams with great pitching have won the World Series and teams with great pitching have watch the postseason from home in October.
Regardless of that, the Phillies as an organization live by that phrase, and throughout their history have brought in great pitching, be it to anchor a rotation or finish a game off. The following slide show will uncover the 25 greatest pitchers in the history of the organization, and it should be noted that the only statistics evaluated come from a pitcher's tenure with the Phillies.
So let's get to it. Here are the 25 greatest Phillies' pitchers of all time.