|Phillies Fab Four Living up to Hype||| Print ||
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on May 15, 2011
When Philadelphia completed its high-powered starting rotation, many experts pitched the Phillies to win the World Series and for good reason. From first to fourth, the Phillies are as good as any rotation of the modern era, and their fifth starter has won at least 12 games four times in his career. We're only a month through the season, but the Philadelphia rotation is showing it's worth all the talk.
The Phillies are tied for first in the majors in quality starts, and they're fourth in ERA and opposing batting average. Of their 20 quality starts, 17 come from Roy Halladay (five), Cole Hamels (four), Roy Oswalt (four) and Cliff Lee (four), while Joe Blanton (two) brings up the rear, although if you had a bet on MLB predictions at BetUs, you could have called that.
However, the Phillies aren't even at full strength, and that is scary for both leagues, even the American League as Halladay and Lee have both spent a lot of their career there. Oswalt's lone poor start came just before he left to go home to Mississippi, where he feared that his family was hurt by tornados, and Blanton has had an ailing elbow. However, 23-year-old Vince Worley has a quality start in his lone appearance, so it may be good for him to get some more games.
The list of accomplishments for the Phillies' starters is out of control: Halladay has a Cy Young in each league, is the reigning winner in the National League and is generally regarded as the best pitcher in baseball; Hamels is a NLCS and World Series MVP from Philadelphia's 2008 win while turning 27 in December; Lee won the 2008 American League Cy Young and maybe the best playoff pitcher going, although he still needs a ring; Oswalt is a three-time All-Star and won the 2005 NLCS. There's no question that they have the best makeup to keep their fine play going, and in fact, they should only get better. Combine that with a potentially scary offense, and anything less than a World Series appearance, at least, is a bust for the Phillies.