Back in 1968, Mike Sommer went to his first Yankees game. The man who took him was his father, who was in the stands for Don Larson’s perfect game. Mike is a member of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club and maintains a blog called The Sommer Frieze, which dates back to 2005. He’s done some Internet radio work including being a guest on the Yankee Roll Call Internet Radio Show, a spot on Joe Boesch’s show on WGBB 1240 AM and the now defunct Yankee fan Club Radio Show. For his Pinch Hitters post, Mike took exception to the notion that the Phillies high-powered rotation automatically makes Philadelphia the team to beat in 2011.
Already people are calling the Phearsome Phoursome of the Phillies’ 2011 rotation the greatest Phront Phour ever — or at least in modern times. What they consider modern, who knows?
They need to study baseball history. Maybe it is, maybe not. But other great staffs didn’t make it to the Promised Land.
What to expect from the Phils’ rotation?
• Halladay: 34 next year. 2 CYAs, a runner-up and a third. A perfect game and a postseason no-no last year. 162 g. average: 17-9, 3.32.
• Oswalt: 34 next year. Five top five CYA finishes. 162 g. average: 16-9, 3.18.
• Lee: 33 next year. A CYA. 12 g. average: 16-9, 3.85.
• Hamels: Just turned 27. 162 g. average: 14-10, 3.53.
Very good. But let me list just a few other rotations. I just want to list a couple and make a point.
1920 White Sox
Red Faber. 23-13, 2.99; Eddie Cicotte 21-10, 3.26; Claude (Lefty) Williams 22-14, 3.91 and Dickie Kerr 21-9, 3.37.
With a few weeks left in the season, the you-know-what hit the fan about what happened the previous year. The White Sox, with the controversy, finished second. Cicotte and Williams kicked out of baseball.
Wynn 23-11, 2.73; Lemon 23-7, 2.72; Garcia 19-8, 2.64; Feller (last decent year at 36) 13-3, 3.09; let me add another—Houtteman 15-7, 3.35. 111-43.
AL pennant but swept in the series. Three Hall of Famers.
Koufax (his last year) 27-9, 1.73 (3 CYA); Drysdale 13-16, 3.42 (1 CYA); Osteen 17-14, 2.85 and Sutton (a 21 yr. old rookie) 12-12, 2.99.
Three Hall of Famers and swept in the series.
Cuellar (1 CYA) 20-9, 3.08; Palmer (3 CYA, HOF) 20-9, 2.68; McNally 21-5, 2.89 and Dobson 20-8, 2.90.
Lost series in seven.
Mussina 18-10, 4.05 (HOF? 270 wins) Wells 19-7, 3.75 (239 wins, one less than Pettitte, probably not HOF but …), Clemens 13-6, 4.35 (354 wins, 7 CYA, but the Mitchell Report), Pettitte 13-5, 3.27 (240 wins and maybe more? Mitchell Report).
Lost in division series. Not to mention El Duque, 8-5, 3.64 as the #5.
Braves of the 1990s
Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and depending on the year, Millwood, Neagle or Avery at #4. Just one championship.
2nd place, 87 wins despite Cone, Fernandez, Ojeda, Darling, Gooden and Viola.
Just saying …
Let the Phils’ staff earn it first.
Associated Press photo of Cliff Lee