Blog Entry

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans

This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…

Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:


1. Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt

Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense. 


2. Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Moore, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price

Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!). 


3. Milwaukee Brewers: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf

Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.


4. Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.


5. Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.

6. Texas Rangers:
C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison

Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.


7. St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia

The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.


8. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia

Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.

For more postseason coverage.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 9:45 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:15 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:49 pm

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

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Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: October 4, 2011 12:08 am

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

team cant be that bad if they keep winning. GO LIONS!

Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:31 pm

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

So far the score is 6-3 Cardinals.  That is all erased at this point.  Everybody starts over.  But it looks like the edge goes St. Louis in the opening series. 

Yes, Cards fan here, and thank you Charlie for not mailing it in at the end of the year when you had the chance.  Not sure TLR would have done the same.... pretty sure he wouldn't have.. but would have lost opening round also.  Matchup goes well to the Cardinals.  Going to be a great series though!!

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:18 pm

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

Nice undercover work Trent. In opther breaking news, the sun was discovered to be hot.  Idiot. Weere u told to write this garbage or did u cleverly think of the Pjillies havening the best rotation all by your lonesome.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:46 am

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

sdg, good point but don't forget the AL has the DH so it is natural that they will score more runs on the average than NL teams.  Also, you are right in saying the Rays have a fine starting rotation; I agree with ranking these teams 1-2.  It is just hard for me to pick against a rotation that includes Halladay, Lee, and Hamels but that is why they play the games, anything can happen.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:12 am

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

You are forgetting one thing. The Rays starting pitchers pitched in the hardest hitting division in baseball; the phillies pitched in the 2nd worst hitting division. The actual numbers show that the AL east teams score nearly one more run per game than the NL east. The race between the Rays starters and the phillies starters is much closer than you think. James Shields alone pitched only 6 CG less than the entire Phillies staff.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:13 am

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

     With this rotation, I don't see how Philly can lose a series.  But I thought the same thing back in '71 when the Orioles had 4 20-game winners and lost to the Pirates.  But as long as the Philly bats don't disappear, I see the Phils taking the NL Pennant and Series. 

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:17 am

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs


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