Late last month, Dayn Perry, an author and one of the talented baseball contributors on FOXSPORTS.COM, wrote a story about the top ten 1-2 pitching punches in the majors for 2008 in his crystal ball.
LHP Cole Hamels and RHP Brett Myers were listed as No. 8 in Perry’s story:
1. Brandon Webb and Dan Haren (Diamondbacks)
2. C. C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona (Indians)
3. Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano (Twins)
4. Jake Peavy and Chris Young (Padres)
5. Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum (Giants)
6. Brad Penny and Chad Billingsley (Dodgers)
7. John Lakey and Kelvim Escobar (Angels)
8. Hamels and Myers
9. Scott Kazmir and James Shields (Rays)
10. John Smoltz and Tim Hudson (Braves)
Very interesting list. Probably open for debate but that’s OK. There’s been a lot written that the American League is superior to the NL. Well, on this list, six of the 10 are from the NL.
There’s little doubt that strong starting pitching is a key for any team seeking to be a World Champion. Pitching, these days, is such a scarce commodity.
The Phillies leading winners a year ago were Hamels (15-5) and Jamie Moyer (14-12). Double figure wins came from rookie Kyle Kendrick (10-4) and Adam Eaton (10-10). A lot of people are down on Eaton but on July 20, he was 9-6. After that it was downhill, with a shoulder ailment part of the reason (DL in mid- to late August).
As Phillies fans know, adding pitching was a priority this winter and the organization’s major move in this area was to trade for a closer (Brad Lidge) and move Myers back into the rotation. Simply put, there was no free agent pitcher on the market as good as Myers.
Not to be overlooked was the re-signing of lefty J. C. Romero, a vital bullpen piece. Without J. C. we wouldn’t have won the NL East last year.
Myers’ career record as a starter is 54-42; Hamels, 24-13. Both are on the young side, Myers, 27; Hamels, three years younger. They can be good and for a long time, barring injuries.
Who was the best 1-2 punch in Phillies history? What are your thoughts?
Before signing off today, please be aware three online chats on this site are scheduled over the next week: Ruben Amaro Jr., tomorrow (1/11), 3:00 p.m.; Pat Burrell, Wednesday, 5:15 p.m. and Chase Utley, Thursday, 3:30 p.m. More chats will follow. Stay tuned.