Posted by Chris J. on November 6, 2007
From 1918-1948, the Phillies only had one winning season. It was in 1932, where they just sneaked in at 78-76. Not only did they fail to go .500 in the remaining 30 seasons in that 31 year stretch, but (and yes, I have checked this) they never even had a winning record from July 1 onward. Yoikes. So . . let's take a look at what sort of pitching staff you can construct from that bunch.
Here are the best ERA+s they ever had in that period. Curt Davis was a heckuva pitcher; a late bloomer from the Pacific Coast who going by win shares he's the best starter in MLB history who began his career after the age of 30. Dutch Leonard was a mighty fine knuckler. But what does it say that the best pitchers on a team over a 31 year period are Curt David and Dutch Leonard?
Or, if you look at cumulative totals with the Phillies in those years, it's clear Curt Davis was their best pitcher. What's really striking is that only four men tossed 1,000 IP for them in those years. That' impressive roster churning for a non-free agent league.