I very rarely watch post-game shows for any Philadelphia teams, mainly because I already know what just happened because I watched it, but also because there is usually nothing but pointless drivel on them. However last night, I found myself listening to the words coming out of Ricky Bottalico's mouth because I was sort of paying more attention to the internet after the game ended and never flipped the channel.
Anyway, Ricky Bo said that when you look at what Cliff Lee is doing now — you know, throwing his second consecutive complete-game shutout because he's awesome — the Phillies could potentially have five pitchers in the all-star game. Ricky Bottalico is insane, because that will never happen. For the record, he thinks Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Lee, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson all should be all-stars. Let me just slow his roll for a second — no way Bastardo makes the all-star team, and probably very little chance Madson makes it with so many good relievers. I say that because when you really look at it, Hamels, Halladay and Lee all almost have to be considered all-stars at this point.
Let me lay out the facts for you.
Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels are tied for the most wins in the National League with 9. Cliff Lee is just one game behind them, picking up his 8th victory last night. Halladay, Hamels and Lee represent three of the top four leaders in strikeouts in the league, Halladay leading everyone with 119, Lee third (behind Clayton Kershaw) with 114 and Hamels fourth with 103.
Halladay leads the league with 4 complete games. Cliff Lee is second with 3 — all three of which have been shutouts. Oh, those three shutouts for Lee just so happen to lead the league. Further, Halladay and Lee go 1-2 in innings pitched as well, no surprise given their 1-2 ranks in complete games, and Hamels isn't far behind.
Further, Hamels and Halladay are tied for third in ERA at 2.51 — trailing the Atlanta duo of Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson — and in a month, Lee has gone from an ERA just under 4.00 to a 2.87 ERA, right among the league leaders.
And when it comes to WHIP, Hamels leads everyone with the only sub-1.00 WHIP in the league, at an insane 0.93. Halladay is 4th at 1.04, and Lee sits just outside the top 10 with a 1.12 WHIP.
Combined, they have more wins than any other trio in all of baseball with 26, and had the Phillies been able to hit just a little bit in some more of their starts, that number would easily top 30.
Right now, they are pitching even better than anyone expected, and that's with Roy Oswalt still trying to find his way, which he always does. Not that Oswalt has been terrible. He does have a 3.38 ERA, and everyone knows he does his best work in the second half of the season.
But right now, it's Halladay, Hamels and Lee leading the way. They're the main reason the Phillies have the best record and biggest division lead in all of baseball.
Move over LeBron, Wade and Bosh. There's a new three-headed monster making headlines now.