You probably thought the Phillies’ pitching staff was pretty good. Yesterday, we found out just how good they were: Not very good at all.
Finishing second, third, and fifth in the NL Cy Young voting as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels did certainly sounds historical and everything, but if you look closely, you’ll notice none of them actually won anything. So basically, this was like losing in the first round of the playoffs all over again, only this time, it was to a Dodger. Needless to say, yesterday was a dark day in Phillies history.
All of this begs the question: If baseball writers say that none of the Phillies pitchers are good enough to win the annual award for best pitcher, are they even really that good at all? Has Ruben Amaro hitched his wagon to the wrong skill? Is he overloading this team with an abundance of “talent” that isn’t really there? Are we so deeply under his spell that we can’t see this rotation for what it is: second best at its best?
“Um, Roy Halladay won the Cy Young last year,” you’re mumbling. ”Like, he won it. First place.”
That’s all well and good, but where were Cliff and Cole that year? Cliff didn’t play for our team and Cole was off somewhere celebrating jewelry or whatever. Look at Clayton Kershaw–the guy who won, yet plays for a team that not only didn’t make the playoffs, but spent most of the season wondering if it was still alive. Winning the Cy Young isn’t an indication of a championship caliber squad.
What we need to really drive the point home is for all three of our star pitchers to not only finish in the top five, but for all three of them to win simultaneously. Did I really believe that was going to happen? Of course I did. And maybe it still will.
Because it has to if the Phillies are going to be taken at all seriously. What is a hitter going to do in the batter’s box in 2012, knowing that they’re staring down at Roy Halladay, second place finisher? Laugh in his face? Probably. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw is working the pants-crappingly solid intimidation factor that comes with being a Cy Young champ.
Combined with Vance Worley’s third place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, it has become painfully apparent that the Phillies just aren’t good enough for awards this year, which obviously also means that aren’t good at all.