Phillies history: Franchise’s top five rotations since the 1970s

Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK – CIRCA 1975: Larry Christenson #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York Mets during a Major League Baseball game circa 1975 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Christenson played for the Phillies from 1973-83. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

No. 2:  1982 (Steve Carlton, Larry Christenson, Mike Krukow, Dick Ruthven, Marty Bystrom)

After five playoff appearances over the previous six seasons, the 1982 Phillies finished just two games over .500 at 82-80. Much was due to a sluggish offense in which only Mike Schmidt hit over 20 home runs, and no player reached 90 RBI.  Without some top-notch pitching, this squad would have finished well below .500. Four of the five starters logged over 200 innings and had ERA’s below four.

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The staff which was first in strikeouts and complete games, was led by Steve Carlton, who won his fourth and final Cy Young Award. He led the league in wins (23), games started (38), complete games (19), shutouts (6), innings (295 2/3) and strikeouts (286).

Number two starter Larry Christenson, who had his first injury-free season since 1978 in which has posted 13 wins and a 3.24 ERA.

Although he won only nine, Christenson logged 224 innings, struck out a career-high 145 and posted an ERA of 3.47.

Mike Krukow won only ten games in a season once in his first five Major League seasons with the Cubs before his lone season in Philadelphia.  He proved to be a dependable member of the rotation in 1982,  pitching 208 innings, winning 13 games with an ERA of 3.12. He logged more innings and won more games only once during a 14-year career.

Dick Ruthven completed the top four with 204 innings, eight complete games, 11 wins, and a 3.79 ERA.  Marty Bystrom, a 23-year old, rounded out the rotation, pitching in 19 games with 16 starts, winning five.

A distinguishing feature of the 1982 rotation was that four of the five starters logged at least 200 innings, completing 38 games with ten shutouts.