Phillies: Best individual pitching seasons by age
Age 38: Tom Gordon (2006)
Gordon had success at the Major League level as both a starter and reliever during his 21-year career that began in 1998. He won 17 games as a rookie for the Royals in 1999 and went on to have three more double-digit win seasons before signing with the Red Sox as a free agent in 1995.
After two years as a starter in Boston, Gordon earned his first All-Star appearance as one of the top closers in the league in 1998. He won seven with a league-high 46 saves, and an ERA of 2.72. He missed all of 2000 due to injury and pitched for the Cubs, Astros, Yankees, and White Sox before signing with the Phillies in December 2005.
In his first year with the Phillies at age 38, Gordon stepped into the closer’s role and did a solid job. He earned his third and final All-Star appearance and finished the season with three wins, 34 saves, 68 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings, and an ERA of 3.34.
Gordon pitched two more seasons with the Phillies, but his effectiveness dwindled, with increasing ERAs of 4.73 and 5.16. Gordon pitched in only three games with the Diamondbacks in 2009 before being release, retiring at age 41 with 138 wins and 158 saves.
Age 39: Kent Tekulve (1986)
Tekulve was a thorn in the side of the Phillies during his first 11-seasons with cross-state and division rival Pittsburgh Pirates. He won 70 and saved 158 with an ERA of 2.68 for the Pirates before being traded to the Phillies for Al Holland and Frankie Griffin on April 20, 1985.
Even though Tekulve posted a 4-10 record in 1985, saved 14, with an ERA of 2.99, walking just nine in 72 1/3 innings. His best season in Philadelphia was the following season at the age of 39. Tekulve displayed his rubber arm by logging 110 innings in 73 games, winning 11 with an ERA of 2.54. He allowed only two home runs with ten walks, while striking out 57.
The 40-year old Tekulve led the league in appearances in 1987, throwing 105 innings in the process. He had one more decent season in 1988 before being released. Tekulve signed with the Reds and appeared in 37 games, but got hit around to a 5.02 ERA.
Tekulve retired with 94 wins and 184 saves in 1050 appearances, which was first all-time at the time of his retirement.